Ever wonder what happens when you leave town for the weekend, and you have resolved not to plug in your fridge? Probably not, huh.
Last weekend we wanted to take a spur-of-the-moment mini trip to the mountains. It was the last weekend we had free before we hit the end of June-holiday/birthday craziness, and then it would be July and the baby would be due at any time. My mom was a gem and said we could camp in their motor home for the weekend. So we went for it.
I basically packed up the whole icebox into a cooler. I put in the ice jugs, the quart of milk we had left (I put it into a jar instead of the big jug), the half and half, the cheese, some green onions and the pork chops we’d planned to cook. All that was left in the icebox was my jar of bacon grease that I save to cook with, a jar of mayonnaise, some celery and a few other random condiments that required the cold. We packed all of these into a smaller cooler with ice packs. And then we took the shelf out of the freezer compartment, and put the little cooler in to stay the weekend without us.
The verdict? Everything in the little cooler/freezer compartment/condiment and bacon-grease-preserver thing-a-ma-jiggy stayed cold. The whole weekend. Everything we took with us in the cooler for the weekend got used, with the exception of the last of the milk, which soured due to us neglecting the expiration date and then leaving it in the heat without replenishing the ice (since we’d used everything else by then, we forgot it). So, yay. A weekend away, a full three days and two nights, without plugging in a fridge and nothing but the neglected milk going bad.
So, if you decide to be crazy like me, rest assured that you can preserve your condiments without a fridge for a weekend, without changing ice packs or inviting your neighbors to see just how nutso you really are, if you use a good cooler that you don’t open ever until you’re ready to unpack it upon your return. ;) Heh. Longer than a weekend, you should probably make other arrangements though. Either use those condiments up, give them away, or resolve to make peace without them, I’d think. Or you can invite the same neighbor that is collecting your eggs for you to fridge-sit.