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Jul 18, 2012 06:38 PM

No fridge for 2 weeks + summer = help!

My fridge is dead. The freezer lives on but is already completely full. ANybody get any ideas on how I can eat not terribly for 1-2 weeks until new fridge is dropped off by the stork? 48 hours of pasta and jarred sauce and I'm already sick of it. Any ideas MUCH appreciated, esp. if they include meat of any sort. Thanks!

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  1. What are your other constraints? Can you go shopping every day or are you in the middle of nowhere? Do you have a big cooler that you can use for short-term storage and a way to keep it cooled with ice or freezer packs? Do you need help with 3 meals a day or just dinner? Feeding anyone else or just yourself? If we have more information we can be a lot more helpful. Sorry for your woes!

    1 Reply
    1. re: GretchenS

      First world problems. :D

      It's just me in terms of adults, there is no way of cooling anything (I am in Montreal and it is HOT), I can do breakfast and lunch myself (lotsa eggs) but I need some help with dinner. Can shop every second or third day, but not for much (i.e. am limited by what I can carry - I am a weakling with no car). The neighbours have let me put some butter and bacon in their fridge so I have access to those 2 things. Yeah, I'm a healthy eater. Thanks for any advice!

    2. HI have had this problem with refrigerator, always in midsummer it seems. Invest in an inexpensive styrofoam cooler and keep it supplied with ice from supermarket. Store it in a cool shaded part of your house, not sitting in the sun. This will allow you to keep milk for cereal, cream for coffee, and butter for toast, as well as eggs. Smoked meats like ham and bacon keep better than fresh meat. Don't buy a lot of anything at one time---just what you need. You can also use canned meats and entrees if you eat it all at one meal---tuna, salmon, sardines, corned beef, corned beef hash, tamales, chili. A meal of ham & eggs would work.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Querencia

        That's what I was thinking -- a cooler with ice and things like ham, eggs, hard cheese, butter and milk in it (buy small amounts every couple of days). Change it up with canned goods. Bread should be fine for 3 days then feed to the birds and start over. If you have friends and family around, or belong to a church or similar, put out the word and you will no doubt get some dishes dropped off but emphasize that a single serving is what is called for.

        1. re: Querencia

          Good idea. I'd use "blue ice" as it stays cold longer than bags or blocks of water ice. The more stuff (like canned goods, water-based stuff and so on; not cereal) you put in, the cooler it will stay after cooling down. Use containers of water if you need to. Stuff holds the cold better than air. If there is room, lay a towel or piece of additional foam on top of the food before placing the lid on -- soft beats firm for this, the idea is to keep the "cool in".

          Frozen 1# chubs of hamburger will stay cold for a long time in this. Ask for frozen meat ir fish at the meat counter. They often have what you want in the freezer in the back.

        2. Baked potato with any leftover chopped veggies you might have (broccoli florets, carrots, etc.)

          Burgers (Buy a small package of pre-frozen patties and keep frozen with the Blue Ice packs in a purchased hard plastic cooler, as others have noted).

          Something to think about - would purchasing a dorm-sized fridge be the way to get you through these 2 weeks? For $50, you can get one that holds 12 cans of soda...just big enough for milk, butter, the few items you'd like to keep in a fridge. You could then donate it to a freshman college student heading out for their first year of university in a month.

          1 Reply
          1. Am going to go and survey all the neighbours to see who can lend me a cooler. Also, what is 'blue ice' and can I get it at the supermarket/corner store??

            4 Replies
            1. re: montrealeater

              Blue ice is generally available at supermarkets. It is in sealed plastic containers of various sizes and shapes: some are rectangles, some are shaped to fit in the spaces between sixpack cans. You can refreeze them indefinitely. We keep some in the freezer for just such a situation.

              1. re: travelerjjm

                I realize the freezer is full but frozen milk bottles of water work very well in a freezer and the water doesn't soak anything once it thaws.

              2. re: montrealeater

                There was a picture in another thread of a saturated, frozen sponge in a sealed bag. Same purpose. You can get the blue ice things, too, both are reusable concepts. You'd have to ask a neighbor to help with the initial freezing, though. In the meantime, ice in a cooler works just fine. It can be more expensive if you are having to buy ice every day. You could also ask someone to freeze water in jugs (like milk or juice, rinsed out), and that also helps contain the water as it melts, as well as providing a chunk of ice which lasts longer than cubes in a cooler.

                1. In agreement with those who suggest a spare refrigerator and/or an ice chest.

                  If you haven't used either, the one thing you need to know is that there are temperature gradients inside both. The closer to the ice/freezing unit, the colder. That's where meat and milk need to be. Then farther out veggies, butter, eggs. Cheeses vary by hardness. Leafy vegetables are the art form....too cold - freeze; too warm- compost.