cat fridge

Sweet Fridge Full of Food

fridge with cat

Our idea of shopping doesn’t involve clothing. We spend our money on food.

In this house, we love food. You might say that food is our religion.

The cats feel the same way. Hence the furry huntress up there, curious ears twisted back, framed by the crisper drawers.

We switched to organic food five years ago. Whenever I get into a conversation with someone about my beautiful groceries, they complain about how expensive the good stuff is. Yet they’re wearing the latest trends, drinking their expensive coffee drinks…need I say more?

Food is medicine. It’s the most important thing we put into our bodies. Truly good food will pay for itself, while a shit diet will cost you.

I never understood what food was, how it was made, and where it came from. I lived in the burbs, without a farm in sight.

I grew up with my dad in sunny Southern California—middle class, I suppose. Dad did the best he could with me, in between the full-time job and need for sleep. Sometimes he cooked one of his go-to meals: tuna casserole, spaghetti, chicken and rice, and the occasional luxury…pork chops.

Back then frozen dinners were a thing, so I had a lot of those too. I still remember the Salisbury steak one with the mashed potatoes and gravy—it makes me shudder. Then there was the fast food (eww, I know). I lived for McDonald’s chicken McNuggets with barbecue sauce, and never cared about the toy in my happy meal.

I was always happy to be eating, even though none of it was actual food.

Mr. H on the other hand, grew up in Waterford, Wisconsin. Farmland. He understood what food was, how it was made, and where it came from. He had a big family, and not a lot to go around—so food was a precious commodity.

That never left him.

When we first met each other, we saw eye to eye on so many things, even though we came from completely different places. One of those things was food.

We spent our paychecks on restaurants, but realizing we didn’t make enough to eat out all the time, Mr. H learned to cook. Over the years, he crafted his skills to become one of the best chefs I know. And I’m lucky, because I get him all to myself.

Those of you who follow me on social are forced to see drool-worthy pictures like this occasionally…

homemade pizza

Besides making all of you jealous, what I wanted to share is how I often feel when I look at my fridge.

Whenever life confuses me, when I’ve convinced myself that I want more than I need, I look at my fridge right when I get home from the grocery store. It soothes me. I know that I have more than enough, just by looking at my full fridge.

Mr. H and I get funny when our fridge is empty, toward the end of the week when we’re zapped from working our tails off. We try to make do, grabbing things here and there, but something’s off. If we aren’t surrounded by food, the thing we love so much, we just don’t feel like ourselves.

I’ve been crazy busy at work and with writing—helping grow the marketing agency I work for, while holding down this blog and slaving away on the second draft of my novel.

Somewhere in there, I’m doing my best to live. I started trail running again a little over a month ago, I’ve been amping up my Yoga and meditation practice, and bringing dance back into my routine. And then there are movies and books, good conversations with good people at our neighborhood bars, petting my cats’ bellies and playing laser mouse—and hugging Mr. H tightly whenever I can…because I don’t get to see him enough.

So when I was looking at the fridge the other day, I realized just how damn lucky I was—to have this life and to be fed.

I won’t preach to you all, because it’s not my style. But with the holidays upon us, it’s a good time to realize how immaculate the simple things can be.

For me, that’s seeing a full fridge. For you, that might be something very different.

I know that others in the world don’t have it this good, which is why I try to stop and appreciate. And you bet your asses I’ll be rockin’ the lunch lady look again next month when I volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank with my coworkers.

Because though I have a sweet fridge full of food, there are many who wish they had one.

oregon food bank

38 thoughts on “Sweet Fridge Full of Food

  1. We try to eat organic food as much as possible too, as well as local produce when we can. We’re lucky to have a great farmers market in our little town. Food is medicine, it’s true, and it’s pleasure, and ritual. What joy!
    And I’m so happy to read that you are incorporating dance back into your life. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. I’m thankful for your lovely presence.

    1. I will only live in places where organic and local is fully embraced. We were very fortunate in Milwaukee and we definitely have that in Portland. When we were deciding between Southern California and here, the food thing (not to mention, clean water and air!) were high on our list.

      Yes, dance has been mainly me using my kitchen table as a barre, and freaking out the cats with my spastic leg movements, but it feels awesome! 🙂

      Happy Thanksgiving, sweet love!

  2. Ah yes, I remember the frozen dinners well. I didn’t learn to cook until I had my first child. Then I figured I better learn. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I’d inherited my grandmother’s genes and was pretty decent at it. Since then, my fridge is much better stocked. Sometimes like you I open it and have to pause in gratitude for what I have.

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, Britt. With as busy as you are, you deserve a restful day.

    1. Icky, I know! I still remember everything about frozen dinners and it makes me want to barf.

      That’s awesome that you have a knack for cooking. I’ve definitely had to work at it over the years. It’s a patience thing for me. I think I want to be doing something else, rather than slaving away in the kitchen. But once I get my hands on some fresh produce, I totally get into it.

      Have a whole day of reading and watching movies planned! Happy Thanksgiving, love.

  3. I love how dogs and cats get so excited whenever we open the refrigerator. Food is pretty much all we spend anything on too. I don’t like shopping anyway, so I’d much rather wear old clothes and eat better food. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and have fun in the kitchen with Mr. H!

    1. I know, right? Our pets are like…hmm, what should we eat? 🙂

      I’m with you, doll. I’ll wear an old outfit any day, as long as I can enjoy a fantastic meal (and a beer). Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Food..glorious foood!! Good food will pay off in the end. Totally agree.
    “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Socrates. Amen
    Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow Britt!

    1. Agreed! Over the years, as we’ve “aged,” we have seen our health improve because of our food choices, along with exercise. Food is an amazing medicine, for sure! Happy Thanksgiving, sweetie.

  5. Sweet Fridge Full of Food — sweet post Britt. You’re right about the simple things in life – food, shelter, health … not everyone has it, and those who do don’t always take time to appreciate it.

    Thanks for reminding us to do so.

    Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving too 😉

  6. I am thankful that my mother rarely let us eat outside. If we wanted fried chicken, hamburgers or any of these fast food goodies, she would make them at home with real ingredients and they tasted amazing.

    Even now that I’m older and free to have what I want, I still opt for home-cooked meals, or else I mostly stick to vegetarian and salmon/shrimp dishes when I want to eat out.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Britt!

    1. That’s wonderful, Zen. No plans for kiddos over here, but we would run things just like your mom. My parents did the best they could. It’s always tough to keep up with the kitchen with a demanding, full-time job…especially when cooking isn’t second nature.

      I didn’t get into cooking until a few years ago, so you’re ahead of the curve! Shall I say Happy Thanksgiving back? 😉

  7. I hate that we need food banks but I love that they are supported by generous people like yourself. Happy Thanksgiving, Britt to you and Mr H. May we all be thankful for our fridges and our food. (My fridge had a breakdown recently……all fixed and better since yesterday, but some food was spoiled.)

    1. I can’t stand it either, Gallivanta! Honestly, until I went for my work thing last year, food banks were a bit of an unknown to me. I had heard of them, but I didn’t understand how they operated. It’s incredible to see so many people come together.

      The holidays are a popular time for volunteering, but unfortunately they struggle to find enough volunteers other times of the year. I’m going to coordinate to have our team go back during their slower season next year too.

      Sorry to hear about your fridge! We lost an entire fridge full of food, because of an electricity mix-up at our old apartment. Luckily, we were able to get them to pay for the all the groceries we lost, since it was their fault for cutting off our electricity by mistake.

  8. Hi, Britt. Brand new here – hopped over from Eli’s 6 words. I love love love what you have to say here because I could have said it myself (well except for the yoga and dance, and I’d love to say I’m on draft 2 of my novel, but…yeah…not yet ). But we also eat organic whenever possible, enjoy produce from our local CSA farm and our local market when it’s in season… I’m certain our funds also go to food over things like new jeans, nights out, and such. And on the days when I feel like we are never going to get by on one real salary and one fledgling freelance income, I look at my fridge and pantry and know that we have far more than others do. That’s a blessing. Looking forward to reading more here.

    1. Thanks so much for hopping over, Lisa! I still need to check out Eli’s latest 6 words project. Eli’s super awesome.

      That’s so great. You guys are on it! I’d much rather spend my hard-earned bucks on food. Some people would argue against that, because they want to have “stuff.” Ah, well. To each their own! It’s important for us to be grateful no matter what.

      Good luck on your second draft! Draft 2 is always the hardest in my opinion, so I know how hard you’re working.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving, Britt. Love this article. Having lived where produce was always fresh. plentiful and cheap and name brand things were rarely if ever seen I’ve always paid attention to what I eat– at least most of the time. Recently I’ve had to make even more lifestyle changes in my diet and have found it was not a big deal to give up things I thought I couldn’t live without. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Happy Turkey Day, Dannie! That’s wonderful to be surrounded by fresh, plentiful, cheap produce—not the case for me in the Southern California burbs I grew up in! Dallas was difficult too.

      Congrats on making those healthier lifestyle changes. I know it can be tough at first, but it’s worth it.

  10. When I was in grade school, not one of our lunch ladies were as young or as pretty as you. You rock the lunch lady look!

    I grew up in Milwaukee and at the time those chicken McNuggets were what I considered food. I moved out where I am now (not too far from Waterford!) at 18, surrounded by corn fields and soybeans.

    I’ve always tried eat organically and as healthy as I can, more so in recent years because of health issues and especially now that I’m doing more to help take care of my mum.

    Food is more than something to fill your belly. It can help heal you.

    So can rubbing a kitty’s belly. 🙂

    1. Aww…thanks so much, doll! The lunch lady look is always in style when you’re doing it for the greater good.

      I was really impressed with the organic/local food scene when we were living in Milwaukee. It was very widely available, and less expensive than it is here in Portland.

      Food and kitties…perfect for healing. 😉

  11. How do you write posts like this?! lol

    I really didn’t have time to read it — got a close family member on life support — but I stopped by and it just pulled me in. So authentic. So touching.

    Thanks for sharing it, love!

    1. I sit my ass down, wear a cat, and allow my fingers to aimlessly pound the keyboard at weird hours, wondering if anyone will ever read the damn thing. 😉

      Sorry to hear about your family member, Stan. Sending hugs your way!

  12. Funny – as I read this most of my food supplies are on top of the fridge with only a few bits actually in it. Not organic but pretty much all recognisable, one-ingredient stuff destined for juicing, smoothy-ing, chucking in salads etc. I’m with you 100% Britt. We are what we eat and are fortunate to be able to eat healthy, unlike many in the world who can’t be so choosy.

  13. My sister-in-law is all about organic food, and she cooked us all a big Thanksgiving dinner — sooo good. Unfortunately, a full organic diet is too expensive for me and my family (and I don’t buy coffee or the latest fashions — I wish I had that excuse so that I could swap over to a healthier diet). But, I try to cook as often as I can from scratch with fresh ingredients, and that makes me feel good.

    Love the lunch lady look!

    1. Organic food is definitely more expensive. I was just telling Casey up there that Milwaukee had a big organic/local movement happening and it was much more reasonable than Portland. Our food bill has risen significantly since being here. 😦

      We started in stages, buying only organic in the fruits and vegetables that were edible (skin and all). Anything with a skin, you can technically get away with. Though, of course, it does not taste as good and some say the nutritional value is lessened.

      Cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients…that’s good stuff! The processed mumbo jumbo out there needs to go.

  14. I’m not sure anything beats a home-cooked meal using fresh, natural ingredients. I love farmer’s markets, and next summer, we’ll be mixing some veggies in with the flowers in the new garden bed we’ve excavated. Although, I have to admit to some curiosity about whether we’ll be sharing the goods with some local critters!

    1. We need to be better about farmer’s markets next year. We are always so busy, and the grocery store is around the corner from us. It is definitely convenient and most of the produce is organic/local.

      A veggie flower garden sounds amazing! We’re finally going to start up an herb shelf in here. We always end up wasting so much of the herbs we buy from the store.

  15. Right on. Giving $1 to our local foodbank provides three meals.
    I grew up as a latch-key kid and I hated that my parents shopped daily. Snacks were minimal, breakfast was healthy and boring, and dinners were gourmet. In contrast, in school, I’d go to my (not then) MIL’s house where she didn’t work outside the home. She always had baked goods and snacks. I used to walk into her pantry and just stare.
    I stay home, too. I bake, too. Our fridge is usually full, pantry, too. When it’s not, I get uncomfortable. I did keep the gourmet sensibilities to buy fresh meat, use fresh herbs — fresh is always better, I admit. We lean to the healthy side, but not so much that our kids feel deprived 😉
    Blessings abound.

    1. You just taught me latch-key kid! I was one too. 🙂

      I remember eating a lot of cheese when I first came home. We always had a big block of crappy cheese, and I was starving so I would dive in.

      Sounds like you’ve got it down, doll.

  16. Britt I get it and there is nothing better than home cooked and fresh from my veggie patch. I am blessed to have a gardener for a husband, he does not like to cook but I am extra happy when he brings in the fresh peas, corn, silver beat and yummy tomatoes from our garden. It always tastes better. Ps also home made pizza with home made bases and cooked to perfection on the stone plate on top of the BBQ is heaven. Don’t get me started on the fresh eggs from our girls, we would be here all day.

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