Saturday, September 11, 2004

Rolled Oats, Lentils and Y2K

Because my house was remarkably clean this morning--unless you count the seven dirty glasses in the sink--I had time to think today about forgotten chores. I thought about my extra freezer, the gigantic appliance that takes up the corner of my laundry room. I haven't cleaned out that freezer since 2002, right before my daughter was born.

At the time, I made myself a list of Things To Do before she came, important things like defrosting the freezer and alphabetizing the spices and cleaning out every closet in the house. Because, you know, newborns will do a Martha-Stewart check of your housekeeping skills and return to your womb immediately if things are unsanitary, dusty or out of alphabetical order.

I use the freezer as an overflow area and then tend to neglect hunks of foil-wrapped ground beef and Costco-sized bags of vegetables and twenty Ziploc freezer bags of frozen strawberry slices. I wish I were one of those super-duper organized moms who filled her freezer with homemade frozen meals waiting to be defrosted and cooked and homegrown vegetables which were flash-frozen and meat purchased in bulk and hermetically sealed in Food Saver bags. But I'm not. In addition to the strawberries, ground beef and giant bags of vegetables, my freezer also features twenty pounds of rolled oats and fifteen pounds of lentils.

Why, you wonder? Well, don't you remember Y2K? Also known as "The End of the World As We Know It?" My ex-stepmother (my dad divorced her when I was 18) who lives in a geodesic dome she built herself (which features a composting toilet and solar energy and a fancy wood stove) on thirty-five acres gave me those items, "just in case."

So, if the world had come to an end and we had no electricity or gasoline or groceries, we would have lived for what--days? weeks? months? Of course, we would have wanted to kill ourselves if we had to subsist on rolled oats and lentils cooked over a fire we built using our kitchen chairs and pine needles from the yard, washed down with big old glasses of muddy water from the sandbox. We could have supplemented our oats and lentils with the stash of goldfish crackers and Cheerios under the couch, so that's a bright spot.

But the world did not end and now I need to throw out the oats and lentils and defrost the glacier in the freezer. Unfortunately, I'm in the midst of a long-running Trash Crisis. Our decades-old trash compactor died and now every week, I desperately await the arrival of the trash collector. The second he leaves, I fill the cans with the accumulated trash. Somehow, we never have extra space for pounds of oats and lentils.

If only I could find a recipe for rancid lentils and stale oats, I'd be all set.

(And my husband doubted my ability to write an entire post about my freezer. Ha!)


Blogger QQ said...

LOL! I was about to head off to bed and I thought...I should see if Mel wrote anything this evening. So glad I checked...your entry was hilarious. So now I am giggling off to bed to dream of lentils and rolled oats.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I'm confident in your abilities to write a humourous post on anything, Mel.

3:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mel, have missed you on the board, glad to see at least you are journaling... :)

Hilarious entry. Glad I'm not the only one that immediately fills up the barrels after the trash collectors' come. Yummmmm, oats and lentels. Ummm, do they go bad? ~~Michelle aka s0ngbird1962

5:28 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm with Donna. You could wite something hysterical about anything and everything. I can just see you with huge bags of defrosting oats slinking outside as the garbage rolls away!!

5:52 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I got such weird mail in 1999. One company said they would ship me barrels of food that would last me a year, and I had the option of having it delivered by cover of night, so my neighbors wouldn't know I had food. WHAT??? I'm going to let my neighbors starve while I'm feasting on reconstituted beef? I was sort of looking forward to losing weight...

I live in a parsonage in the middle of a parking lot. What I like best of all is the dumpster! I can dump anything whenever I want to! It's wonderful. Where we moved from we had to buy blue tags to put on our trash. I once pinned one on youngest son and told him to sit on the curb. My mother-in-law, who lived nextdoor was horrified (hint: NEVER live nextdoor to your MIL!). No sense of humor, that one.

Our freezer, in the garage, grew such a huge iceberg that it pushed open the door. This caused a really funny smell. Oh, so thankful was I for that dumpster nearby!

6:54 AM  

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