|It's gonna get gross later, so I thought I'd lead off with something cute like a photo of puppies...or Team Testosterone sleeping in a huddle on the floor the other morning.|
Every spring and fall I dig out this list of what I should do to keep Chez Green Girl humming along like clockwork. I'm the primary tender of this nest, if something breaks, I fix it. If something gets dirty, I clean it. If something wears out, I replace it. Many of you envy this glamorous job because I wear an apron and get to work with power tools, but it's not all sparkle and rainbows. The list is full of nuggets like "clean and store window screens" and "empty and store rain barrels" and "scrub down woodwork."
Since I need to go grocery shopping later today, I decided to embark on the Biannual Fridge Sanitation Event. It's a nasty job, made less horrible if I actually stick to doing it twice a year. Trust me, slacking on the fridge never pays off. You'll soon see why.
While listening to NPR this morning after shooing the kids off to school, I laid newspapers on the floor, emptied the entire works, scrubbed down the shelves and drawers and loaded it up again. Whatever's super gross got thrown out or composted. Rediscovered Tupperware got washed and put back into circulation. I'm glad to report that I've become MUCH better about food waste and the Biannual Fridge Sanitation Event generates a lot less garbage than in years past.
|Check out the bottom bin--no longer a compost bin but a genuine FRESH PRODUCE bin!|
Check out that fridge! Sparkling clean! Clean enough to eat out of!
And here's the pile headed for the compost bin. Now, a lot of that stuff came out of my garden, like that moldy zucchini on the left and that bucket o' beans on the right. The lemon, oranges and apples are the only things I paid good money for at the store so I could put them in the fridge to rot and fester before throwing them away.
What's the deal with the green shopping bag, Green Girl?
Ah, well you should ask. Each fall I take the kids to a local apple orchard and we pick a bunch of fruit. Last November I had this bag of leftover apples sitting on the back porch and they'd become "questionable," a term used for describing food I know might still be okay to eat, but probably won't eat, so I put it back in the fridge until it becomes a mold colony or other comparable lab experiment.
Last November I moved that bag of "questionable" apples from the porch to the bottom bin of the fridge. I had a vague idea of making sauce or a pie with them. Then I ignored the bag until springtime. Sure, I knew it was there, but it became an inconvenience throughout the winter, a dark and horrible place at the bottom of the fridge, tucked into a drawer. During the springtime Biannual Fridge Sanitation Event I opened the bin and promptly shut it. Those apples were still "questionable," I argued while remaining in denial. Perhaps, I thought, those apples will dry out and we can eat them for snacks. And if I let them dry out enough, they won't be a juicy fermenting mess and then I can use that shopping bag again.
Guess what, reader? The produce bin in the bottom of your fridge does NOT operate like a dehydrator. As evidenced in the photograph above, produce will get soft and mushy and grow a powdery (and probably toxic) mold upon its surface if left in the produce bin for a year.
Apple FAIL. I threw that shopping bag is in the garbage (along with some expired cole slaw, a bottle of old BBQ sauce and the remains of a chicken dish I recall making sometime in early June).
The food cycle is nearly complete, however, as Team Testosterone and I have plans to go apple picking next week.
Spill it, reader. One thing you KNOW is fermenting in your fridge right now that you should've thrown out quite a while ago.