It started with the ice trays. For two days, Michael and I both thought someone had mysteriously used all the ice and replaced it with fresh water-filled ice trays. Nope.
Hoping it was a minor thing, we called a reliable freezer repair person. He ran diagnostic tests before babbling a littany of freezer lingo... coils, condensers, defrosters, thermostats, blah, blah, blah. White noise. Wasn't listening. Blah, blah, blah. Of course, he had to order the parts, telling us he would get back in touch with us when they arrived. He reassured us that it wasn't a hazard and that our kitchen wouldn't flood while we were out of town.
When the parts arrived, he called to tell us to unplug the freezer and refrigerator for two days to let it thaw before he could work on it. Unplug the freezer and refrigerator? Um... Really? Now, that thunder clap got my attention. The thought of it sent daggers through my heart and chills up my spine. I'm a food collector. The freezer's literally my bountiful treasure chest full of my things. My fun stuff. My scraps of artisinal breads for Thanksgiving stuffing, bones, meats, fish parts, calamari, doughs, and sauces. Unplug it and remove it from life support? Heavy boots.
Last night was my last chance to use what I could before we removed the plug and tossed everything away. There was so much stuff. How? What? All in one meal? A last supper using all of my prized hoarded food collection?
I took a deep breath, pulled everything from the freezer, and methodically set about the sad business of closing down shop.
The meat drawer.
Disregarding rules, recipes, and Italian regions, I went with what I had on hand.