Thursday, October 05, 2017


Our refrigerator is out. That is to say, the fuse switch won't stay down (my landlord is having an electrician come tomorrow), and we have been given the use of the refrigerator in the apartment next door in the meantime. The apartment next door was until about a month ago occupied by a flibberty-gibbet who occasionally came back from Canada, had all kinds of stuff delivered to her San Francisco address, and largely did not understand the concept of locks & keys. She left her door wide open even when absent.
It is now a bare apartment, but with a brand new refrigerator.
We could've taken all of her stuff while she was gone.
If only we had thought about it at the time.
But we have too much stuff.
And didn't.

The refrigerator next door is smaller. This has meant that my condiment graveyard needed to be reviewed. Several jars of ancient Indian pickles, some dating from the last century. Out. Over a dozen large bottles, wine bottle size, of various hotsauces, the oldest dating from the era of the last computer company at which I worked, the most recent from a few months before the both of us (my apartment mate and I) stopped cooking for each other or sleeping in the same bed. Not that sleeping with another person is, strictly speaking relevant to hot sauce, but it marks the end of my cooking tasty things to eat for two, and consequently I've been rather casual about chili and vinegar combinations. Probably still edible, but why bother.

Pour out the gloop, and wash the bottles, as they may be useful again at some point. There was too much of it anyway.

A few peculiar chutneys. Out. A small jar of bush-paste (a super hot chili preparation that keeps for years, quite useful when traveling to England).
Emptied and washed. The contents were jam-like, with a gritty feel.

A condensed soy-sauce flavoured with spices.
A chili pepper vinegar for soup.
Pickled peppers.

When the circuit comes back on for that section of the apartment and we bring our stuff back from next door, the refrigerator will seem empty.
The mummies of an involved culinary life will be missing.
I grieve for them, and their lovely heat.
As well as the care it took.

At this very moment, after having dealt with all of that, my digits are burning all the way up to the elbow from the amount of chili washed out.
It is warm and tingling in my wrists and finger joints.
I must take care not to scratch my eyes.
Or touch any sensitive parts.

The key to next door is on her dresser.
I'll need it tomorrow morning.
The Sriracha is safe.

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