Name five things inside your refrigerator and how you feel about them
Emotive feelings tend to relate to my relationships with people rather than food, that is until now. The fridge is the keeper of staples, fancies, dairy, vegetables and an array of sauces and dressings. It’s filled with things to snack on (grapes), fresh ingredients with which to create wonderful meals as well as some medication. It hadn’t occurred to me how the sight of different foods in the refrigerator could evoke strong reaction when I regarded them as more than simply things to fill my belly with.
1. Butter: Back in the 1960s and 70s everyone knew that butter really was better for you than margarine and science backed that view. Somehow in the 1980s we took a backwards step. Fake food multinationals joined forces with the media to tip the scales in favour of artificial foods and profit In general we bowed to new scientific research findings and the media reports promoting the change. Cardio-vascular systems were under threat from cholesterol and any mention of saturated fats brought the American Medical Association out into a renewed frenzy of propaganda steering us away from natural butter with its heart-disease-causing cholesterol properties. Pre-1980 I don’t remember jams, spreads or anything other than butter or home made jams on our bread. Soon we were adding an extra pantry shelf to hold the jars of things we now used to camouflage the plastic taste of margarine. We preoccupied ourselves with chasing the 99% fat free products in supermarkets in quest of a healthier lifestyle. While we were thus engaged we were oblivious to the contents of our pre-packaged foods until some lone voice in the wilderness shouted loud enough for us all to hear: ‘we want ingredients listed on food packages’. What we found that while we were obsessing about the fats in our diet, manufacturers were filling our food packages with sugar. So we didn’t have the saturated fats but now we are consuming sugar in alarming quantities. Seems like we swapped the witch for the bitch. I can’t look at a block of butter without remembering a girlfriend who resisted the pressure to switch to margarine from butter back in the day. Each time I opened her fridge and reached for the full cream milk, I saw the butter and scoffed at her stubbornness to kowtow to ‘scientific research’. Butter’s back on the menu in our home.
2. Dark Chocolate and Almonds: Chocolate makes me happy, very happy. Large blocks of chocolate are not something I remember from childhood. Chocolates came individually wrapped in boxes and were very expensive. They were considered ‘intimate’ gifts with romantic connotations. I’m pleased we got over that nonsense because now as I mindfully enjoy the slow melt of chocolate and savour the texture and warmth of the chocolate as it oozes thickly around my mouth and slinks down my throat. I can feel spoiled at my own expense rather than having to wait until the love of my life remembers how compliant I can be in the presence of chocolate.
3. Sparkling Rose Wine: This is a new-to-me pleasure complete with its own effervescence. It’s a change from the still white wines of the sauvignon blanc and chardonnay I once enjoyed (and to which I will no doubt return). For now pink bubbles have my attention – a perfect complement to Summer evenings. Quite simply either the wine or its bubbles (not really important, whatever) lessens the tension and brings release from a difficult day at the coal face. There have been times when I’ve become a little more relaxed than has been called for and the results of too much pleasure-seeking has left me with feelings of nausea and a thumping headache. It’s called self-medicating to which I’m partial every now and again.
4. Pot set Greek Yoghurt: Absolutely divine – the Greeks got it right. Our supermarket stocks 2kg buckets of the stuff which we eat in a week; it’s a staple. In recent months the supermarkets have stopped carrying the non-fat variety ‘due to lack of demand’. This baffles us because whenever we purchased our yoghurt there were usually just one or two containers left. I imagine we’ve been ‘had’ by marketing psychology because if the preferred product isn’t on the shelves then no one buys it so of course there’s no demand. You don’t have to be Einstein to figure that one out. By reducing the consumer choice, the multinationals have decided which products we can and cannot have. Sure as hell I won’t be purchasing any of their ‘home brand’ or ‘no name brand’ products.
5. Squid Brand Fish Sauce: Neat fish sauce (fish sauce on its own, not neat as in ‘that’s cool’) is overwhelmingly salty and – well – quite frankly fishy. We’re regular fish eaters but prefer that it doesn’t taste too fishy! The same goes with fish sauce which is an integral ingredient to Asian cuisine. The sauce is the juice from fermenting fish which is probably why it smells so pungent and tastes like well dead fish basically. The smell of it aside, the bottle of Squid fish sauce reminds me of the Thai meals prepared the MOTH (man of the house) and the gorgeous Thai Beef Salads he reates, beautifully rounded off with a hot and spicy fish sauce dressing – it’s heavenly.
So there you have it the five things in the home fridge that bring happiness to my heart, body and soul. Shame on the butter and Greek yoghurt that invariably send us into orbit against the multinational capitalistic post-modern profiteering moguls. Grrrr. Grrrr. Grrr. Never mind plenty of chocolate and bubbles in the fridge. Life is good.