Thursday, September 18, 2008

keeping it real

One of the blogs I regularly read, "Confessions of a Pioneer Woman", often depicts a snapshot of life's realities-whether it is a sink full of dirty dishes, or piles of laundry waiting their turn in the washing machine. So when you are reading her blog, and wondering how she does it, and how her life sounds so interesting, and how does she homeschool four kids? She lives on a working ranch, and she still finds time to cook and blog? But then you see the pictures, and realize it isn't all pretty sunrises and yummy meals on lovely dishes.

Today I offer my "keeping it real", but you will be glad I don't offer a photo spread:

Every now and then, you just need to clean out the fridge, before you have to call in the haz mat team. Not just throwing away the leftovers that give you pause when you see them (has that really been in there for a week?) but going to the wall. You know, the very back of the fridge. Where all of those things end up that maybe you even forgot you had. And they are rarely treasures, or welcome surprises.

Being an adventurous cook (that's one way to describe it...) I found not one but two opened jars of hoisin sauce. The only dish I regularly use this for is Cashew Chicken, which I may make once a month. So why do I have two jars of it, and how long have they been opened? I hate it when there is no expiration date, and I have to decide. Throw it? Risk it? So then I smell it. ( Like you can tell with hoisin sauce.) Then I remember the mantra "When in doubt, throw it out". But I was a good little green girl, and rinsed out the jars, and put them in the recycling bin.

Did you know that an open jar of Smuckers Currant Jelly will not turn moldy, even if it expired in June of 2007?

But Bush's baked beans, (leftover from some night this summer when we grilled, and I felt I had to serve baked beans with our hamburgers, although apparently I am the only one who ever eats them), will develop fuzzy pillows of mold? Hey Charlie, do you need this for science class?

Perhaps I could conduct some food safety studies for a local food giant. And get paid to keep this stuff in my fridge. And justify why I hang on to the one limp tortilla left in the package. Am I really going to make it into a sandwich, when I can't remember what meal I used the rest of them on?

I feel confident saying that you can now safely eat anything you take out of my fridge. I even went through the bottles of salad dressing on the door. And yes, I went to the wall, so I know it's all good. Who knew my fridge had so much room in it? I may need to go to the grocery store today....

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