Wednesday, October 15, 2008

As The Food Turns

I'm still here! My husband had the nerve to use the computer for an InstantWatch from Netflix yesterday evening; so when I waltzed in at 9:30 from my yoga class, expecting people to be snug abed so that I could blog in peace, I was greeted by the sight of all the boys in the family gathered 'round the screen watching Apollo 13. I went to bed in a huff.

Because I am mature like that...

And now, it's fridge day! You know what bothers me? I mean, besides temps in the 80's in October? It bothers me that if I didn't have this half-a**ed obligation to empty out my fridge on Wednesdays, all the items you are about to see would probably have remained in there until the night before my sister-in-law's impending visit. At which point there would have been an extremely frantic fridge-cleansing episode.

In other words, I will show perfect strangers my expired(?) sauerkraut, but not Auntie Kate. That doesn't seem right to me.

So here are this week's contestants in the Fridge Follies. I would like to start on the left [edited to add: the "left," meaning the right - I am spatially challenged], with the stack of glass storage containers. These are not Pyrex, but Martha Stewart Living brand from KMart. Do not buy these! The lids develop tears in them. They are, in a word, cheap. Go for the Pyrex; you won't regret it.

Whew! Got that off my chest! On the bottom is leftover pot roast. I know it is time to discard this because we are having a newer pot roast tonight. I have no idea when it was made. Atop the potroast are some green beans. Again, provenance unknown. The little container on top has scrambled eggs from Monday.

Wait - it's only Wednesday. I'm putting those eggs back in the fridge. But I'll bet all my comments that you will see them here next week.

Yet more dregs of hummus have center stage this week. They are accompanied by some forgotten-and-left-to-rot baby carrots and a very yucky-looking jalapeno pepper (from our salsa-making days). Actually, you can't see the pepper in this photo. You'll just have to trust me - it's there.

Behind the hummus are all-but-empty bottles that do not have to be cleaned or otherwise taken care of if they are left in the refrigerator. The Newman's Own has been kicking around in there for about a year; my tossing it now is a ceremonial nod in memory of its maker, who has just recently gone to meet his Maker. RIP, Mr. Newman. I have no idea where the apple juice came from. There must be a little trap door in the bottom of the refrigerator that things pop up through.

Moving on...on the far left is a jar of sauerkraut. I am guessing we opened this back in April on Brian's birthday. I dug it out this afternoon and sniffed it to see if it had gone bad. But, it's sauerkraut. Sauerkraut always smells as though it has gone bad, doesn't it? So how do I know if this stuff is safe or not? Any advice out there?

Next to the sauerkraut of dubious quality is a container of leftover cinnamon-raisin oatmeal that I forgot to foist upon my starving children; and, on top of that, an old friend: dried-out dill weed that first made its appearance in this feature several weeks ago. I crumbled a bit of it into a potato salad a while back; but now it is, quite frankly, leaving me uninspired. Good-bye, my friend, and godspeed!

There is a huge canning kettle pictured behind the leftovers, because I finally (after 2 days) managed to can my applesauce. Tell me, when you look at this picture to the right - do you see healthy home-canned goodness stored up for winter? Or do you, like me, see cases of botulism waiting to happen? Just wondering...


  1. I come so close to turning on my air today. My 8 year old is sick for the SEVENTH day, and we're both starting to go a little crazy. Today, for some reason, he had an insatiable need to crawl back inside of me. He's burning up with fever, it's in the 80's, I need a break from this heat. Enough already. I don't live in Texas or Florida, I live in Ohio for Pete's sake.

    I love your fridge series. I could have done my own until we lost power for a week due to Hurricane Ike (maybe I do live in Texas after all), and I had to throw out everything we had in our refrigerators and freezers. The bright side is definitely that they're clean now.

  2. Thanks for the close-ups. Really. The whole botulism thing is why I've never bothered to learn canning. I'd be too afraid to eat any of it.

  3. Oh my gosh! Methinks someone needs a DOG! ;) Well, at least for the pot roast. :)

    I am so impressed with your canning skills! I just stuff my applesauce in the freezer. Canning it would be so much better, but all I've ever canned is jam.

  4. Expired sauerkraut is kind of like expired yogurt, to me. Who cares? What's it going to do, go good?

  5. I am thinking that the sauerkraut is probably still good. You know it is already fermented.

  6. Oh, definitely home-canned goodness stored up for winter.

    I need a visit from Auntie Katie . . . I need something to make me clean.

  7. All sauerkraut and hummus should be thrown away. The answer is always yes to that question. Ewww. Good for you for canning applesauce. I haven't done that in years, but I should...

  8. I would have frozen the applesauce, but I'm lazy. :) Long ago, like 4 children ago (1999?)I canned peaches. They tend to get mushy when they are frozen.

  9. I do not liek sauerkraut and I hate cleaning out my fridge... thanks for sharing.

  10. The saurkraut thing is funny. I'll grab a can for rubens (sp?) but I can't stand that to be in the fridge. So either we finish it that night or its tossed.

    Can I just say as a side note, our fridge is so small, we wouldn't be able to fit all the stuff you have on the table in it. Well, maybe it would just barely fit if we push really hard against the door.

  11. I have never tasted sauerkraut. The name makes me feel uneasy.

  12. sauerkraut from april? even if it's technically "safe". i say give it a pass.

  13. oh so glad I'm not the only one that keeps almost empty containers in the fridge cause it means not having to throw them away. what, is my trash can like miles away or someting?

    And I hate sauerkraut of any kind, in any form, in any jar. Although, my brother, who spent some time in Germany said I wouldn't feel that way if I had some made over there. I'll take his word for it. But I still don't think I'll try it.

  14. Sauerkraut always makes me think of grade school, when the, erm, delicate odor would waft down the halls and into the classrooms and remind me that I should have brought my lunch. I think if there are no green bits you're okay, but I'd probably throw it out on principle.

  15. I HATE it when I come home and everyone is awake and in my space. Grrrr. I'd have huffed off to bed, too.
    Sauerkraut makes me want a brat.

  16. I guess the salsa is not coming back.

    I'm grieving.

    I'm cleaning out my fridge this weekend...there is something lurking in the bottom of the freezer side...I saw it peek at me this morning.

  17. You don't get the Polish sauerkraut with the caraway seeds in it?

    Yea, me either. They get stuck in my teeth. ;-)

  18. Where is the blue saran wrap? Where is it? It has become a staple in my Wednesday world....