Welcome to a new feature - the Wednesday Fridge Follies! Each Wednesday I clean out my refrigerator (and I use clean in the loosest sense of the term here) and take a picture of everything I end up throwing away. This exercise in public humiliation should make me take a good hard look at the amount of waste in our household and cause me to reevaluate our food storage habits, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint for our family and more food for others to eat.
Or, it could just be an exercise in public humiliation, right? So, let's get on with it:
What's in SuburbanCorrespondent's fridge? (with apologies to Holly's fruitbowl)
Not too bad this week, actually. Here we have numerous gladware containers, no fewer than 2 of them containing past-their-prime baby carrots. When I open a bag of baby carrots, I don't want the unused ones to dry up in an opened bag in the fridge. So, smart housewife that I am, I store the remaining carrots in a gladware container full of water, which keeps 'em crisp - a nifty trick I learned while working food service in college. (See, MadMad? That college degree wasn't wasted.)
Where was I? So, now, instead of drying up, the baby carrots sort of rot in the water because, the next time I need some baby carrots, I can't find the container in my mess of a refrigerator and open up a new bag instead.
The container next to the carrots contains some cut-up scallions that I thriftily saved (in theory, at least) for another meal. At least they made it to the cutting-up stage, unlike their sorry-looking brethren above them. That's 2 bunches of scallions I unearthed from the meat drawer, folks. Looks like I had something yummy planned! Sure wish I knew what it was.
[David, in a fit of compassion, rescued these 2 bunches, chopped their wilted tops off, and replanted the bulbs outside on our deck. 3 cheers for David!]
Moving on....to the left of the carrots is a glass dish half-full (or you can call it half-empty if you like) of homemade sloppy joes. These are a family favorite, so I cannot figure out why there were any leftovers (unless, of course, this particular container was pushed to the back of my black hole of an icebox and wasn't recovered in time). Atop the sloppy joes is a (you guessed it) gladware container full of peas and rice. I don't even remember what meal this was from. Out it goes!
To the left of the sloppy joes are 2 containers of cream cheese. This is curious, as we generally don't allow open containers of dairy products in our refrigerator (due to Theo's milk allergy). We must have treated the kids to bagels and thought the leftover cream cheese was too good to waste (at least, not without letting it go green in our refrigerator first). Yuk. I don't remember when we had bagels, either.
Peeking out from behind the cream cheese is a jar of homemade Italian salad dressing that we made when I had some guests over, which was...let's see....the 4th of July! 3 weeks being the statute of limitations of abandoned homemade dressing (says me), it's time for us to bid arrivederci to this particular item. Besides, we have another jar of it in the fridge. I guess I made too much.
See that big metal bowl behind the scallions? It is full of peach skins. We made peach cobbler yesterday and the skins we peeled off tasted so good that we saved them. Because we would feel bad tossing something that tastes good. So we waited until today, when they all turned brown....
There's an interesting story behind that metal bowl. You see, I spent years and years picking up used Tupperware from yard sales and thrift stores; but what I really hoped to find were some stainless steel bowls complete with storage lids. They were the holy grail of my bargain-shopping for over a decade until, finally, a couple of years ago, I admitted defeat. I forked over Larry's hard-earned money for a brand-new set of 3 bowls with lids.
I loved those bowls. I admired their shininess, their usefulness (good for cooking and storage!), and the way they nested so space-savingly in my cupboard. Our relationship was, of course, too good to last. Only 2 months into it the lid for the largest bowl (pictured) went missing. Gone - just like that, leaving a hole in my heart that couldn't be filled. I never found it. Not even when we moved last year and I was sure it would turn up, under the stove or behind the refrigerator.
And now, now... the lid to the smallest bowl is gone, also. Off to join its brother, I suppose, wherever plastic storage lids do go, leaving their owners bereft and hopeless and wrestling with recalcitrant saran wrap.
But I digress. It's time to stop mourning and move on. Behind all the food is a yellow plate with 1/2 an egg sandwich that Susie left over at lunch. What do you say, folks? Should I wrap it in foil and pretend that someone is going to eat it later and then suffer the embarrassment of taking a picture of it one week from now? Or should I just toss it now?
As a parting note, I would like to point to my culinary accomplishment of the week. It's not all rotting food and moldy veggies here, folks. Sometimes something good happens in my kitchen. And this week, it was this stuff to the right: 8 jars of homemade peach jam (well, 4 jars of jam and 4 jars of not-quite-jelled peach something-or-other) and 4 quarts of homemade tomato sauce (plus 1/2 a quart which is...um....somewhere in my refrigerator).