November 29th, 2010

Fishy Circumstances


It's been quite cold this week. Not cold by any absolute standards, say, outer space or Toronto, but cold by the standards by which our house was built. It bleeds heat, slowly but surely, when temperatures are near or below freezing. That's why the wood-burning stove has been so useful lately.

The weather was convenient a few days ago, when I had a large stockpot full of turkey broth and no room to store it in the fridge or freezer. I left the whole pot outside, with lid to protect it from critters. Early last night, we figured it was high time it was frozen, and so emptied out old, dateless items from the freezer and threw them away.

A thing about freezers: they keep their cold better when they are full. Ours was now half-empty, but we were going to fill it with containers of broth.

And then 10 pm happened, and our entire neighborhood lost power. We had a fire going, so were warm enough in front of it. I knew where our candles were and the flashlight. C., as a bonus, has a flashlight app on his phone. There was no longer any point freezing the turkey.

Power outages rarely last long around here. The forty minutes it was out about a month ago were as long as I have experienced in this country. Nevertheless, we are prepared: after all, in Toronto, the power once went off for four days. That was in mid-summer, which this is not.

The dull grey-blue of morning, and no lights or heat or ability to power computers. Thanks to the Underground strike, C. drove to Reading, while I decamped to the local library to make use of their heating and power outlets.

By the time I came home at 1 pm, the power was back on, to my relief, the freezer beeping plaintively as it had reached -3°. It may now, hours later, have finally cooled down enough that I could try again to freeze that turkey broth.