Wednesday, June 24th, 2009...12:10 pm

Getting the Cold Shoulder

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I know, I know. I’ve been bad, I’ve been absent. But I have an excuse! For some of it, anyway.

You know how for a while a whole bunch of food magazines, food blogs, and other food-related media were banging on about essential appliances? How everyone just needs a good skillet, a heavy-based saucepan, a chef’s knife and a flat-edged wooden spoon to cook almost anything? Well you know what they missed out on? You need a FRIDGE.

And yes, I’m well aware that for hundreds and thousands of years, civilization survived without any form of refrigeration whatsoever. But you know what? They had to. It didn’t exist. AND THEY WEREN’T USED TO HAVING A FRIDGE.

I live in a rental in Hong Kong, and I’ve been fridge-less for over a month now. It’s quite ridiculous, really, when you think about it, but it’s really hard to cook without a fridge. You can’t buy 10g packs of butter individually (unless you’re planning to pilfer them from a restaurant – in which case you’d be full and unable to cook + eat immediately). Eggs really don’t keep that long nor that fresh (especially not in this humid, summer heat) without a fridge. There’s no ice for ice baths (the 7-11 downstairs from my place doesn’t sell ice). All my ready-chopped garlic and ginger (which I know makes me incredibly lazy but hey sometimes you want dinner ready in like 5 minutes flat) has gone off. My oyster sauce (for veggie stir fries) has to be refrigerated upon opening. Let’s not get started on the perishables like fruit, vegetables, raw meat, or leftovers. For chrissakes, I have to run down to said 7-11 if I want a cold drink!

(And before anyone asks me why we didn’t just buy a new fridge, the fucked up one in question is a built-in unit, so we can’t just throw it out, and there really isn’t any space in the flat to put a second fridge. It’s Hong Kong, after all, where human beings miraculously live in shoeboxes.)

Worst of all, stepping into the kitchen puts me into a bad mood now. Especially when I walk in and I hear all the ridiculous LIES the various repair-people (fridge-manufacturer sanctioned ones included) have shot at us. So my kitchen is now a glorified smoking room. Up side: the kitchen floor’s stayed clean for longer than it’s ever done before, so I can actually sit on the floor while I smoke.

Anyway, I caved yesterday and bought a bunch of stuff to cook and bake with. I really couldn’t face the thought of eating out one more time. I’m not doing it again because it took a ridiculous amount of time to measure everything out just so before buying to minimize wastage, and still I had to chuck a bunch of it out. But there’s now a big slab of cake sitting pretty on my dining table, and it’s not going to keep for very long, seeing as there is no refrigeration in this house. So if anyone’s nearby (offer only valid for those actually IN Hong Kong), give me a shout. I’d be happy to offload cake by the slice. It’s only gonna last a couple more days, well-wrapped at room temperature, anyway.

And in the meantime, you can locate me on twitter. I’ll be back when.. my fridge is. Either that, or when we move house (September), barring any other technological mishaps.

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