By Lisa Batten Kunkleman
I wonder if the contents of a fridge tell what a person really treasures, or how he lives his life. Lord have mercy? I hope not. If a researcher looked into our fridge about an hour ago, they would think we valued out-of-date milk, slimy veggies, and a ton of cheese and condiments. And he’d think we didn’t value food. There was no room for real food.
Even I was shocked at the refrigerator’s contents. We’ve been gone an awful lot lately so we haven’t kept the fridge stocked with fresh food. After spotting and removing the Romaine lettuce and the cucumber that had converted to brown water, I pulled out the crisper drawer for a full-blown soapy baptism in the sink. One thing led to another. Pulling the trash and recycling containers beside me to start purging, I dove in with fierce energy. Immediate gratification and feeling of accomplishment, here I come.
That’s when Mr. Environmental Conscience dropped in for a chat. “You need to rinse out that Fairlife Milk bottle and those jelly jars. Oh, and you should compost those old veggies. The worms would appreciate them. Worms gotta eat too, ya know?”
Shrugging Mr. Conscience off my shoulder, I took all thirteen of the most ancient condiment containers to the sink for later processing. It reminds me of another event I wrote about several years ago. Empty Nest Flutterings: The Multiplying Condiment Miracle Sorry. I digressed. Back to work. I didn’t want to slow my momentum, not to mention that the refrigerator door and drawers were standing wide open letting the cold air out.
Immersing myself in sanitizing, I realized we have some kind of problem. Who needs sixteen packs of cheese, especially in a lactose intolerant household? Who needs more than three dozen containers of salsa, jams, and mayonnaise? Olives? We don’t even eat olives yet we have two slightly used jars of the green ovals. Wonder how long a jar of baby beets can survive? There’s no date on the nearly full jar. And what about that unopened key lime juice? That stuff’s not cheap. Man I hate to pour that out.
Wow, so much expired vegan food that our daughter left here months ago. Shoot, I should take pictures of it so I know what brand of tempeh to buy since she’s coming home in a few days and needs something besides avocados and chickpeas. After all, she can’t help eat the cheese.
Ahhh. Done at last. The proud feeling of achievement may carry me for a few days. At least until I make a big grocery run to replace all that stuff I just tossed. I’m gonna try to avoid cheese and condiments. We’ve got plenty of them. I probably won’t even know they are there until the next time I purge the fridge and toss them in the out-of-date bin. But more likely, I probably won’t pitch them until they are furry and making their own penicillin.