Horror vacui

mydirtyfridge

Last weekend, my husband went to grab apple in our fridge.  How long the bag of apples had been in there, God only knows. The apple disintegrated into squishy mush in his hand.

It really was disgusting in a funny way.

“Don’t think you’d better eat that one sweetie,” said an inappropriately smirking AGMA.

He decides to eat an apple about four times a year.  He’s into moderation.  Not to whine, but it’s really hard for me – the primary grocery shopper in the family – to anticipate if this will be “the week” of the quarterly pomme feast so I can have a non-squishy supply on hand.  Mind reading is a skill he seems to think I possess in relation to his upcoming culinary hankerings.  I don’t.

But it’s not all his fault.

The AGMA refrigerator is where food goes to die.

Refrigerators are supposed to extend the life of food products that are of a somewhat temperamental disposition.  The problem is that they don’t extend the food’s life quite long enough.  All I need is a few more days.  Or weeks.  Or months.

Oh, and the other problem is that the refrigerators we have in the U.S. are the size of a 1955 Buick Roadmaster.

Europeans don’t have fridges nearly that big.  They create these amazing feasts out of little refrigerators just a tad bigger than the ones we put in kid’s college dorm rooms. Show offs…  Truth is, a smaller size discourages food hoarding, unrealistic culinary fantasies and “bargain” in-bulk shopping.  But where’s the fun in that?

Think of it – the human race will always fill up empty spaces.  Basements, attics, kitchen junk drawers, car consoles…  It’s some sort of scientific law of nature.

Horror vacui = Nature abhors a vaccum.  And an empty fridge.

The bigger the fridge, the greater the vacui that needs filling.

And I do.  With all kinds of really useful, essential food items.  The kale and chard and beet greens that I desperately need when I start making my new healthy diet smoothies next week.  Or three types of cheeses for my next wine and cheese soiree. FYI, I’ve never had a wine and cheese soiree…  Or a 15th different variety of BBQ sauce because the other fourteen just aren’t fun anymore.  Or a 7th different variety of mustard because you simply can’t have too many types of mustard.  You get the picture.

My fridge kind of like the Island of Misfit Toys for perishable food products

Worst is the purge.  A couple of times a year, I purge the fridge.  It’s depressing.  All that food that went in oh so long ago with so much hope, carrying the dreams of so many… Now they’re being pulled and thrown away out looking sad and wilted and sometimes a bit moldy around the edges.  And mushy.  Tragic.

Every time I swear that, this time, after the purge, things will be different.  I’ll use everything I buy within a week.  No more sacrificial carrots or celery forgotten in the bottom vegetable drawer.  No more expired, half used bottles of salad dressing waiting patiently to be remembered behind the fifteen bottles of BBQ sauce.  No more moldy cheese abandon in the cheese drawer because the soiree, yet again, didn’t happen.

Yeah, right.

But things actually have gotten a little better since the last purge.  I’m being a bit more realistic in what and how much I buy.   Sadly, I’ve had to give up my smoothie and soiree dreams.  But if it will save some innocent kale and chard, I’m at peace with it.

And I try to convince my husband to eat out.  As often as we can.  This makes meal planning and food buying/storage a lot less complicated.  Less waste so I’m pretty sure we save $$ in the long run.  Right.

I’ve also started using my freezer more for stuff that can be frozen.  I recognize that this could lead to a potential problem of filling up the freezer with unknown aluminum foil packages.  Confession – I’m not all that great at labeling…

But like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think I’ll think about that tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day.

And the freezer’s only half full.

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33 thoughts on “Horror vacui

  1. We must share a fridge, or a gene or the man in out life or something! There are three of us! Three! One on a special diet, one trying to lose weight and the one who does the cooking (alas not the grocery shopping or the fridge would be worse) who cares nothing for special diets or losing weight *sigh*. I would do the cooking, honest, if he would give me more than 5 mins warning that he’s not *sigh*. The odds of not having to pull 15 things to get one are slum to none :(. Freezer? You’re better off than me. Both are full and the chest freezer is an extra work top/storage area as is the dining room table. Good luck, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know a number of my “empty nester” friends who not only have large refrigerator/freezers but who have an extra fridge and a chest freezer in the garage. Seriously? Horror vacui!

      Sounds like you have some food challenges at your house… I think one reason my step-mother didn’t want to teach me to cook is because she hated it so much and didn’t want to spend one second more in the kitchen than she had to! My dad was uber picky but ate like a horse. And she was always on a diet. And I just wanted food with some flavor (my dad liked everything dry and over-cooked.) So I get it!

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  2. i cook evry day. the most of the i am will eat so diffrent posible evry day avry day a different meal. And so healfy aswell that is the best for us. A littele bit walking and take youre bicekle and go around for just a oure. Youre breafe get evry day better so you can test youre self than too do on a diet you have chance that you are too skinny and you are qwick ill that is not good. Buy fresh food and cook it well so you have learnd from youre mother or father (maybee youre father was cooking evry day). I hope that i can learn from you and you from me. Greatings Saskia Borst

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I caught the gist of your comment, Saskia! The problem is that you folks in the Netherlands are way more healthy than us Americans! You pretty much eat farm to table. We’re getting better, but we still have a long way to go! Still too much fast food and processed GMO foods. Yuck! And I wish I could say I learned to cook from my mother or step-mother, but they didn’t want to bother teaching me how to cook – too messy. 😦 And my father didn’t know how to boil water!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!!

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      • Aginggracefullymyass: Here in the Netherlands are public peaple are whrearly fat there is a programme as obese for reccessary so that whe are it do better is not always truth. But the controle is i think greater for too help those peaple and the can write, to the programme making. But for too skinny peaple is also a programme and bothe of the are ill too fat or too skinny than the make over here a programma to helpe the peaple a lot of better and they have medical understanding. I hope that you see that it is not alone by you in America but over here we have also a lot too do.
        Friendly Greatings Saskia Borst

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aahh, thank you!!! Our fridges might be cousins! Then again, our husbands might be brothers! I always try to anticipate what he might want at any given time. I’m always wrong. Therefore I am always stocked with the most random items that never actually get eaten. I end up throwing out a small nations worth of food every week. I must cut back! Or at least clean out the fridge more often😃

    Liked by 3 people

    • Or go out to eat more often…

      I end up throwing out a small nations worth of food every week. Classic! Me too but I hear the echoes of my mother’s voice saying, “Eat your dinner. Don’t you know there are starving kids in China (or sometimes it was Africa) who have no food.”

      So it’s guilt purging!

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  4. I confess, I am a food hoarder. I get panicky when there are only two jars of mayonnaise and three bags of flour, and fewer than five boxes of cereal in the pantry. I suppose it comes from the years after my dad died (I was 9), and my mom and I lived a very Spartan existence. We had a lot of pancakes with sugar and water syrup for supper. It also partly explains why I’m a sugar freak, and fat. I hate eating out, but I also don’t care much for cooking these days, what with four kids in the house who only want familiar foods that look like pizza, hamburgers, meat loaf, spaghetti, and grilled/fried chicken. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for creativity, so, meh on the cooking. It is easy, though. Don’t have to read recipes and all that nonsense. I try to use up leftovers, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. But, thankfully, fruit gets eaten on a regular basis. So regular that it sometimes seems I just filled the huge bowl on the island, and it’s gone in five minutes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey – as long as you eat it (or somebody in the house does) it’s all good! Yeah – I get the meh factor. Once the nest was empty, that was it for me. I can’t imagine what I would do if my nest got full again like yours! Kudo’s to you SusieQ !

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  5. Don’t kick me but I have a 2nd fridge … for all the kids things.
    However, like you I’m becoming more aware of how much I buy.
    It feels funny buying 4 apples and 2 cucumbers but if thats all that i’ll have that week then thats all that I will buy. I’m a sucker though for a full vegtable drawer. I can stare at it for minutes at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And you actually cook so you need stuff!! Good heavens, you have the name of an eating utensil in your blog name! You can get much more dedicated to cooking than that…

      My problem is that I really don’t want to cook anymore… I’ve become pretty good a faux cooking. And my husband doesn’t care – as long there is food when he gets home from work, he’s happy! Half the time though I don’t have anything fixed. That signals the “Let’s go out to dinner” bell!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I do hoard certain foods –non perishable stuff. Whenever I see a sale it’s: egg white noodles, certain light dry Asian noodles, safflower oil, sundried tomatoes, low sodium soy sauce..Otherwise it’s more expensive or I have to bike out far more often. I hoard on local whole butternut squash in the fall for winter.

    Otherwise I small amounts of fresh food. I think my situation is a bit different because I don’t have a car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Jean, Jean, Jean… What am I going to do with you? You just sound wayyyy to healthy! 🙂 Small amounts of fresh food is definitely the way to go! I really am getting better, but my mind reading skills still haven’t improved.

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  7. Lord. I’m actually envious of the amount of food in your fridge. You ought to see mine. Barren. Like a desert. I think I have a pitcher of koolaid and a carton of eggs in there. Everything else is either in real need of being tossed away or just — empty. Because apparently, nobody in this house knows how to throw things away once they’re done with them. Pft.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so funny… That’s the way it is in my house (except without the empty fridge) My husband is evidently trash adverse when it comes to throwing out anything that spoils on his watch or is empty. I came back from my Ireland trip to find produce in the fridge that was there when I left 2 weeks before. Yuck. What’s up with that?

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