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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Keeping My Cool

Our fridge broke today. Or rather, it became temporarily disabled for a 24-hour period (we hope). It's 20-plus years old, and not the most efficient piece of machinery, and about every year and a half it just gives up and needs to be unplugged for awhile. I'm hoping that's the case again this time.


Gahlord wrestled the fridge out from the wall and unplugged it.  I wrestled it back, then spent a big chunk of this afternoon cleaning things out of it, and thinking about the preposterous amount of frozen and canned edibles I tend to stockpile. My grandfather lived through the Great Depression, and as an adult took a very long-term approach to shopping. Whenever I visited him as a kid I was amazed to see he'd filled not only the pantry, but an entire auxiliary room with canned and boxed food. I'd find plastic bottles of soda in the linen closet, and huge economy packages of toilet paper under the spare room beds. My mom inherited this approach to a lesser degree, and passed it on to me, particularly with regard to edibles that need to go in the fridge. It is rare to see empty space in our icebox. 

I wonder at the usefulness of the hoarding instinct.

The fridge had already been off and cooling for at least 20 hours before we realized the situation, and with the localvore challenge, it was pretty frustrating to think of all of the farmers' market produce, U-pick berries and local dairy items I'd tracked down gradually going bad. Gahlord had been given a pork roast from a pig raised by a friend of a friend in the Northeast Kingdom, but that was in the freezer, so I'm pretty sure it's still OK.

Two friends volunteered temporary fridge and freezer space (thanks, Mandy and Angela!), and hopefully tomorrow all will be back to normal, albeit a little less stuffed-to-the-guppers. I hope to maintain shelf visibility henceforth.

In food-related news, last night Angela hosted a grilling party at her house, where about a dozen folks consumed locally made tempeh with veggie cream gravy, potatoes, salads, grilled zucchini, homemade potato-and-beet chips, polenta, more of the buffalo (not beefalo, but actual buffalo) and turkey burgers, and lots of corn on the cob. I made blueberry pancakes this morning. They were yummy, and that's really what I've been eating all day.


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hi meghan,

i'm happy to host your frozen foods until your fridge is back on track. thanks for helping me fix my pantry shelf!

i've been thinking a lot about the hoarding instinct this past week. mostly because the coop has been out of 2 staples for me--cornmeal and dried beans, both from butterworks farm. i've never been much of a food hoarder. perhaps because i love grocery shopping and farmer's markets so i frequent them almost daily. but i've been feeling a little nuts with the shortage of beans...and when i did find some today i totally stocked up apocalyptic style. i know the eat local challenge is hardly relatable to say, the great depression, or food insecurity, but for the first time in my life, i had a food hoarding instinct. i felt strange...and then i felt full of thanks.

crossing my fingers for your fridge,


I bet you can store some stuff at work, too.

I'd offer my freezer, but it's currently stuffed with frozen berries, meat and bags of breast milk.

Lisa Crean

How stressful!

While we all hope the fridge has resolved its issues by now, I did look up this energy savings calculator to help you look on the bright side if/when the ancient appliance merits going to the great beyond. The energy savings of a new fridge will be tremendous, as you know--probably enough to pay for the new one within a year or two:

Meanwhile, I hope the old guy has decided to be cooperative and chill out again!


Meghan, your milk is safe with me... sort of.
I was getting ready to start making ice cream for tonight's family dinner (whoa, the menu's huge!! I'm even making bean dip with veggies and corn crackers!!) and noticed that my milk is a lot lower than your milk. Oh, well, call it a fridge fee.

May your fridge be as frosty as maple ice cream!


i ate some of that sheep's milk yogurt for dessert last night. i hope you dont mind, it was delicious. let's call it a fridge fee. haha. ill have to buy some myself.

are there really buffalo in vermont?



Hi Meghan-I'm enjoying your blog. Some of us here in West Brookfield(I know- where's that?) are doing the localvore challenge too. It's been interesting. We have a lot in terms of local vegies- either our own because we are rural and grow it,or our local coop(Randolph). I am a blueberry grower so that is no problem either- plus some raspberries,strawberries and rhubarb. We also have plenty of local dairy- Strafford Farms, Neighborly Farms, and eggs.

Grain is the biggest issue- flour, etc. We don't have local sources, even at our coop , for any of it. I scored some cornmeal from Hunger Mtn. via a friend- and I am getting some flour via the Upper Valley Localvores. I'll be in Burlington this week and will see what City Market has to offer.

I've been eating a lot of vegies. And blueberries of course- made blueberry pancakes and blueberry scones- yummy. I made pasta yesterday-came out ok. I hope to score some local whey from a cheesemaker to make ricotta- then I'll have ravioli..... am making sun-dried tomatoes now in preparation......

Look foward to reading what you're up to-



Just a quick end-note to the fridge issue. It's all running smooth again.

The thing always conks out in August and we have to go through this thing. I don't harp on our landlord because he's generally all-right and the house is cool by me. As soon as we can afford to live in Burlington as homepwners then I'll start looking hard at all those fine refridgedairs.

Thanks for all the encouragement and fridge-space offered and used.


And regarding buffalo in Vermont:

They are in Townsend. I remember passing the farm when I lived in Bratt and being amazed that my native bovine existed this far east.


Cari Drees

Hi Meg & James (ok...Gahlord)
Interesting concept you have here with the eating local. I'm afraid if I tried to do that down here in the desert SW I'd end up eating cactus for 30 days! Your niece and nephew are eating us out of house and home down here, so I think that I'll be shopping at Costco for the large quantities of foodstuffs for the forseeable future. Hard to believe that little brother of mine not inhaling a gallon of milk, a loaf of bread and a can of Jiffy in one sitting, but I may have him permanently stuck in Jr. High in my brain!

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