Saturday, February 27, 2010

A nice, clean fridge

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Yesterday our new fridge was delivered.  This was no easy feat.  First of all, it snowed overnight.  The guy we hired to plow us--didn't show up.  The deliveryman called and said, "We'll deliver between 10 and 1."  Usually that means, 2 p.m. or later.  Not yesterday.  There he was at 10:20 and there was still a million pounds of snow at least 12" thick on the driveway.  Mr. L had been using Mr. Snowblower for almost an hour and had hardly made a dent in the very heavy, wet snow.

Meanwhile, I was inside frantically trying to empty the fridge.  (Did I mention they called at 9:30?)  I thought it might take me maybe ten minutes to empty the fridge.  WRONG!  After 40 minutes, I'd made a 50% dent, but that was it.

Fridgenotmine Why does any household need so much mustard?  Cranberry mustard.  Honey mustard.  Portand beer mustard.  Sweet mustard.  Horseradish mustard.  Champagne mustard.  YELLOW mustard.  And what about jam in nearly empty jars?  We had raspberry, peach, cherry, blackberry, hot pepper (3 jars of that), plus Cabernet jelly. Grape?  Not a trace.  (And that's my favorite.)  I found stuff that was YEARS out of date, buried in the back.  (Brandy butter anyone?)

Leftovers?  Mashed potatoes, black-eye peas in korma sauce, spaghetti. roast pork, meatloaf, rice, and stewed tomatoes.  (And since the fridge has been freezing everything, none of it had gone bad!)
Shallot What about the veggie drawer?  There was a bag of shallots my Dad had purchased on March 9th, 2009.  I lost my Dad in October, and for some reason have not been able to part with that nearly empty bag of shallots.  (Oddly enough, they still seem okay.)

The freezer?  Oy!  I filled an entire plastic grocery bag with bread (Italian, white, and rye) and rolls (hotdog, hamburg, dinner, French).  Every day we go to the freezer and say, "There's nothing for dinner."  Not anymore.  I found chicken, fish, three kinds of sausage, chicken and duck carcasses (for my next pot of soup), meatballs, and shrimp.  (To be fair, the shrimp is for Chester, our cat.  I can't Pot stickers eat the stuff.)  I found two boxes of pot stickers (which we ate for lunch--mmm mmm, good!).  I found some of the bounty from the garden:  parsley, onions, jalapeno peppers, leeks and rhubarb.  (I froze the rhubarb because my Dad liked rhubarb crisp and I'd hoped to make it for him one last time.)  I found two pieces of mince pie (leftover from Christmas, soon to be Mr. L's breakfast), and six opened boxes of Birthday candles.  (They won't melt in there!)

Recycle Our recycle bin is now full of glass jars and No. 1 plastic jars and containers.  The new fridge is gorgeous, mainly because nothing has yet spilled in it.   We've vowed to pay more attention to what's in there, and try not to let it get so hopelessly jammed.  And let's hope it lasts at least another 16 years.  It's going to take me that long to recover from this experience.

So, what's in YOUR fridge?

21 comments:

Andrea C. said...

While it was stressful at least you got your fridge cleaned out and you have meals for weeks! Haha

My actual fridge is usually fairly emply (except a plethora of condiments) but our upright freezer and pantry is another story! My husband is kind of a "survivalist" and he loves Sams club so we have an entire downstairs pantry stocked with non-perishable items (including canned bread and powdered milk) and our freezer is usually chock full of frozen meals b/c he really likes them (I say yuck!)
So while it is amusing now, I suppose should I ever be trapped in the house I will be thankful..but I still claim "we have nothing for dinner" every night! :)

Andrea C. said...

While it was stressful at least you got your fridge cleaned out and you have meals for weeks! Haha

My actual fridge is usually fairly emply (except a plethora of condiments) but our upright freezer and pantry is another story! My husband is kind of a "survivalist" and he loves Sams club so we have an entire downstairs pantry stocked with non-perishable items (including canned bread and powdered milk) and our freezer is usually chock full of frozen meals b/c he really likes them (I say yuck!)
So while it is amusing now, I suppose should I ever be trapped in the house I will be thankful..but I still claim "we have nothing for dinner" every night! :)

Vicki said...

I try to clean out the fridge every few months if I can. I hate when you see the spills, etc, or when there just isn't enough room for the new purchases. We have a whole shelf of water bottles (we go to Costco twice a month) but we drink them constantly. The rest are waiting in the garage where it is like having a second fridge...keeps them nice and cold out there. It is amazing how quickly those expiration dates seem to pass you by. There is always something to throw out.

Katie said...

I clean mine out every couple months if I remember (at least twice a year). Somehow I forget to actually clean it with a soap, but at least i get the leftovers and stuff out, right?

Dru said...

I clean my fridge every two months and not much is in there. I have condiments (mayo, mustard, hot sauce, Hershey's chocolate sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, grape jam), butter, eggs, bottled water, apple and cranberry juice and baby carrots. In the freezer you'll find butter and arm & hammer baking soda.

Shannon said...

The weirdest things right now are jalepeno pickled eggs, teeth whitener, and really old antibiotics that one of us was supposed to finish, but got better so we saved the leftovers expecting someone else to get sick. We did the new fridge thing recently, too, and got a side by side. I believe it is easier to keep track of what is in there because there are more shelves.

BTW, I had a cat, Chester, too. He passed away about a year and a half ago. Best cat in the world. I had him almost 20 years and will always think that is the best name ever for a cat.

Lorna Barrett said...

This new fridge seems a LOT smaller than the old one. (Maybe that's how it got the Energy Star label.) We can't get all our frozen food back into the freezer. (Going to have to eat a lot of bread in the next few days.)

Shannon, I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your Chester. Our little guy was named after a character in my third Jeff Resnick book. The one that's still sitting on my shelf. (Wayyyyyy tooooooo long a story to get into right now.) He was always Dad's boy until about six months ago, now he's decided (after ten years) he wants to be my pal, too. (He likes to help me type, which is not at ALL helpful.)

I hope we get to keep our Chester for at least 20 years, too.

Mason Canyon said...

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but if your new fridge is anything like most appliances you buy today - it won't last 16 years maybe more like five or six. They just don't make appliances like they use to. :) It always amazing me some of the items I find in the fridge when I clean it out because I don't remember serving that green fuzzy stuff anything lately. LOL Hope you have a restful day and de-stress from your cleanout experience. Have a great weekend.

Lorna Barrett said...

Mason: Stress-free day? Won't happen. I saw the cover fo the large print editon of Bookplate Special. I put a copy of it up on my Dazed & Confused blog. www.LornaBarrett.blogspot.com

Yes, it I can see it probably will be a stress-FILLED day.

Now, where's my bottle of Malox?

misterreereeder said...

Interesting story about your refrigerator and it's contents. Sometimes our refrigerator is kind of like a big black hole - stuff goes in - but does not come back out. Of course the room is limited so every once in a while somebody has to go in and clean it out - just so something else can be put in there to take up room. HA!!

CindyD said...

You need to borrow my husband - he hates to waste food and loves to inventory the refrigerator, usually when he's looking for a snack before bed and it drives me crazy when he wants to know how long something has been in there!
Every once in a while I have to inventory the freezer and make a list of what's in there because I do lose track.

Jessica said...

Cindy...theres an idea for a business there! Loan a hubby for refrigerator inventories!

Jessica said...

Unfortunately, my fridge is jam packed with leftovers....I cook, he swears he will eat the left overs and 6 months later remembers they are there and wants to know if they are still good! *sigh*

Gayle Carline said...

In a stunning display of coincidence or solidarity, I had just finished cleaning my fridge when I read your post. Only the fridge portion, because something didn't smell right in there, which was pretty bad since my nose is completely stuffed up and I could still smell "it." Think I removed whatever "it" was...

As for the freezer, we still have tons of cookie dough from September's fundraiser. And, dare I say it, we've got two goldfish and a tadpole that need to be buried in the backyard. They drifted to the back somewhere, and I keep forgetting them. The good news is they haven't gone into any stew.

Gayle, author of FREEZER BURN

Shel said...

I just finished cleaning mine, too. Still needs actual wiping out, but the leftovers-past-the-want-to-eat date are gone and resulting dishes done. I want a new fridge soooo bad, but it will have to wait until this one dies.

Sheery said...

Oh my - I am laughing so hard at this fridge story. I'm glad it worked out well, though.

Ours is a disaster and I tell myself everyday to deal with it. However, I keep putting it off because I really just don't want to do it. Oh, and the mustard, that's mine, too. My husband LOVES mustard and wants to try all the different kinds out there. We have at least fifteen different bottles of mustard in our fridge. It's a bit ridiculous, really.

Kaye said...

OMG! I have a hubby with an inventory too- although he keeps a computerized list that he updates frequently and the printed list is on the counter so that he puts every new thing that goes in there and crosses off everything that comes out of the freezer. This is what old men do when they retire! Lol- even though it drives me nuts sometimes, it keeps him busy.

Kim Smith said...

oh man! i dont even want to think about what is in my fridge. mostly it needs scrubbing with a vengence. great post!

signlady217 said...

Gallon baggie with all the packets of condiments left over from the drive-thru fast food meals in the door where most people keep butter. The tub butter is on the bottom shelf in the back and the stick butter is in the shallow drawer with the cheese.

I'm curious: what are leftovers? (Just kidding.) Seriously, we don't have many leftovers, or at least they don't stay left for long, as we always finish them off usually within a week. Sometimes it's "Let's see what can be thrown together in one pot for soup", but they pretty much get eaten up one way or another.

Lover of Books said...

I am horrible about cleaning out my fridge. I need to do it but am scared what I will find. lol

Definitely needs scrubbbing. My freezer has frozen milk for the baby, sole fillets, tator tots, chicken nuggets, ice cream and a few other things. lol

Krista

Anonymous said...

No idea what's in my fridge...I try not to reach in to the back of the shelves, I'm afraid something growing there just might grab me.

I do clean it occasionally ... really. It really needs a good scrubbing, though.

chana