Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Leftovers Take Over

Do you ever leave things lurking in the fridge? Left to fester, they become more and more unattractive to deal with, so they get left longer and longer. As you start running out of plastic containers to put things in, however, eventually you are confronted with the inevitable. You have to clear out the damned fridge.

If you live with a partner, the hope is that this is his/her problem or task. You may argue that as you are so busy, it falls to the less busy one to do the deed. You find yourself becoming incredibly overloaded with tasks - mostly unnecessary - so that you can prove just how busy you are. At work you stay late, to everyone's consternation (brain tumour? aspirations for promotion? is there something we don't know?), and at home everything becomes a model of efficiency, cleanliness (apart from the fridge) and tidiness.

The kids start moaning and insisting that someone, anyone (apart from themselves) just clear out the damned fridge so everything can revert to its normal sloppy self.

Living without a partner presents certain advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that you do not have any arguments. The main disadvantage is that you have to do everything, including clearing out the fridge. The toss-up between no arguments and sharing fridge duty is actually not an easy one to resolve...

I have been thinking about the inside of the fridge for some time. You may think that this is indicative of the paucity of other more interesting things going on inside my head, but you'd be wrong. I have a lot of quite fascinating things going on inside my head (due mostly to the extreme distance and lack of contact of my someone special), but the fridge was becoming pressing for the plastic container availability or rather, lack of, issue.

So, with sufficient build-up, mental preparation, and desperation, I opened the bin, opened the fridge and took out all the offending plastic containers. Thank goodness for the dampening effects of refrigeration on smell. Had anything been ready to blow up in my face with the explosive pressure of decay and accompanying whiff, I think I would have collapsed on the spot in a faint of disgust. Luckily, however, I took a deep breath and emptied the contents of the containers into the bin, rinsed them out and threw them in the dishwasher. I also chiselled out several ramekins of fat of some sort that had been saved for roasting potatoes, but after lurking in there for more than a couple of years, became decidedly unattractive as a cooking prospect. I was also told recently that fat doesn't stay usable forever and goes rancid, so even if you can't smell it because it's cold, it's not actually suitable beyond a certain age. Unfortunately I don't know what that age is, but I'm sure it's less than 24 months.

The dishwasher is full, my fridge is surprisingly empty and I have the halo of efficiency glowing atop my head. I do realise that throwing away food in these times of food riots is an absolute disgrace, but, in my defence, the food had been in there since BEFORE the riots started. My conscience is therefore merely cloudy.

Of course, each time I do a clear out, I promise myself that this will be the LAST time bits of leftover food are allowed to fester. So, true to form, this is absolutely the LAST time, that I'll leave containers of leftovers to lurk for more than two days. Everything must be consumed!


  1. Ahhh, I share your pain...Its something I HATE doing and gets left until I give in or the mother in law is coming. She arrives tomorrow night so the fridge and the oven beckon. Yes, the oven will have to be cleaned too...

  2. Everything in my fridge looks like roquefort cheese only furrier. I am a terrible housewife (I don't like that word but housesingleparent doesn't sound right either)and I have no idea how to keep stuff clean and tidy. Luckily, my mum and dad have come over for the school holidays and are spending their days mending, scrubbing, washing and defrosting. Bliss.

    I've begged them not to - after all, they're here for a rest - but they seem to enjoy feeling needed so who am I to stop 'em?

    Still, even my mum's not up to tackling the teeming life-forms lurking behind the fridge and cooker. I'll deal with that myself one day. Maybe...

  3. Excellent post! I just love your glowing halo and only slightly cloudy conscience!

  4. It's so good to know that one is not alone.

    Fio, the oven becomes a doddle with pyro cleaning. But you do have to do the racks by hand. I last did mine within the last year...

    Gigi, I couldn't actually move my fridge, so what's there stays there. What the eye doesn't see...

    Thank you, Antipo!!



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