Horror vacui


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.