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Monday, December 6, 2010


A couple of our household chores fall in the "stand-off" category. "If I just wait long enough..." You'd think bathrooms would be one. No. You might suspect windows. Nope. Garage. Yes. Making the bed. Yes. Refrigerator. Big fat hearty beefy smelly ECTOPLASMIC yes. I tackled ours tonight. What our house has needed sorely lately is a housekeeper instead of a full-time carpenter and a full(and then some) time teacher and lame-o graduate student by night. The clue that our fridge was reaching critical mass was when I opened it and our leftovers (having morphed from food into identities capable of voting Democrat) greeted me by name and inquired about the grandkids. I started with the sourdough start. I always start there. The routine is to remove the lid on the crock and pour the "hooch" down the drain. Dr. Hess (when he gave me the start) said I could drink that, but I choose not to. Then I take a wooden spoon--never metal--and stir the start. I'll leave it on the counter to warm up and then "feed" it tomorrow--equal parts water and flour. I might scare up some pancakes over the holiday, so I'll want to vamp it up a little. Following the start rejuvenation, I began to untangle the fridge. Pretty routine--slowly pry off lids, sniff a little, gag mightily, and then down the garburator it goes. Tonight I found a cumulus cloudlike mass hovering in a yellow Tupperware bowl. I grabbed a plastic fork to prod it a bit. To my utter amazement under the fluffy covering was the grassiest green...spinach hummus...I think! Then in another container lay an egg thing. Gray and cracking, kind of lolling in a black liquid of sorts, but still egg-like. I'm thinking hard-boiled at one time. It galurpled as I emptied it into the sink. Galurpled. We had an inordinate amount of jam containers tonight--residue from Paco's canning frenzy I imagine. Then there were the usuals--brown lettuce in its own au jus, some leftover chicken soup that certainly could never be good for the soul, bread/hockey pucks, carrots you can tie in multiple knots, and a pickle jar sans pickles--just juice. I've thought long and hard over the years as to a solution. An inventory posted on the front where you keep track of what you put in, take out, use up, or replace? Probably Martha, but not us. A weekly sponge out? A bi-annual sponge out? I'm thinking someone out there has to have a plan. Anyone? The true miracle is that I have yet to read in an obituary that the cause of someone's death was "refrigerator related" because it truly is a hazard. Right up there with slppery rugs and dog bites. Speaking of dogs, ours hasn't bitten anyone lately, but tonight (in an attempt to get as far away from the automatic nailgun as caninely possible) climbed up onto my lap here and then took another step up to the computer desk where he plunked his butt right on the keyboard. Everything went sideways! Paco had to fix it. Meanwhile Mugsy is an absolute wreck. He hates all the noise associated with home improvements. Maybe he'd like a snack. Maybe some leftovers...


Jill said...

Funny!!! My fridge gets that way too. :(

AmyJane said...

"Then there were the usuals--brown lettuce in its own au jus, some leftover chicken soup that certainly could never be good for the soul, bread/hockey pucks, carrots you can tie in multiple knots, and a pickle jar sans pickles--just juice."

Hilarious. Spot on true and so hilarious.

I have this policy that the majorly glaring fridge stuff gets yanked before I put away each week's new groceries. The deep clean though? Happens maybe twice a year. When my mother or MIL is coming. Don't tell.

Tom Giles said...

bread/hockey pucks. that's funny. mom, you might just be funny.

Season said...

Galurpled. Just reading the word makes me gag. Makes me think of one of my (many) nightmares from pregnancy—I thought it would be a good idea to clean out our fridge before our week-long jaunt through New England and Canada last year. WORST MISTAKE I'VE EVER MADE.

In other news—this post is perhaps one of my favorites that you've written. Made me chuckle and guffaw and then chuckle some more.

beck said...

This was funny! My "plan" is to clean out our fridge once a week, but it doesn't happen that way. My boys are always good about helping me rearrange in there, though! It's one of their favorite games!

Shelly said...

Good one, Mom. I'm lucky for a husband who takes the leftovers to work, most of the time. Sometimes I just get container happy and start pulling them all out and stacking them by the sink. Bad part is, they don't get emptied right away and fester even more at room temperature!!

Laura said...

I can happily say that this is THE ONE aspect of house cleaning that I excel at. I empty leftover containers after 3-4 days and wipe down shelves every other week, depending on how dirty/clean they are.

I haven't always been this way, though. After throwing away one of my favorite casserole dishes (because I didn't have the stomach to clean it out and my husband didn't think it a priority) I resolved never to let my fridge have moldy, disgusting food in it ever again.

I have to say that I agree with everyone else; this post is hilarious and possibly one of my all-time favorites. :)

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley