Friday, July 17, 2009

As The Food Turns: Nature's Bounty

Where the heck have I been?

We all know what is due here - a refrigerator clean-out post. But I kept putting it off. The refrigerator had gotten to the point where we almost couldn't use it - every time we tried to take something from it, a zillion other things would fall out. We'd shove those back in, thus making everything else fall out.

Look, if you don't understand that last sentence, go read some other blog, will ya? We don't need your kind around here.

Anyway, today I decided that if we could land a man on the moon (um, 40 years ago), I should be able to clean the old stuff out of my refrigerator. I made the kids leave the kitchen (I knew it was going to be ugly) and dove in. It wasn't too bad, once I started (I mean, by my standards - Jenn, I really advise you to leave, if you haven't already).

As we can see from the picture below at the right, it's high summer, the season of produce! Really, I don't even know where to start describing nature's bounty here. How about back row, from the left:
  1. baggie with moldering scallion tips - meant to plant these in a pot outside on the deck
  2. a container that says potato salad - It's lying! There's homemade cole slaw in there. I didn't open it, because I figured something frightening would happen, like in that scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  3. grapefruit - I rescued this grapefruit from my neighbor's refrigerator to keep it from going bad during her European vacation. It went bad in my fridge instead. At least it wasn't lonely...
  4. Directly behind the grapefruit is a cucumber, standing straight up on its non-mushy end. Why, yes, I am proud of that bit of photography - it took me a while to set it up. All you wildlife photographers, move over! I've got the produce covered.
  5. a stack of baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and two withered senior citizen carrots - all casualties of our too-deep American refrigerators
  6. one red bell pepper - I do not remember buying this; I'm thinking other people are leaving their ruined produce in my refrigerator.
Front row, right to left -
  1. a bag of sugar snap peas from our town's farmers' market - my motto is "Buy Local, Waste Local."
  2. 2 more senior citizen carrots - not withered, but sprouting those white whiskers all over
  3. ah, the piece de resistance! It's an almost completely liquefied baby squash garnished with loose onion skins - I found it on the bottom of the produce drawer. (Warning! Do not enlarge this photo, especially if you have eaten recently.) And, folks, please don't try this sort of project at home - it requires time, and patience, and a knack for procrastination that takes years to develop.

So, how about a more cheerful picture? A picture, say, of one of my freshly cleaned-out produce drawers filled with my future victims? See? Over there to the right? Veggies check in, but they don't check out!

Note the empty produce drawer to the left - it still has remnants of liquefied squash and onion peels in it, because I couldn't properly scrub it without removing it from the refrigerator. But the last time I tried to remove that drawer, I ended up hurting my neck. Really. Just another example of how dangerous housework can be to your health...

Coming next week! A Condiment Retrospective!


  1. So you're saying you have the Hotel California of refrigerators?

    I can't actually remove my left-hand veggie drawer, because the fridge door won't open wide enough (the wall is just enough in the way). How scary is that? I can't ever clean it properly unless we take the door off the hinges. You'd think this would prompt vigilance on my part, but no.

  2. Liquified veggies are the worst.

    I think I'll start using "hurt my neck" as an excuse. Thanks!

  3. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    The contents of my refrigerator mirror the contents of your refrigerator. Homemade lentil soup last night was a comedy of errors... no onion, because THAT had molded. No scallions because, ditto. No leeks, because I gave those all away at Vacation Bible School. Then I burnt the first batch of lentils by trying to multitask (blog and boil lentils at the same time). Luckily I wasn't out of bay leaf or lentils. The 2nd batch made it to church 30 minutes late, garnished with freshly chopped carrots and celery (compliments of my 13yo son). Maybe I should blog more and just hand the cooking duties over to the kids?

  4. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    a condiment retrospective? oh, give us that salsa, girl!!!


  5. I'm with kcinnova above - this week I was going to make pork tenderloin with balsamic sauce and didn't have balsamic vinegar OR chicken stock when it came time to make the sauce. I ended up pouring out on of the 18,376,592 bottles of dressing in our fridge and reducing it.

    I currently have cilantro and parsley goo in the bottom of my produce bin. Just bought some fresh today to accompany it.

  6. I can only dream of a produce drawer that looks that good!

  7. hahah! that is HILARIOUS!! I USED to buy all kinds of veggies in order to let them rot in my fridge too! Now they don't sell them where I live, and I am sad that none of them can die in my house anymore.

    It kinda made me feel healthy-like.

  8. Sigh. You make me feel so normal. Your fridge and mine...related.

  9. That post made me laugh.

  10. We are growing our own veggies this summer and letting them rot. It's more economical than buying them from the store and the garden is my husband's little project so it keeps him out of the house. It's a win-win!

  11. ewww liquified veggies. I try to keep my bought produce in bags, that way, when we get liquified dying ones I simply through out the entire bag. It does makes it kinda difficult though to remember what's in each bag.

  12. Veggies check in, but they don't check out!

    Too funny!

  13. Damg it, now you reminded me I have to clean out my fridge again. It's past time, I just don't want to. :(

  14. Please quit coming to Arkansas, breaking in my house, and taking pictures of stuff in my fridge while I am not home. Thank you.

  15. I did the "fresh" food clean out just before we went away last week... I tried not to cry for the loss of life. I kept a head of broccoli, probably shouldn't have bothered... I was just delaying the inevitable.

  16. AnonymousJuly 19, 2009

    I enlarged the photo. I HAD to since you told me not to and of course, I'm sorry I did. The liquid veggies were nasty! I need to clean my own fridge...

  17. I just purged my fridge last night, and found some wilting lettuce and other left overs from the previous week. Its so much cleaner now!!

    But yours? Yours takes the prize!