An Empty Fridge?

My question for the day: Does An Empty Fridge Signify An Empty Head?  An unusual connection, yes? Maybe even, a little nutty? But a friend of mine believes the two are linked: empty fridge equals empty head. She’s also a trifle judgmental, adores cooking, and her fridge is crammed with strange-looking edibles. It fits.

I love her but each time I hear that comment my teeth clench and my frown lines deepen. The truth is I too have an empty fridge. Really. Oh, my fridge is not completely empty. It typically contains fat-free milk, several dried-up apples, and perhaps, a doggy bag filled with restaurant remnants. It’s the ideal empty nester fridge.

This odd concept has a basis: my husband Ed and I eat breakfast in our kitchen every morning and then leave for work. At the end of the day, we find a restaurant near the office, sit back, talk, and relax. That feels good. For me, anyway. No need to market, right?

In other words, we eat out almost every night. I don’t want to cook anymore. And I don’t want the cleanup either. It may be uncomfortable to say out loud, or to blog about, especially given all the cook shows and cookbooks and movies like Julie and Julia, but I no longer enjoy the search for new recipes or the anticipated thrill of seeing a perfectly yummy cake come out of the oven. That is my stand and I am firm.

Which reminds me. We had out-of-town company last Sunday. They came with a set of gorgeous three-year-old twins and a beautiful six-year-old named Kay. Kay wanted to make brownies with me. OhmyGod! Fortunately, I had advance notice and was game even though I couldn’t remember the last time I made brownies. As the hostess, I worried about neglecting the other guests, but Kay and the brownies came first.

When the out-of-towners arrived, I was ready. All the ingredients had been put out earlier, and after the initial greetings, Kay and I rolled up our sleeves and began melting, beating, and mixing.  Before long, chocolate colored every surface. Kay’s face, arms, and hands, my white shirt, and the kitchen countertop were prime examples. But in the end, the batter was smoothly poured into two pans and popped into the oven to bake for about forty-five minutes.

I sat down in the living room, chocolaty shirt and all, to visit with my guests until the timer went off, but little kids who love brownies are impatient. So they poked me.

“Are they ready yet?”

“Not yet,” said I.

“Soon?” they asked.

“Soon,” I replied.

Soon wasn’t soon enough, however, and the cuties quickly wore me down. One-half hour later, I decided the brownies were done. In fact, they did look done. I pulled the pans out of the oven, and, without a moment to spare, three little faces stared up at me.

“Can we eat them?” said one twin.

“Too hot,” said I.

“Can I blow?” the other twin begged.

“No,” said I.

“I’ll count to three,” Kay implored.

I had no choice. After  the briefest of cooling periods, I thrust a knife into the brownies. Immediately, hot chocolate poured out of the ragged gash. Oh boy! What to do? I couldn’t disappoint Kay or the twins. And so I served it, just as it was, right from the two pans; I also handed out spoons.

The newly baked, and very warm, brownies were devoured by kids and adults alike. Kay said they were the best brownies in the whole world. I beamed. We dubbed them ‘liquid brownies’ and the name stuck.

Left alone in the kitchen that night to clean up, I scraped the liquid brownies into a bowl and then found a place for it in the fridge, a fridge remarkably bursting with leftover food. The next night, ripe with pickings, my wonderful fridge served up a scrumptious dinner for two that more than satisfied our stomachs. Then Ed and I discussed dessert. “Liquid brownies!” we whispered in unison.

Ah, but it wasn’t to be. The liquid brownies had turned into a hardened mass of chocolate. As I attempted the first cut, I heard Ed say, “Put some muscle into it, Sue.” No longer spoonable, the mass resembled a cement-like mishmash. But, in fact, it tasted like deliciously firm, heavenly-sent chocolate fudge. Thus, we got two for the messy price of one. Which only goes to show you . . .?

My fridge has since reverted to its cheerfully familiar, empty-nester function. And what a relief! As far as the empty head-empty fridge angle of this story? Let’s be clear: my head is far from empty. Indeed, it overflows with untidy thoughts, mental to-do notes, and long-ago memories. I must tell my friend; my head is stuffed, my fridge is empty. That’s fine with me. 


A mental note to help unstuff the overly-stuffed head:

            Ignore silly sentiments from people who are occasionally silly.

If my essay, An Empty Fridge?, has touched, or tickled you in any way, please click on the comment box below and let me know your thoughts.