Wednesday, December 17, 2008

As The Food Turns: Skipped Week Edition

Before I begin with my semi-regular refrigerator cleansing, I would just like to say that I am stunned by the number of people cruising the Internet looking for Santa jokes this week. I wish I could think of another one...

I missed a week, didn't I? Maybe because I am tired of embarrassing myself in front of the entire blogosphere all the time, okay? But as this seems to be the only way for my fridge to get cleaned out, I'm back to being humiliated. I regard this process as an expiatory exercise, akin to the Rite of Reconciliation (Confession, for you old-timers) in the Catholic Church.

Forgive me, Father, for I have wasted food.
You are forgiven, child; go forth and waste no more! Oh, and for penance, you must display to the world pictures of your profligacy.

In the front you can see our produce contestants this week: a forgotten bag of baby carrots, a dried bunch of cilantro (I think) and a dried bunch of something else green, and 2 apples. Could someone please explain to me how pioneer families kept bushels of apples fresh over the winter in their root cellars if I can't keep apples for 6 weeks in my fridge? I don't get it.

Moving on: hiding behind the produce is a saucepan of leftover hot cocoa. I would have heated it up, but I could never find a time when I wouldn't have to divide evenly, 6 ways, what little is left in there. I'd rather throw it out. Sorry. I am unrepentant on that one.

As you can see, I have segregated my leftover containers - glass on the left, plastic on the right. Perhaps in a non-fallen world the glass and the plastic would stack peaceably together; but, as we still live in a society riven by superficial differences, they are piled separately. To the left, from the top, are remnants of cooked broccoli, some tomato sauce (no idea where that came from), and cooked green beans (produce does seem to be the theme this week). On the right are the separate but equal containers of oatmeal, rice, tuna salad dregs (bleccch), and jello. Can jello go bad? Anyone?

Okay, I found another Santa joke (again, courtesy of Prairie Home Companion): Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshipper?

He sold his soul to Santa. Ba-da-bum...


  1. I avoid this problem by just throwing food away right off the table. I don't think I've ever in my life eaten leftover broccoli.

  2. Regarding the apples and keeping them...there are a few things to keep in mind regarding storage.

    1. Apple varieties you buy now are nothing like those we used to grow. Many of the old ones were bred specifically for their long keeping abilities. Same thing for tomatoes (you can find an actual variety called LongKeeper).
    2. Old timers used a root cellar that was dark and dank - meaning humid. Your refrigerator may be nice and cold but it's very, very dry. Many fruits and veggies like it pretty darned moist. One of the best ways to keep potatoes is in 90% humidity, basically buried but in a place safe from frost.
    3. The presence of veggies near fruit and vice versa doesn't help either one. All of them give off ethylene gas, but there's some difference in that from veggies vs. fruits. Fruit growers don't keep ANY veggies in their huge walk in coolers because it will cause the fruit to rot. Veggie sellers are the same way about fruit.
    4. I don't think the quality of the fruit by the end of winter was as big a deal to them as it would be to us. While we like our apples to be crisp and yummy, if you read historical novels they talk about them being all wrinkled and soft, but they're happy they have the fruit anyway.
    5. You can always make sauce out of the wrinkled fruit.

    Can I make my comment any longer? Hope this helped!

    Well, you did ask, and I was compelled to answer! Ciao!

  3. sold his soul to santa. heh.

    and also? that is why tuna should not be food.

  4. All leftovers here go straight into the freezer. Thus, no spoiling. Rooster takes them for lunch eventually. And I'm with Jenn - we never eat the leftover broccoli!

  5. Hmm. Leftover broccoli, green beans and carrots with a little tomato sauce sounds like a nice starter for soup. Maybe with some cilantro. Once it's cooked, who will know? (If you think you know how I found out that shriveled up veggies can be hidden in soup or stew, you're probably right...)

    And then baked apples for dessert. A little butter and brown sugar covers a multitude of sins...

    I do believe that jello can go bad, but it takes a while. Does it smell funny (funnier than jello normally smells)? Have anything fuzzy growing on the top? No? Then I'd eat it- OTOH, the very fact that you're cleaning out the fridge at all says you're a much more scrupulous housekeeper than I am!

  6. I wonder too about the dang apples. Woman With a Hatchet has really helped me understand that...
    Cute joke. PHC never fails to give good humor.

  7. Do you make oatmeal by the vat? Holy cow, that's a lot of leftover oatmeal. I don't think I'd be compelled to save leftover oatmeal, but on the other hand, I only make a bowl at a time. I used to make it the old-fashioned way, with milk, in a pan, but now I buy instant in a little package. And I'm thinking yes, it might be more money up front, but I never throw it away because it all gets eaten!

  8. Jello separates. I don't kow that it is bad, but you can reheat it to very hot/boiling in the microwave and it will set again after it cools in the fridge. Who am I kidding? We only have leftover jello if a small container gets pushed to the back.

    We rarely have leftovers that go bad. My 16 yr old loves carbs and is skinny as a rail. She eats almost all leftover pasta, cream of wheat, mashed potatoes, etc.
    My 2 yr old loves cooked broccoli and will open the fridge to get his own. He eats it cold. Any other leftover cooked veggies usually end up in soup or chicken potpie.

  9. We never have much leftovers, and when we do, I send them to work with my husband for his lunch.

    Bananas all seem to want to go bad when we are in a banana slump. I make banana oat muffins or add it to our homemade bread after freezing them.

  10. That reminds me: Did you hear the one about the atheist, agnostic insomniac? He stayed up all night wondering if there really was a Dog. (Not really related to Christmas, or food... but sute, right?)

  11. I'm sure I've said this before: Freezer Soup! I made it just last week (it was okay, but not stellar --and yes, I have made stellar FS before!) so it is time to start a new batch. However, leftovers are hard to come by in this house. If I can save enough off the table for dh's lunches, I'm happy. Usually the teens eat it all!

  12. Good Santa joke! I am going to tell this one and the earlier one to my kids and husband.

    Thanks in advance for my increased popularity.

  13. Sorry but I laughed my fanny off over the cilantro. We use tons of it. And also throw almost as much of it out. I buy it, then forget I bought it and buy more... rabbit will only eat so much of it even if he hasn't been eating his cardboard house. I wash it, (the cilantro... not the rabbit) wrap it loosely in paper towels, then back in the produce bag with the top open. It will last longer that way. I've kept it fresh well over a week doing that with it.

  14. Did you know that Santa and Satan are really the same person?

    Think about it - their names use the same letters, they both wear red and and black and have you ever seen them together?!