There’s Nothing in the Fridge

There’s nothing in the fridge.

I was in college, living in an apartment on Wickenden Street in Providence. We lived above a flower shop. I loved living there. There was a wonderful living room with nice light, a cozy kitchen and two cute bedrooms. Three of us lived there, so whoever wanted to pay the least amount of rent would use the stairwell landing as a bedroom. Mohan used the landing for a while and then we rotated. There were two stairwells, and this one was blocked off. Looking back though, I do wonder why we didn’t use the living room as a third bedroom.

Sushma was my other roommate. She grew up in Nepal, and I was sort of in awe of that. One night we were getting ready to cook dinner together, and I looked around and said ‘there’s nothing in the fridge.’ There were potatoes. blah. But 30 minutes later we were eating the most mouthwatering meal of potatoes. But not just boring old mashed potatoes. These potatoes were cubed and sautéed in the most amazing mix of spices. I can’t remember the exact recipe but I do remember mustard seeds, cumin and coriander, red chili and salt. I was amazed that Sushma could create such an incredible meal out of what seemed to me so little.

Why had I never made potatoes like that before? I had never even tasted potatoes like that before! Wow! I still think of that day and remember that meal fondly. What I took away from that experience was that there actually WAS food in the house. I just didn’t recognize it’s potential.

I think that sometimes we need boundaries and limitations in order to find something good. Or great. Or mediocre even. But without limitations you are like Iron Chef without a secret ingredient. Too many options.

michael-albert-usaSometimes it can be inspiring to get a special ingredient, or new art supplies, but sometimes the best things are made with what’s leftover. I met a guy at Camp Common Ground a number of years ago who made art out of cereal boxes, because that is what he had. He is now a fairly well renowned artist. His name is Michael Albert and you should check out his website.  


slinkyship2What is something you have at home that you can work with? Perhaps it is food related, perhaps not. Perhaps it is scrap cardboard, and you can make a cardboard ship for your cat.

Why not? It’s fun. Even if you end up not so happy with the results, you can have fun and learn something in the process.

So I wish you happy scavenging!



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