In a half-hearted and feeble attempt at accomplishing something today I figured I would tackle cleaning out the fridge (“tackle” might be a tad too active a verb for how I actually performed the task, but I’m the one telling the story, so live with it). In the process I learned some interesting things about my shopping/hoarding behaviors and the eating habits of my family that I would like to share with you today. I choose to reveal this here mainly because only so many sessions of therapy are covered under our insurance plan and, frankly, we’re maxed out for the year.
I discovered that we are people who enjoy buying fruit, but not necessarily eating it. Also, grapes do, given enough time and a friendly, nurturing environment, become raisins. There is also no reason to waste money on penicillin, given that it occurs naturally and grows perfectly well on last week’s spaghetti.
In addition to the plethora of fresh fruit that has seen better days, we also seem to have an affinity for “convenience” fruit; the kind that comes pre-sliced and suspended in some kind of syrupy fluid that scientists no doubt classify as “fruit goo”. Given the amount of this produce product that I found lurking in the back of the bottom shelf, I can only imagine that it also has some kind of heretofore unknown powers of asexual reproduction, as I am sure I did not purchase the twelve of them that I needed a butter knife to scrape off of the finely crafted and oh-so-easy-to-clean shelves common to most refrigerators manufactured in the latter part of the Twentieth Century. Somehow the monies in the new refrigerator fund seem to find their way to other luxury purchases like rent, car payments, and the field hockey-related expenses necessary to maintain, to a notch just north of sullen, my teenage daughter’s mood.
Hiding among the half-eaten jar of salsa (that may or may not have a day or two left— but the trash bag was full, so it made the cut) I found a small container of cream of tartar. I pleasantly discovered that this did not actually require refrigeration, which freed up a couple of square inches of that prime refrigerator real estate, commonly known as the top shelf, necessary to house the third half-full jar of grape jelly that I detected trying to cagily conceal itself behind the ham glaze (just try to tell me that inanimate objects don’t have a survival instinct!).
As it turns out, cream of tartar does not require refrigeration because it’s a spice. Used, according to a cursory Google search, in the making of meringue. Which explains why I have THREE of them, what with all the meringue-making I have been known to engage in.
As if the the foray into the netherregions of the refrigerator was not adventure enough for one woman in one day, here I was smack dab in the center of the pulse of the modern kitchen: the spice cabinet. For someone whose most adventurous cooking requires a small amount of curry, I was shocked to discover this particular land of plenty. No less than five jars of paprika, three kinds of pepper (none of which were black or red), something labeled “pickling spices” (purchased, I am sure, in a rare discovery of a bumper crop of cucumbers— no doubt planted by someone else), and, of course, marjoram.
After hauling out all of the garbage that this cleaning spree had generated, it occurred to me that if I had saved the jarred peaches I could have made a mean peach meringue pie. How do you think that would have tasted with a little marjoram sprinkled on top?