Behold, the crisper of death
(David Attenborough voice)
“For hundreds of years, men have sought the answer to this question: where do cauliflowers, those giants of the vegetable world, go to die? Now, with the discovery of a fridge crisper in a beach-side suburb of Adelaide, we may have found the answer.”
Sadly, that crisper belongs to me.
I have such good intentions when I visit the fruit and veg. Soups, stir-fries, curries, meat-and-three-veg, salads. The colours are bright and lovely, but they all end up going the same way. The zucchinis and cucumbers melt to a pale green slurry that looks like stepped-on caterpillars. The tomatoes sprout black spots and weep in the darkness, while the eggplant get sun-burnt. The broccoli pop pimples, the cauliflowers grow mold and the cabbages turn to sauerkraut.
I know. I’m a bad vegetable parent. I’m also sadistic, because I like to make Bloke look at the squishy mess when I drag it out of the crisper.
Me: “Euwww! Sludgy!”
Bloke: “I don’t want to know.”
Me: “But look! It looks like it’s melted!
Bloke: “La la la! Not listening!
Me: “Look: it’s a Mold Slushy.”
Bloke: “Oh, GOD! You just had to make me look, didn’t you?”
Me: “Yes. And your point is?”
But thank Ford for plastic bags, or I’d have to irradiate the fridge once a fortnight.
In other news from the fridge, I realised today that my youth had officially ended.
Yesterday, while waiting to be served in an interminable deli counter queue, I caught sight of a veritable mound of bung fritz. For Sydney types, this is ‘devon’. I have no idea whether anyone else is insane enough to make it, but if the words ‘fritz’ and ‘devon’ mean nothing, imagine a sausage the size of your elbow made entirely of minced lips, ears, arse-holes and random off-cuts of lard. Sounds tasty, doesn’t? Don’t worry, it gets better. Ordinary old Chapman’s fritz comes wrapped in plastic and looks a bit like dog food loaf, but bung fritz is another matter altogether. It’s orange and random in shape, with odd twists and turns created by tying bits of string at intervals of about eight inches. Think of a fat chick in orange bike pants and you’re close.
When I was a kiddledink, I was passionately attached to a fritz-and-sauce sandwich. Doughy white bread (no crusts, thanks), a good layer of spread (Flora or Meadow Lea), four slices of fritz and a solid layer of Rosella tomato sauce. By lunch-time, the sauce had soaked into the bread and it was all pretty soggy. Heaven. Some people prefer fritz fried, though. Cut in slices, remove the orange skin and cut little nicks all around the edge or it curls up like a cupped palm.
I can’t remember the last time I bought fritz. It must be at least eight or nine years. It’s usually salami at our place. I sometimes think that if Bloke were forced to choose between salami and me, I would have had my marching orders many years ago.
But for some reason yesterday, I thought, “Mm, fritz”. Why I didn’t think, “Mm, Danish feta” or, “Mm, bocconcini”, I’ll never know.
Anyway, this morning, I asked Bloke whether he’d like a fritz-and-egg muffin. He showed more than a passing interest in the concept, so I whacked off a couple of slices and dropped them in the fry pan.
By the time it was fried, I’d well and truly gone off the idea and suspected it would ruin a perfectly good egg, so I cut off a thin slice and had a sniff, then a bite.
The wonderful primary school lunch had somehow turned into salty, pink sludge: spam minus the spice and with no ham.
Ah, farewell, childhood. It’s all downhill from here.