Monday, March 14, 2011

The trouble with slow food

Finally, shortly after noon yesterday, water was restored here in the Middle of Nowhere. We had it for a brief period on Saturday – long enough for me to run the dishwasher and take a camp shower – during which time the pressure fell, and we knew the pump had shut off again.

So the crew came back at 9:30 Sunday morning and worked another three hours on the wiring and it's done. I'm not quite ready to trust that it won't shut off again, but after another load of dishes, three loads of laundry and another shower, not to mention brushing my teeth and making coffee with running water from the tap, I think maybe we're good to go.

My husband threatened to go – as in move to a condo someplace in the south – in the midst of the crisis. I think he was kidding, and he's moved his worrying on to the Next Thing. (Because it's always something.) His dream location would be near a coffee shop, a bookstore and a gym, with moderate year-round temperatures.

I think I did pretty well sans l'eau, as long as the power was on. That half-day with no water and no electricity sucked. We survived, obviously, but we certainly are dependent on the grid, and we're not alone. 

Now that we're back to what passes for normal, the thing that hit me hardest was meal prep. I'm a slow-foodie. I cook from scratch, and I don't buy pre-cut vegetables or processed, packaged food. This week found us eating Hillshire Farms deli turkey, pre-sliced cheese, doughy sandwich buns – you get the idea. One night I pulled a container of black-bean chili from the freezer, left over from a previous meal, and served it over pasta (cooked in a pot of precious bottled water), but that was the closest thing to slow food we had all week.

Our food doesn't come from a tin or container that can be tossed in the trash. My yogurt is stored in a jar which will be washed and used for the next batch, as are the tomatoes, the pickles, the you-name-it. The oatmeal is measured into a pot and cooked on the stove.

In other words, slow food creates messes that need to be cleaned. With water. When you have no water, you're reduced to eating what fits in your hand – peanut butter, lunch meat, bagged salad, granola bars, fruit. I could have cooked, but without the means to clean the stove, pans, plates and utensils, I was loathe to do so.

Now that we have water, I'll be cleaning my house. A lot of dirt got tracked in, even though most of the work was done under the house and down the hill, where the pump and well are located. I used the dust mop a couple of times, but seriously? These floors need a mop. And water. I'm thinking of deep-cleaning one room every day this week, that's how bad it is.

Not having water is not only hard on a slow-food junkie, it's tough on a neat freak, too.


gingersnapper said...

I've been without water, and I've been without electricity, and sometimes both at once. Each situation sucked, but no water was really the worst.

Elora said...

You know, Debbi...there are lots of places you can select when you decide to move, that have all the attributes you are seeking: Phoenix, Orlando, Reno, Las Vegas, Ft. Myers, Sarasota....paradises for those who want risk-free living. The biggest over-riding problem these locations have, ironically, is water.