Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mystery Meals

Before I was married, I wondered why we would possibly need my husband's chest freezer. Now I know. He loves to shop, cook and freeze leftovers. I am the envy of women everywhere. Each week, he carefully pores over flyers, then goes out to hunt and gather enough items to feed a family of twelve. Our freezer is filled to the brim. If there's a world wide famine, we're ready. If a spontaneous neighbourhood block party breaks out, we're prepared.

I once had a work friend who brought sealed cans of items to eat for her lunch. What's so unusual about that you might ask? Well, nothing except that none of the cans had labels. That meant that her meals could consist of anything from soup, to my all time favourites... artichokes, black olives or cocktail wieners. She always ate whatever was in the can. One day, the smell of sardines wafting across my already scented egg salad sandwich compelled me to ask.

"How do you know what's in the can if there's no label?"

Looking at me as if the question were ridiculous and the answer obvious, she responded "I don't. My mother and I use the labels to enter contests."

I sat back, too baffled to ask why then, they didn't also use a sharpie to identify the can contents after removing said label.

This afternoon, while hubby was at a conference, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to use up some leftovers. I rummaged through the freezer for a single person meal. This process required excavating and identifying the remains of one of our previous dinners. Since it is often difficult to cook a small enough amount for two, we have many smidgens of mysterious edibles in plastic containers.

"Aha, I see plastic," I announced to the dog who was watching me curiously.

After a huge struggle between my arm muscles and the top of a tupperware container, the lid flew off like a frisbee and sailed across the room. Fortunately, the meatballs remained inside in a frozen mass.

"Hmmm...meatballs...don't think so." I muttered.

Next"Nope. I'd rather eat the freezer ice."

Then, I found something that looked more promising. I peered inside, ready to give up and sadly determined that it was the same turkey dressing my husband and I had both recently examined. But wait, specks of noodle were visible and summoned me through the side of the vessel. I felt as though I'd found treasure. Only one way to find out I thought...microwave. After heating the container I discovered a delicious creamy beef stroganoff which I proceeded to devour.

So why then don't we use a sharpie to label the containers? What, and ruin the element of surprise?

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