I wasn’t sure whether to title this blog post “Prepping” or “The Worst Mistake Yet.” Both are true, but since the “prepping” portion led to the worst mistake, we will start there.
Growing up, I thought the people who had chest freezers were the extremists who were preparing for Y2K. At the time, I was growing up in suburban southern California and the people in my neighborhood weren’t exactly storing a whole deer carcass for the winter. But now, as I look at the large chest freezer now residing in my kitchen, I can admit not all prepping is for catastrophic disasters. We had not been here long when I realized prepping was going to be essential.
When we moved to Central Asia, we were nearing the end of October and the end of fresh produce. Fruits and veggies here are very seasonal. Strawberries are available for about a month. Raspberries have two short seasons and are available about the same length of time. Right now, most fruits are in their prime, but they will soon disappear until the same time next year. This means if I want any fruit come December that isn’t a mandarine, I have to store it now. And this led us to the decision that we needed a freezer. Some special people in the States put some extra money in our account (thank you!), and last week we were able to head to the electronics bazaar and buy a freezer big enough to store a body.
This brings me to the worst mistake that I have made YET. I know many more will follow, but for now, this one was pretty unpleasant.
We already had some apples I was going to turn into applesauce (for the next time that we get sick), but I wanted to freeze some peaches and definitely raspberries if I could find them. Peaches were easy to find, but I was pleasantly surprised to see buckets of raspberries. Normally I see them being sold by the dixie cup, which doesn’t add up to much. The bucket was appealing because it would be easy to carry home and then I would have another bucket for the next time I want to buy 3 kilos of raspberries. I will never again buy 3 kilos of raspberries.
I still have this element of hope in my heart that people aren’t trying to cheat me or sell me crap. I dragged this bucket all the way home only to find that the majority of berries were either squished, moldy, covered in hair or crawling with ants. Instead of sorting through berries, it felt more like I was performing an operation on a car accident victim.
Out of 6 pounds, I was able to rescue about a pints worth. The thing is, I don’t mind squished berries. I would have taught myself to make jam with those ones, but when they are deformed beyond the point of recognition or squished up into a ball of mold, I have a hard time thinking of feeding those to anyone. If I was back at home, I would have driven these berries back to Kroger or Trader Joe’s, but alas
, there are no refunds here…
Lesson Learned: Don’t buy produce you can’t actually see. Also, seedless fruits don’t exist here. So enjoy your seedless grapes and watermelons people!