refrigeratorAt some point in every responsible adult’s life, we must do a task we don’t want to do.  There are several of these dreaded tasks, including braving the freak shows at the DMV and getting that yearly “female” exam.

But what I’m talking about now affects everyone, not just those of us with female genitalia…I’m talking about the dreaded task of cleaning out the fridge.

It’s horrible and time consuming, but every responsible adult must clean out the fridge every now and again.  It’s what separates us from the college kids…that and the fact that we don’t have a nightstand full of condoms being held together by duct tape. (Mine is held together with masking tape.)

Tonight was the night for this dreaded task at my house.  We recently came back from vacation and needed food for our bellies.  I needed to go to the grocery store to buy food but knew our refrigerator was home to several expired items.

In order to make room for the new stuff, I had to clean out the old stuff.

A lesson I should also apply to my closet, but I’m waiting for neckerchiefs to come back in style.  pantryThey’re on their way…I can feel it.

It’s no secret that I love food.  The grocery store is my happy place, as it has large quantities of food available for the small price of my self respect, which I usually leave at the first sample station.

So I admit that always sometimes I get carried away at the grocery store.  When I see a box of 100 calorie Hostess snack packs on sale, instead of buying 2 boxes, I buy 5.  After all, they are 30 cents cheaper on sale, and what if I run out?!

Will 5 boxes be enough? I mean, it’s just the two of us at our house.  Maybe I’ll grab 6 just to be safe.

And grapes?  I can’t just get one regular bag of grapes.  What if some of them are bad?  What if they are too ripe.  No, I get two bags instead, just to be sure.

Yogurt is also a downfall of mine.  Every week I tell myself this is the week I’m going to start eating yogurt.

All those commercials with Jamie Lee Curtis talking about being regular make it sound so fun and exciting.  Like pooing on a schedule is something to write home about.  I’m sure if I did that I would be disowned.

grocery aisleSo every week I may overbuy at the grocery store, which leads to a refrigerator bursting at the elastic seams.  Tonight I took it upon myself to clean it out.

I know, I know, I’m quite the martyr.  But hey, it’s the cross I must bear.

I considered donning gloves before getting to the task at hand, but decided if I was truly going to be a martyr (and hopefully score points with my husband which would lead to a day at the spa), I needed to do this the hard way…sans gloves.

I locked eyes with the fridge, mentally prepared myself, and walked towards the white tower.  I held my breath, mostly to keep from inhaling the horrific smell emanating from the fridge.

Where to start?  The door full of condiments or the vegetable drawer?

I decided to start at the bottom of the fridge and work my way up.  Thus, the vegetable drawer won out…or apparently in my case, the cheese drawer.

I found not one, not two, but three bags of shredded cheese.  Really?  Three?  That’s three whole pounds of cheese.

cheese1Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about cheese, but why did I need 3 bags of shredded cheese?  I looked at the expiration date on the bags and was surprised (and delighted) to see that none of the bags of cheese had expired yet.

I thought about it, and decided times are tough, and the economy is basically in shambles.  Who am I to throw out perfectly good cheese?  Wouldn’t that just be spitting in the face of those who were cheeseless?

I knew the good people of Wisconsin wouldn’t appreciate my throwing away perfectly good cheese.  I definitely didn’t want to upset Packers fans, so I decided to keep the cheese…you know, for America.

I next moved my attention to a plastic bag full of mushy balls that I can only assume were peaches at some time…sometime several long months ago.

By some act of fate the peaches hadn’t yet developed fruit flies, and for that, I was grateful.  I grabbed the mushy bag and tossed it in the garbage.

Crisis avoided.

veggiesI then moved my attention to the second veggie drawer where I came across a very bendy stalk of celery.

I tried to break a piece off to see if it was good, but it bent like licorice.  Knowing that celery didn’t taste anything like Twizzlers, I knew better than to try to taste that.

I also cursed myself for buying celery in the first place.  What was I thinking?  Who eats celery on its own?

It’s only purpose is to serve as a mechanism to hold copious amounts of peanut butter.  Why else would I have purchased such a vegetable?  Discard.

I decided to next focus on a small bag of baby carrots, which were extremely dried out and ashy.  They looked like the bottom of my feet before a pedicure…scaly and in need of lotion.

There was no way I was going to eat pasty carrots.  I made a mental note to schedule a pedicure, threw the carrots away, and moved on.

cheesesNext on the list was a container of sour cream, which is interesting because neither me nor my husband eat sour cream.  I believe it may have been brought over by Pajama Jeans a few months ago when we had a Mexican night and made tacos.

However, that was before I started my pathetic attempt at dieting, so I knew it had to be old.  I opened it up and discovered it had shifted form from sour cream to cottage cheese.

I thought about keeping it and using it as cottage cheese, but figured I probably wouldn’t eat cottage cheese either, and I would hate to find out what form it turned into after cottage cheese.  I chucked it in the trash.

In looking through the fridge I discovered that my husband and I may have a problem with pizza…or not so much a problem as a love affair.

I found two separate containers of leftover pizza from two separate evenings of dining.

Neither one of us are Italian so I couldn’t blame it on our heritage.  I suppose the only excuse is that our carb loving stomachs can’t live without the stuff.

pizza3I may need to remove the local pizza place from our speed dial, which would be nice, as Christmas is coming up and I don’t want to have to buy our delivery driver a gift again this year.

It was then I discovered the grapes.  Didn’t I tell you I can’t resist buying grapes?

I found one bag of unopened grapes that were more shriveled and wrinkled than Hugh Heffner’s scrotum.

I contemplated keeping the grapes a little longer to allow them to turn into prunes, but decided if I was going to start eating yogurt, I wouldn’t need the prunes to be regular.

I also contemplated squeezing the grapes to make my own wine, but that seemed like a lot of work, especially when I could buy “3 buck Chuck” wine at Trader Joe’s.

It wasn’t worth the effort.  I threw them out.

Need I tell you that I also threw away at least $5.00 in yogurt?  I needn’t.  Deep down you already knew.

oil and vinegarI then turned my attention to the door of the fridge, which is where all condiments and dressings go to die.  Judging by the large amount of salad dressings on the door of my fridge, you would think salad was all I ate.

How many bottles of fat free Ranch did I really need?  They all tasted like poison, no matter how many different ways they tried to remove the fat.

The fat is what makes Ranch dressing so delicious.  Removing it is like taking marijuana away from Amsterdam.  It’s the essence of what it is.

Forget the fat free Ranch.  I tossed all three bottles.

And how did I have a fat free blue cheese dressing?  How is that even possible?  I love blue cheese dressing and should have known better than to purchase it as a fat free item.

Who was I kidding?  With a drawer full of three bags of cheese, I should have known better than to attempt a fat free blue cheese dressing.

I threw that away too, and swore off all fat free dressings.

pickles1I then turned my attention to the pickle containers, of which there were several.  Who knew there were that many different kinds of pickles?  (I’m assuming pregnant women knew this.)

I had dill pickles, sweet pickles and bread and butter pickles.  I also had pickle relish in both sweet and dill.

Who needs that many different forms of pickles? Wouldn’t just one kind do?  And what is a bread and butter pickle?  Are they covered in butter?  If so, maybe they would be delicious.

I told myself that a pickle is really just a form of a cucumber and my trainer told me cucumbers are good for me.  So I rationalized that I should keep the pickles…all five different kinds.

By this point my trash can was full and I was far too lazy to empty it and start over.  So I abandoned the fridge cleaning project.  I felt like I made a good dent in cleaning it out.

After all, now that there was more space, I had room to fill it up with more delicious food, and I heard there was a sale on yogurt…

2 Thoughts on “Cleaning out the refrigerator: A scary story

  1. Jesus, Lord, is that your fridge? You could house a family of four in there! That’s a fridge cleaning job for sure. Somebody call Alice and ask her if the Brady’s will give her the day off. 😉 I completely relate to the salad dressing situation. Last time I cleared out my fridge, I found so many bottles of dressing and more than a couple that were waaay past their prime. I seem to collect the stuff. Like I own stock in Wishbone or something. I am also a pickle freak and I have more varieties of mustard than are warranted unless you live in Berlin and play in an oompah band. Loved this post!
    Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom just rambled about…So You Wanna Be a Rock n Roll Star – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – Beacon Theater NYCMy Profile

    • Hi-larious comment! You’re right! I really do need Alice to come clean out my fridge…although I suspect it would take her a long time, as I suspect her back is pretty worn out, and I fear she would file a workers compensation claim against me.

      And you and I clearly share the same love of purchasing random salad dressings. What is that about?! I think it may be an addiction.

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