Throw out 90% of the refrigerator's contents? Insane? Not if you saw the contents. On Saturday, Calico will be bringing home lots of edible food. But it won't last long, if we can't refrigerate it. So today we bit the moldy bullet and tackled the job of cleaning our refrigerator.
Psychiatrists lay the blame for many of our problems at our parents' feet. The condition of our refrigerator is my mother's fault. Perhaps it was growing up in the Great Depression, but she couldn't bear to throw away edible food. Half a green bean left after dinner? Put it in a plastic container and wait three months. It will be much easier to discard when it's covered in an inch of mold. No wonder she dreaded cleaning the refrigerator. When she finally did, she enjoyed the results and swore she'd never let it deteriorate again. But a few months later, it would once again be filled with containers more fit for antibiotic research than human consumption.
I knew that I would do better when I had my own home. To some extent, I did. I was never guilty of trying to preserve atomic-sized food remnants. But if there's enough for a single serving, I rationalize that it could be incorporated into another meal or used for any easy-fix lunch. That does happen, but not often. I am NOT my mother, Then why do I hear myself saying, "From now on I'm going to clean this regularly."?
13 things we removed from our refrigerator today.
- Five containers of sour cream. Each holding about a teaspoonful. If you count the mold
- A huge container of beef stew. It was a wonderful stew and could have made another meal. I think that was the plan, but it got lost in the depths.
- Most of a chocolate Christmas penguin. I'm not sure if my granddaughter ever tasted it. But it was so bad that even chocolate addicts like Calico and Grandma hated it - even when it was fresh.
- Four maraschino cherry containers with a little liquid in each. Not a cherry in sight.
- A hardened lemon.
- A hardened lime.
- Dozens of crispy little pieces that had fallen out of something with a Mexican scent. Thought they must be taco chips, but they turned out to be petrified burrito.
- A vegetable crisper that was almost full... of soggy veggies.
- An almost full container of Cool Whip that had gone bad. If you're not familiar with the stuff, let me assure you that this takes a LOT of aging.
- Several wrapped dinner plates that my granddaughter had half eaten. She's always asking to have something saved. And the sins of the parents (and grandparents) are visited on the children.
- A pork chop. I think. Not brave enough to search below the blue covering.
- The newest formulation for super glue. We really should have it analyzed. A chisel and several power tools were required to remove it from one shelf. And it had securely bonded two rather hefty containers.
- Taco meat. Several small containers of it. One of them was less than a week old. But we couldn't figure out which one. Safety ruled and we threw them all.
I know. Today I was going to talk about the future of Convictions, my first attempt at a novel. It's not dead, but it is being postponed until next spring. Hopefully, it will not be covered in mold, when I take it out of cold storage.