Since coming out of my teenage years I have looked at things I choose to do (the ones I choose to not put off till later) as presents for my future self—particularly chores, you understand, choosing to eat all the cake today is not in this category. I do not want to curse my past self—like one would an absent housemate—for not cleaning the sink or not fixing the electric fencing, choosing instead to leave it for the future me to do. Of course it is not always possible and I endeavour to have indulgence too, and understand that if yesterday’s me chose to go to bed early instead of making soup for lunch, I am grateful for the rest I inherit.
I’ve come to regard the freezer as a great aid to convey these presents, these messages of love, to the person I will be in the future and also to my loved ones. I have a collection of indivual oven-proof dishes (no microwave in my life) that a large dinner can be split into (gratins of vegetables like the carrot one above, macaroni cheese, dahl and so much more), then frozen, and then found later when one is hungry but does not feel like cooking. For me it is the reenaction of the calling up to my mother’s or my grandmother’s for a warm meal, as both are now long dead.
Reflecting on these little love parcels, this frozen love, reminded me of a lovely artist book in my collection, Legacy, by Jane Hyslop, which she made a couple of years after the death of her mother at the age of 60. The beautiful, moving book, is a collection of photographs of her mother’s handwriting on bags of frozen food and jars that were left behind. For a while, in the rawness of the loss, the food could still be shared. Look at her other lovely books, if you have time.