As my grand daughter pulled open the fridge door, I realised I was witnessing the birth of a new generation.
My children are famous for it. They have barely said ‘hello’ before they wander into the kitchen and check out the contents of the fridge. They continue to chat as they squat down to see if there are any tasty titbits they may have overlooked on the upper shelves. They delve behind things, checking secret places.
They check out the use by dates of things and for a while are completely engrossed in their exploration. No packet is unturned, no jar unsniffed, nothing left unexamined.
The freezer comes next and they do occasionally find some hidden gems.
As they look, they graze, popping one thing after another into their mouths, perhaps putting some toast in the toaster or making a quick smoothie.
My grand daughter for example found an iceblock I had completely forgotten about. It turns out I had bought it for her some time ago, so it was a serendipitous food moment. She also found some yoghurt and a punnet of strawberries, holding them aloft with the same reverence as if she had found the holy grail.
My son (her uncle) was home at the time and filled her in on the family tradition. He told her to check out the pantry too. He passed on his tips of where we usually hide the chocolate. The mantle was being passed on.
There wasn’t too much in the pantry of interest, although a handful of craisins were added to the haul.
It both flatters and amuses me to see it. I like the fact that my children and now my grand children feel so at home. I like the fact that they consider what we have to be ours to share.
But I must admit to a bit of jealousy. Because I too have been known to check out the fridge, usually just after the supermarkets have closed and when the urge for something forbidden overtakes me. How come I didn’t find that iceblock? And where were those craisins when I looked only the night before?
Clearly my food foraging abilities aren’t as finely honed as those of my children. Perhaps I should have been listening in when my son passed his knowledge. Or maybe I just need to put a lock on the fridge door – for all of our sakes.