Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tales From The Fridge

Well, here we are, with a brand-new episode of Tales From The Fridge (I'm still tinkering with titles, can you tell?). Let's see, where's that picture? Ah, there it is, to the right. Not a bad week, actually. In the back row there you can see an almost empty container of cream cheese, atop which sits half an egg sandwich, never eaten. [What can I say but I told you so?]

Next to the sandwich is an empty jar of salsa (which leaves only 3 jars of salsa left in the refrigerator, I just don't know how we will manage) and 2 Gladware containers - the top one contains a(n) UFO (unidentified food object) that fell out of my freezer today and hit me on the head; the one underneath has the remnants of yet more homemade salsa (can't someone stop us?) in it. Out they go!

To the right of the Gladware is an almost empty jar of cashew butter, with the dried-up nutbutter still on the bottom. It has been sitting in my refrigerator for over a month because its disposal presents me with an environmental dilemma: do I toss the whole thing, glass jar and all? Or do I recycle the glass jar like a good citizen, which would require my expending untold amounts of hot water to clean it first? I'm confused as to which choice is the way to a smaller carbon footprint. Please advise.

Moving on...between the Gladware and the cashew butter is expired bacon. I mean, twice-expired, really. I hate it when we waste meat, but somehow this guy was hiding at the bottom of the meat drawer and never got eaten. Probably because I put off cooking him because it is such a mess to clean up. Rest in peace, Porky. I'm sorry I'm so lazy.

On the far right sit 2 bottles of unused Amoxicillin, prescribed for Susie's ear infection. Yup, that's right, I'm a monster - I never gave it to my kid. I said, "Let's wait a day before we dump gut-altering drugs into our 3-year-old," and by the time that day was over, she felt way better. Lest you think I am a total nut, when David had pneumonia at the age of 4...? I gave him the drugs. And believe me, he didn't make it easy.

Where was I? Oh, yes - in the front you see this week's piece de resistance - a moldy zucchini, nestled in paper towels (because it was too gross to pick up bare-handed) and coated with loose onion skins from the vegetable drawer. Yum. Creations like this one take much longer than a week to evolve, so they may be a rare sight if I keep up this fridge cleaning on a weekly basis.

I swear, this whole exercise in food-wastage confession feels almost cathartic. Go forth, my daughter, and waste no more!


Now, a little catching up - a big thank you to everyone's supportive comments from 2 days ago when it sounded like I was whining about the prospect of having to go to work (for pay) part time. I wasn't so much whining (well, maybe I was) as expressing dismay at my becoming someone who would rather take the time away from hearth and home to bring in some extra money than stay home and cut a few more corners. That preference is sort of a new thing for me, and it took me by surprise. But maybe I'll stay home anyway, and we can just ditch those pesky medical and dental insurance premiums instead. As you've seen, half the time I'm not even using the drugs they're giving us.

Also, I'm shocked, shocked, to hear how many of you people are leaving your children willy-nilly all over the place! I had thought I was the only one. Rather, there seems to be a veritable epidemic of inadvertent child abandonment happening these days, and I am proud to be a part of it. Thanks for all the great stories! I think Kari's tale left the most vivid (and pathetic) image in my mind, though. Just picturing that poor abandoned child chasing his mother's car up the highway on-ramp from the rest area made my day...


  1. Salsa domination continues...!

    So it wouldn't work to soak the jar for a while to loosen the stuff in the bottom?

  2. No advice, but I totally share the peanut butter jar dilemma. What to do, what to do?!

  3. Oh my goodness, I missed that one. I may have to go back...

  4. The picture in my google reader was too small, so I clicked it to enlarge it. What can I say? Yuck. Glad you got the zucchini out while you could still recognize it.

  5. Love the title!

    Did you have a salsa intervention? Because it looks like you might be letting go of the old salsa habit!

  6. Strangely, I had been wondering if anyone would eat that egg sandwich. I just want to say how impressed I am that for two weeks in a row you have a clear table top in the background. Empty tables do not exist in my house; or if they do, it's for about 10 minutes until they mysteriously fill up with all sorts of cr*p.

  7. Busted. I take the picture directly after we have cleaned up from lunch; if I waited any longer, the background would be a mess.

  8. My husband is horrified that there is "bad meat" in the fridge that i KNOW about, but haven't gotten around to tossing. So he never eats anything without asking me "is this OK?" (and I'm usually like Oh- no. Toss that.")

  9. My children no longer trust me at all. Even the younger ones check expiration dates and are constantly asking, "Is this okay?" Sad, really.

  10. My husband is always on me about cleaning out the fridge. Half the time I just wait so long that I don't even want to attempt to salvage the container and throw the whole thing away!

    Maybe you should start some sort of club...
    The Fridge Cleaner-Outers...or something more creative since I'm not!

  11. I have the same fridge. Naaaasty! I also am a salsa junkie.

    Wow...maybe we are sisters? =)

  12. Your decision to wait out the ear infection is actually being backed by the latest medical science.
    Way to go mom! You are ahead of most doctors!

  13. I forgot this was going to be a weekly excercise for you. You are doing a great job! My inlaws were here over the weekend and cooked many meals, leaving my fridge full of leftovers and the veggies doors stocked. But now I don't know what's in there and I can't keep track of it all and so it might turn into the same cucumber mess you have! This is why it's best for me to keep the bare minimum in my fridge!

  14. I don't know which is worse - the fact that you posted a picture of that nasty old zucchini or the fact that I clicked the photo to get a good, up close and personal look at the fuzz and onion skins.

  15. Wow, a Hubby, six kids AND you clean out your fridge regularly, I hang my head in shame.

    I've only got a Hubby and two kids and I can barely manage to clean mine out until it's too late to tell what anything once was.

  16. In my local newpaper today was an article about refriderators. THought you might enjoy...

  17. I try to clean out my fridge once a week too, usually just before the trash truck comes! I hate for hubby to see exactly how much we throw away. But eating habits change week to week, don't they?

  18. Hey, maybe you can use the penicillin that is growing in your fridge instead of paying for any. And maybe you can even sell that for extra income.....just a thought : )

    * I'm having a CONTEST! Have you entered yet? *

  19. Okay, so you win on the salsa, but how many bottles of salad dressing do you have in your refrigerator. I count 4 RANCH - 3 Italian - 1 French - 1 Caeser, and 3 versions of vinaigrette.


  20. Only one salsa, but we have leftove chile sauce from hot dogs, six different mustards, and three different mayo sauces...ugh...all mostly empty, I think.
    Loved the kids left behind, yeah, the on ramp story was classic. Garrison Keillor has a great story from Lake Woebegon that is similar, but fictional. Husband leaves wife at a rest stop and is so embarassed that they NEVER mention it. (She thinks he did it on purpose and gets a ride home)...LOL funny.
    Blessings! E



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