What’s for dinner? Well, what’s left in the fridge?

What do you do with a box of refrigerator rejects: mustard, ketchup, mayo, barbecue sauce, vinegar, blue cheese salad dressing, a jar of crushed basil, another jar of minced garlic, and some salsa?  All of these in various states of use.

I’ve moved many times.  I believe I’m not alone in some generalities: there is a mass of things you move very orderly.  Large items with predetermined destinations in your new place. Labeled boxes of sorted items: kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, storage.   There is another category of things: the boxes of random crap.  Reject items of no real grouping: a bicycle bump along with a lone throw pillow, a bottle of Advil  a belt you haven’t used in 2 decades, Windex  a spare sock found by the dryer, 3 batteries and a cup.  Stuff that for one reason or another didn’t make the cut with the rest of the ordered goods.

Eventually all this finds its way to your new place.  Even the random box.  But what if you have no new place?  I’ve only got a backpack.  If I wind up in Mexico and pull out three batteries, a sock, and some Windex, please revoke my right to travel, clearly I’m doing it wrong.

Even worse this time was the stuff in the fridge.  Normally in a move, as the date approaches you stop buying stuff that has to be refrigerated, try to consume as much of the remnants as possible, and at the end you move a box of orphans from one place to the other.  So it was with me this time.  As the final day approached I ate items from the freezer that were easily over a year old.  Dinner one night was broccoli.  That’s all, just broccoli.  2 bags of frozen broccoli that comes up shriveled, watery, and somehow mysteriously chewy.  Another night a tuna steak that had been in the freezer since time began.  Oh, the sweet zest of freezer burn!

What’s that?  Just throw it out?  Listen up: there are children starving in Africa.  This is good, nutritious food, little mister.  Money was spent on this and now that you are unemployed, well money is going to be pretty scarce, now isn’t it?  Sure, you could go across the street and get a burrito, but you have food RIGHT HERE that needs eating.  So get to it.

So the final meal?  Hold on to your hats, foodies:

– 2 bags of frozen spinach, with flax seed oil and lemon juice.

– 1 jar of pimento stuffed olives

– 1 spoonful of almond butter (one should ensure a bit of protein, no?)

As for the box of orphan condiments mentioned at the beginning of this?  Well, it appears I do have limits.  They joined their freezer friends (a bag of green beans I couldn’t bring myself to eat and the 2nd tuna steak) in the dumpster.

Ultimately I’m left to wonder why I found it so easy to get rid of a couch, TV, clothes, and other major things, yet guilt-wrenching and stress inducing to just say goodbye to a 3 year old half-used bottle of ketchup.  There’s a lesson in here somewhere.  I’m sure the Buddha himself would have some wisdom to confer where he there to share the spinach / flax / lemon juice concoction with me.

7 thoughts on “What’s for dinner? Well, what’s left in the fridge?

  1. When I was helping you move, I noticed a full jar of pickles in the fridge next to the aformentioned condiments. As they are not mentioned above, I’m curious as to thier demise. Were they a snack? Did you drop them off at Jake’s? Did you don Sun God like robes and have naked women throw them at you?

    1. Would you believe: road snacks?

      Pro-tip – digging gherkins out of the bottom of a jar with your finger while careening down the freeway at 70 might be slightly less advised than, say, texting. Or sex. Or hog tying a baby calf while knitting. There should be a PSA is what I’m trying to say.

  2. This reminds me of when I lived on that school bus and didn’t own a freezer. My neighbor had bought me a carton of Ben & Jerry’s–something with chocolate bits and peanut butter–as a get-well present for bashing my forehead with a rusty nail earlier that day (accidentally, mind you). I realized when I got home that any ice cream I didn’t consume that evening would melt and therefore be no good, so dinner that night was Ben & Jerry’s and raw cabbage. Good times.

    1. Perhaps you should have seized the moment by writing to Ben and / or Jerry to explain your brilliant new flavor explosion: chocolate peanut rusty nail bits. You could call it the “Accidental Head Wound”.

  3. 1. With your luck someone in mexico is going to need very clean batteries. This is when you will regret not packing the batteries, sock, and windex.
    2. String beans, and tuna steak (frozen or not), plus condiments = stir fry. You could have spent quality time trying different condiment flavor profiles with like 6 or 7 condiments. No bowls and spoons? That’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity! What’s the best flavor you can get applying condiments to your finger only? Time to start thinking different world traveler.

    Said the jealous guy who will live vicariously through you for as long as you will allow.

Hey, you trippin or what?

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