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IT IS THE YEAR 2020 AD in the cool climate of Refrigerator, USA. In this seemingly-tame community, bountiful with nourishment and provisions, a horror persistently looms. Amidst Tupperwares of half-eaten leftovers and forgotten strewn-about vegetables, the threat of mold dastardly creeps in the shadows, insistent on ravaging the landscape of freshness and flavor. Helpless and scared, the perishables pray for a different outcome than that of their predecessors: death by trashcan.

Days go by with no human intervention, so the perishables enter survival mode in order to guard against the enemy mold. Armed with machine guns and flamethrowers, they are ready for combat. But this will not do, as they realize their enemy is an invisible force of nature! So, they retreat to the sagely old Pickle Jar (this guy's seen a thing or two) for advice. In a prudent manner, he delivers his advice: "Unite as one and the souper-power within shall guide you to freedom."

Still reveling in awe and confusion from their exchange with the pickle guru, they begin to take action. Slogging away, they arrange themselves into an enticing presentation on the top shelf, bettering their chance of a souper-exodus. Choreographed with divine measure, they are confident in this collective display of greatness and are sure they won't be ignored! But the problem remains; how certain will this inspire Digby, the lousy fridge owner whom for the past week has been on a takeout-pizza bender, to cook? Well, late at night, while Digby nods off into his nightly state of pizza-and-pot-induced comatose, the perishables conspire.

Humming and hawing at each other, no ideas seem to stick. Hope is quickly becoming abandoned--until the miraculous light-bulb moment! Drawing upon a prior observation, Tortilla ventures out into the living room where she recalled seeing a copy of Obscene Flavor Explosion, the award-winning cookbook-zine by Ben Kadow; inside of which is a recipe for the acclaimed Refrigerator Soup. She promptly rips out the page and uses the charred end of a nearby cigarette butt to write in some recipe adjustments, in order to fit the needs of her fellow inhabitants. Time is running out as dawn approaches, so Tortilla races back to home base, dodging roaches and rats along the way. With the help of a nearby rat trap, Tortilla catapults upward to shove the recipe underneath a door magnet and sneak back inside. Nice work.

As dinnertime approaches, Digby, who is now constipated and regretful from the pizza binge, retreats to his neglected refrigerator in need of some homemade nourishment. Reaching to open the door, he sees the recipe. What the hell? Man, I must have been totally freaking baked. Hey, wait a minute--this recipe looks dank and I've got all the ingredients!

Excited, Digby takes out his phone to message his pals about the radical decision to cook his own dinner. As he is typing, a notification pops up to alert him of "50% off all orders from Pizzarrhea," his local chain-pizza shop. Without a second thought, he slams the refrigerator door shut and runs back to his bong and musty-smelling couch to order one last pizza.

Digby was found dead three days later due to severe intestinal hemorrhaging, and you can probably guess what happened with the others. The tragedy of Digby and The Perishables could have easily been avoided, and all he had to do was follow this recipe ...
REFRIGERATOR SOUP

* 1 onion, diced

* 2 scallions, sliced

* 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped in
  garbage disposal

* 1.5 Tbs ginger, minced

* 1-2 celery stalks, chopped with
  lawnmower

* 3 tbs chipotle hot sauce

* 1 cup potato, diced

* 1 carrot, chopped with rusty screwdriver

* 3/4 cup butternut squash, diced

* 1/2 cup salsa

* 1 slice vegan salami, chopped

* 1.5 cups cabbage, shredded thinly
with teeth

* Water or vegetable stock

* 2 green beans, chopped

* 3.5 Cheez-lts

* 1/2 cup fried rice

* 1/2 bell pepper, verbally abused
  and chopped

* 3/4 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces

* 3/4 cup pickles of your choice, chopped

* 1/2 cup lo mein, regurgitated from cat

* 1 tortilla, toasted over flame,
  finely chopped

* A couple handfuls fresh herbs
  (parsley, cilantro, etc.)

* Pickle jar liquid to taste

HEAT A LARGE soup pot over medium-low heat with 2 tbs oil. When
hot, cook the onion, stirring frequently until softened, 5 minutes.
Add scallion, garlic and ginger. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add
following ingredients up to the bell pepper. Mix together, add a
few large pinches of salt and enough water or stock to saturate the
mixture. Bring to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes. Mix
in the next 7 ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes, adding more
liquid as needed. Remove from heat. Stir in herbs and adjust
seasoning, adding pickle liquid, salt and pepper to taste. Serve
with moldy pizza.


BY CHEF BEN KADOW
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Title Annotation:ON BOARD
Author:Kadow, Ben
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Jun 17, 2020
Words:806
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