I'm sure we'll get a fridge when the summer comes along and the weather turns truly warm, but for now, we're doing fine- in fact, we're liking it. The fact that we've been able to be comfortable for so comparatively long says a lot about the way food is sold and provided here.
When we moved to Tonga, Peace Corps had us staying with a host family in Ha'apai, and I was amused and impressed that although they were a fairly rich family - they had a huge amount of land, pigs, two houses, and new whiteware - the only thing that spent any amount of time in the fridge while we were there was fish and meat. Veggies stayed out on the counter, leftovers were covered and eaten the next meal or the next day, and fruit was eaten on the spot. A fridge was clearly an extra tool and not a catch-all cupboard like I'd been using mine as.
We also saw a few interesting fridge-less projects like Korean artist Jihyun Ryou's project, and got inspired!
|Yep, that's a shelf full of veggies. Still good at the end of the week.|
I'm sure we'll get a fridge at some point, but this is how it's been possible so far:
1- There is a veggie market close to us every Saturday (just like in Tonga) that everyone seems to do all their shopping at. We go every week and buy a selection of produce we know will last throughout the week. It's fairly seasonal, but with a huge range compared to what we've been used to. During the weekend, we eat salad, pak choi, spinach greens, and all the veggies that wilt first. Mid week we eat broccoli, cauli, zucchini, and gradually transition to carrots, leeks, beets, parsnips, brussels sprouts and cabbage at the end of the week. Before we get tired of anything, it's Saturday again and we're ready for the market.
2- There's a butcher shop fairly close, and good locally produced meat at the grocery store. We buy meat every 3-4 days, and cook it the day we buy it. We used to get massive quantities of meat and then cook what we'd frozen, but since buying fresh, it tastes so much better. Leftovers are eaten the next meal or the next day. We buy trays of eggs at the veggie market, and if they've never been refrigerated, they last at least two weeks.
|Moroccan salted preserved lemons.|
The only problem we've truly had has been with milk. After several pints of milk going bad on us, even when left in the coldest part of the flat, we finally broke down and just switched back to milk powder for now. Also no ice cream. Or frozen berries. Or ice cubes for drinks. So basically if I got a fridge right now based on what we've been missing, the only thing I'd store in it would be milk, ice cubes, homemade mayonnaise, and frozen berries. But otherwise, everything else would stay out. Even cheese hasn't gone off any quicker outside the fridge so far than when we've stored it in.
|Mark enjoying a particularly good fresh meal we had last weekend.|