I have the body of an eighteen year old. I keep it in the fridge.
- Spike Milligan
The ice cube is the very cornerstone of civilised entertaining, perhaps even of civilisation itself.
Its very presence in your fridge suggests someone who has foresight (they filled the trays), cares about others and pays their electricity bills.
In fact I deem the humble beverage chilling condiment so important that I am willing to just about erase anyone from my social calendar who doesn't have ice cubes on hand. My Father passed his considerable intelligence, compassion and good looks, onto me, along with his obsessive habit of refilling the trays after they've been emptied of their frozen cargo (those and refilling the kettle - both vital to being a considerate family member/housemate).
This has bled into other aspects of my entertaining, so you will never attend a party for which I have some degree of responsibility and be served warm beer; in fact there will be reserve bags of clear cubes stacked in the bath, in the laundry and the deep freeze because you can never, ever have too much ice.
So, if we start with ice cubes as the absolute essential to have in your fridge (or freezer) - the one thing no man or woman should be without in their Westinghouse - what then do we add to the list? ...
What are the ten items that every human should have in their refrigerator and why?
Me? I like to go for endurance - things I know will be around if I forget to open the fridge for a week of two because I go on a trip or an extended cooking boycott (both frequent occurrences in my life).
My never fails are:
Tomato sauce (AKA: Ketchup): Again, never goes off & so very versatile as is downright delicious with just about everything!
Mustard: I think I've got a few varieties swimming around my fridge at the moment, dijon and hot english are constant and, as a lover of a thick, bloody steak, necessities to enjoy my carnivorous desires.
Chili: In any & all forms, chili is in every savoury dish I consume. Currently experimenting with 'Chili Pancakes' and 'Chili Yoghurt' but with inconclusive results thus far
Honey: This is basically impossible to keep in my fridge since I'm basically Whinnie the Pooh - I miss my parent's bee hive and can't wait to get my own!!!
Wine: When I say 'wine', I'm not messing around, a bottle is all you need, but that is because I truly believe in "quality...not quantity". Although, a bottle of vodka in the freezer can be quite delightful. It's like a gift to your future self because you always forget it's there until a rainy 3am Sunday. You pull it out, glass opaque with frost and think, 'you little beauty'
Beer: As the only non-beer-drinking Australian, I feel fraudulent making this claim. HOWEVER, as an amazing girlfriend & a pretty decent host, I try to ensure that there's a cold beer of his choice, perfectly chilled & timely cracked & plenty of extras for my guests
Olives: Goes particularly well with the aforementioned wine and the forthcoming anchovies. A bit ethnic for some of you Anglos, I'm sure, but then so were focaccia and cappuccinos 15 years ago
Anchovies: I know...odd to most, however, if you don't like them on their own, they are both without expiry & practical...& delicious, and not just with the above olives, but if in the rare event of finding myself in a 'cooking mood', a great addition to many a dish! Again, possibly a bit too 'ethnic' for many
Eggs: So now I'm getting into the 'best before' items, equally as worthy but less durable for the extended fridge hiatuses, but eggs can last for at least a couple of weeks. But, in the event that they do go bad, they're excellent to throw at the neighbour who let's his dog poop on your lawn or your sister's new boyfriend who insists on parking in your spot
Milk: Now I'm getting a little fancy as milk has a rather limited lifespan, however, it is an essential for the beloved cuppa and cereal (the non-cooker's best friend)
Notable Mentions: Soy sauce, Oyster sauce, something green (cheaper than a gym membership and you feel just as healthy...even if you are reaching for the bacon), Tabasco, limes, lemons, butter, bread (gluten-free & regular if you must) & the delicious winter fruit - APPLES!
So hit up you nearest Woolworths, Coles, Safeway or Giant & stock your fridge!!!