Several months ago, our refrigerator died a smoky and dramatic death (the compressor broke). We survived for quite a while with nothing but a beer fridge in the garage, cramming as much as we could into a very small space, which was never enough to last our family for an entire week. And, since it was leaking water inside the fridge, we had to remember to empty the basins we had rigged up, too, or everything got pretty soggy.
Toward the end of the summer we began shopping, which turned into a confusing marathon of stores, specials, rebates and more refrigerator models than I ever thought possible. At long last, our new fridge will arrive this week. What a blessing it will be not to have to trudge out to the garage every time we need milk!
The thing is, shopping for a new refrigerator took me to places I don’t usually go–namely, the appliance departments of big box stores. There, I made a discovery: the upright freezer. I had never seen one, and was instantly smitten: it has a ton of room for freezing food (great news for someone like me who has a vegetable garden) but you don’t have to risk life and limb reaching in to get something out.
How wonderful one of these freezers would be, I keep thinking to myself. Just think how much grated zucchini I could store there, how many tidy little portions of pesto! I could buy meat on sale more often, too, and ice cream. Just thinking about it gives me the shivers.
After a few days of this it began to dawn on me how blessed I am to even begin dreaming of a large freezer to store food. I think of how many people in the world have barely enough for today, never mind enough to put away for next week or next month. I think of the people for whom such a large freezer would be silly, because they have no one to share their meals with. I think of people in tiny apartments with no access to grow their own food, whether they want to or not. I even think of the people who lived long before electricity and refrigeration, and how much work it was to preserve enough food to stay alive all winter.
Since our budget likely won’t have room for a fancy stand-up freezer any time soon, I will have to be content with my daydreaming. That’s OK, though. Just dreaming about a freezer has begun to feel like a luxury.