Should one declare oneself officially middle-aged when one starts entertaining fantasies about fridge-freezers?
Yes? Darn it, I am officially middle-aged.
You see I have owned my fridge freezer since my Mum won it in a competition and I do believe my parents bought me the one I owned before that too, thus let it hereby be stated, I have never, ever shopped for a durable fridge freezer all by myself. Indeed I have reached the grand old age of nearly forty-one without ever considering what it is one needs to consider when choosing a machine to stop one’s milk curdling, and yet all of a sudden the choosing and ordering of a new fridge-freezer strikes me as a domestic rite of passage I must complete before I can progress on to the next stage of housekeeping, and earn my iron on Kitchen Goddess badge…
Once upon a time a housewife was simply delighted by this new-fangled machines ability to prevent celery wilting but now we must consider fridge capacity and energy rating and all kinds of things one simply never imagined would float one’s boat until one became quite obsessed with enjoying an Everlasting Meal, Tamar Adler style, and freezing everything from lemon rind to the dregs of the red wine leftover after a boozy weekend. Yes my Darlings, you should consider me a freezer convert.
Before now I was happy to chuck in the odd box of fish fingers and keep myself in the clink with ice reserved for my favorite gin and pink lemonade cocktail. Now I am doubling everything I cook and freezing what is left. Making too much cookie dough and freezing half for impromptu cookie and milk fests and filling the freezer with little cubes of home-made pesto in varieties as diverse as tomato and almond, and basil, lime and pumpkin seed. In fact you name it and I will pop it into my mini-chopper and grind it into pesto before spilling it into ice-cube trays and freezing it.
The fridge freezers we know today, were born in 1876, but didn’t really come into prominence in the average home until the 1930’s, as previously the price had put them out of reach for most families. (Indeed today fridge freezers costs less than half what they would have done in the twenties!) Now, alongside pasteurization, refrigeration, is considered one of the most important developments in science and health, and we all rely on our fridges to store everything from candles (helps them burn longer) to milk, eye cream (the cold blasts away bags in a milli second!) and butter.
But some of us (me) have been making do. Making do with a energy-inefficient fridge. One with a dubious seal that is surely leaking cold and compromising the safety of the food inside it. One that stores hardly anything without requiring a ten ton push to shove all that needs to be froze into the freezy bit. One that occasionally takes my Ben and Jerries and burns it. Oh yes: that threat to good health that is horrible freezer burn common to the inefficient, not shut tight freezer so many of us are still harbouring in our kitchens…
So it is time to grow up. To take myself out on a domestic creative excursion and spend my hard earned pennies on something that isn’t shoes (these please) or perfume (my current favorite), but is instead a place to store the results of recipes like the one below, without eating electricity or sounding like there is a train rumbling through the kitchen every half-hour…
Pesto A La Alison…
2 cups of mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup of fresh parsley
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon thyme
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tablespoons of good olive oil
Splash of Worcester sauce
Chop the mushrooms finely, then saute for five minutes until soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two, then drain away any excess oil or water and stir in all the other ingredients to combine. Pour into blender and blend until the mixture is combined adding oil until your pesto reaches the consistency you prefer.
Allow to cool, then pour into ice-cube trays and freeze for one day. Pop out of trays into freezer bags and store for up to three months thereafter. Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche with pasta, or alone as a topping for crostini.