The fridge is in. We’ll have to unplug it when we lay the new flooring, but it’s here, it works and it offers a beckoning light.
I’m a bit tardy on this one, but food bloggers around the world have, in the past couple of months, opened their refrigerator doors to reveal their uncensored contents. I held back, for I had no fridgeâ€”until now. And here it is:
A jar of peanut butter for Cody (we’ve been dog-sitting), a bottle of filtered water and perfectly clean shelves. This will have to suffice for the moment. But it’s our fridge, in our house!
We bought the most efficient, reliable, yet inexpensive machine we could find, a basic Frigidaire with virtually no frills (except glass shelves, easier to clean). It’s small, just 16.5 cu. ft., in an age when consumers can spend $2,000 or more for stainless-steel beasts with water filters, ice makers, computer screens, humidity controls, dairy bins, door alarms, wine racks, meat trays, digital thermometers and 26 cu. ft. of space. After several years in Thailand, with our mini-fridge on a pedestal in a cabinet, I’m flabbergasted by the options here. What would I do with all those bells and whistles? I can’t imagine.
In Asia, many of my friends have no refrigerator. They’re lucky if they have an ice cooler. They shop in the market every day. In Chiang Mai, I’d fill our little guy to the max and that would last us approximately three days. When the fridge went empty, I’d walk a few blocks up the street to the Royal Project store and the wet market a block beyond. We had a friendly relationship with The Vegetable Lady.
I’ve been catching up with New Yorkers I missed while on the road. I’m still perusing the April 16 travel issue. Nick Paumgarten writes of the grand American commute (one of every six American workers commutes more than 45 minutes each way). He writes of city zoning, of the imaginary triangle comprising the points where a person sleeps, works and shops. Small triangle makes for happy people, no? But America is full of cities that require long drives from Point A to Point B to Point C, with little social interaction. People need big refrigerators; their stores are far away, or at least they require yet another drive. “By this logic,” Paumgarten writes, “the bigger the refrigerator, the lonelier the soul.”
I am thankful for a small fruit-and-veggie market within walking distance, and a branch of El Mezquite Market (oh, I am SUPER excited about this!) just a few miles down the roadâ€”an easy bicycle ride along the Rio Grande.