Last week we had some electrical work done on our house and PG&E had to turn off our power. I was sure to time this when I didn’t need to cook for any classes or occasions. I needed the power to only be off 24 hours as the next night would be the school book fair cafe and I was making 3 pounds of pasta and 24 cookies. I actually thought the day may be kind of relaxing. No electricity meant quiet, and I would catch up on some reading and writing. This wasn’t really the case as the electricians had their own power and a radio with some bad metal music. It also meant my WiFi wouldn’t turn on, so no writing (at least online).
After some errands and about an hour of cleaning and organizing …. (I couldn’t figure out much more to do as reading wasn’t happening with the bad rock in the background) I thought about my refrigerator. I couldn’t see the temperature because the digital was off. Luckily I have an old fashioned thermometer and I checked the temp. The refrigerator was 43 and the freezer was 14. Oh no! In case you don’t know the refrigerator should be 37F or lower and the freezer 0F degrees or lower. I moved the refrigerator items to the freezer. I couldn’t move everything but went with the most perishable – milks, veganaise, eggs, cheeses, meats, etc. As far as the items in the freezer? Well those would have to wait and see what happens.
By the time I left to pick up my kids from school, the freezer was now 35. So my freezer had become the refrigerator. When we got home from school I announced we could eat the sorbet and ice cream in an effort not to waste food. My kids were thrilled. I had to improvise and say we would make a shake since some of it was a little soft and melty. My kids suggested the blender and I reminded them about the power. So it was the power of the whisk to blend the mango sorbet with the vanilla ice cream. Then to really get crazy we added chunks of frozen (now just cold) pineapple pieces. This new “whip” was a big hit.
As the time approached dinner prep, thankfully PG&E arrived to turn back on the power. Now I had to think about dinner. Not wanting to waste again; my kids and I took inventory of the freezer and refrigerator. Some of the items such as vegan burgers and potstickers had already thawed. And I was worried about eggs and veggies that sat below optimal temperatures before I got them to the freezer. So it was an everything dinner. I let everyone pick what they wanted from the thawed and perishable ingredients. It was quite a smorgasbord. I stayed with dinner left-overs while my kids crossed flavors, countries and imaginations (egg nachos and potstickers anyone?). It was actually pretty fun. Did I mention my husband was gone? When we told him what happened and our crazy dinner he asked “why didn’t you just go out?” He didn’t get it. That would’ve been giving up and we were on a mission to save the food.