When I kissed my luxury condo goodbye some time ago, the most time wasn’t spent on sorting clothes or knick-knacks. Strangely, it was the food that took forever.
Did you know that poppy seeds can go rancid?
According to the internetz, nuts — like seeds — are high in oils (duh), and thus can get bitter/go rancid, and otherwise end up pretty disgusting and useless. I had a five year old jar of poppy seeds in my cupboard. Suffice it to say the poppy seeds didn’t come with me to England.
Months later, here I am in Manchester, and do you know what I have? A mini fridge, folks. I’m talking college-freshman-in-a-dorm mini fridge. And do you know what’s so amazing about this? It’s enough. To Westerners, and Americans in particular, that’s a pretty foreign concept. I think my adaptability has surprised even me.
But, here’s the thing: you can only eat so many calories in a day (assuming you want to be a generally healthy person), and grocery stores are not yet going out of style, though I do suspect Amazon’s proposed takeover of Whole Foods will be a game-changer for the industry.
As it sits, I consume roughly 1400 calories per day. This amounts to a simple breakfast of tea with yogurt or muesli, some sort of grain, protein and fruit for lunch, and typically a protein-heavy dinner. None of what I just described requires an “American-sized refrigerator,” as the Brits and Aussies call them, or a Costco membership.
All it requires is a mini fridge.
I don’t have my poppy seeds anymore. Or my two year old packages of pasta noodles, 5lb bag of flour or that rotting cucumber I bought last October. Instead, I have a two to three day supply of fresh food, as well as a small shelf of longer-lasting items like Hobnobs and tea.
And let me tell you, that fresh food supply is glorious. I savor every single thing in my little mini fridge, because it was purchased with a purpose. I no longer meander through the grocery loading up a cart. I think strategically about what can fit into a bag or two, how long those items will be good and where I can use those items over the course of a couple of days — sliced avocado in a salad for dinner one night; mashed avocado on toast with a boiled egg for lunch the next day, for instance.
This idea, this theory — The Mini Fridge Theory, if you will — is a metaphor for my life. Five years ago, all I wanted was a bigger home — more curb appeal, more grass, more bedrooms, more granite counter tops…more, more, more. Two years ago, I wanted more luxury, more prestige, more respect from society.
Today, all I want is my mini fridge. My freedom. My statement to the world that my place on this planet isn’t about how much space I can take up but how little space I can consume while seeing how much of the world I can explore.
Blueberries, plums, yogurt, cheese, Charcuterie meats. That’s what’s in my fridge right now.
What’s in yours?