Thirty days contained. Completely home bound except for yard work, dog walks, one take-out ice cream jaunt and one produce pick-up in the Fenway. Groceries are coming on Saturday. I am absurdly excited about the delivery, measuring time in half and quarter onions.
In this house, Ocean Deep Freeze is underway.
There were two real missions called Ocean Deep Freeze. My father, an electrical engineer, was recruited to join one of them. They were mapping expeditions of Antarctica.
My Ocean Deep Freeze is more domestic. It involves a steely commitment to use up or chuck the food in the two freezers in this house. Think: Marie Kondo on ice.
In the “use and consume” category, find precooked shrimp and peas (above). Made with a jarred curry sauce, this tasty dish really belongs in the Pantry (Pandemic) Cooking File because, with the exception of the fresh cilantro, all the ingredients are canned goods, frozen foods, or root vegetables.
In the “give up and chuck it” category went the three boxes of spinach soufflé and single bag of fake “crab meat” that came out of my sister’s freezer right about this time last year. Holding onto a frozen food for a year that never was appealing to begin with is long enough, right? Even in this time of supply chain anxiety?
Seeing those boxes of spinach triggered memories of last year. Right about this time in 2019, I was scrambling to sell or stow my sister’s things and about to climb onto a plane to Italy. It’s long ago and worlds away last April, isn’t it?
Imagine that! Walking the carpeted tunnel to an airplane with only a sense of adventure on my face — no mask, no anxiety.
Writing has seemed more essential than ever since hunkering down. It’s always good to put impressions down, but there’s a heightened sense about it now. We’ll want to look back and remember.
I keep thinking I’ll post some of those scrawls but each page feels so full and then the afternoons and mornings around those pages also feel so full, that it gets exhausting to contemplate. How can a life so stripped down feel so very full?