Enigmatic Fridge Guests

Maybe your household is among the folks who keep an orderly, up-to-date and sensible collection of foods in your refrigerated storage container.  Apparently, we are not, until I made these observations.  And now, I’m just embarrassed.

There are soy sauce and sweet-n-sour packets, oh and hot mustard, from that take away Chinese food from five years ago.  Speaking of packets, in case we run out of ketchup in the bottle, we kept only about fifty, eight-year-old ketchup packets from fast food places; not counting the twenty-five or so that reside in the car.  Better safe than sorry when it comes to enough ketchup.

We have some hardened mystery-nut-butter that “they” were sure we’d like when they gave it to us at the turn of the millennium.  I didn’t have the heart to throw away a gift.

Pumpkin flavored whipped cream seemed like a great idea at Thanksgiving.  We consumed approximately five dollops of it at Thanksgiving, and it’s May.  Surely, it’s still good.

We kept a miniature bottle of lemon-flavored Perrier, the fancy fizzy water that must feel too fancy to drink when we can drink the store-brand seltzer water in the can.  I guess we’re keeping it for a “special occasion,” whenever that may be.  Somehow, in our household, “special occasions” must not be special enough to merit consuming such items as that bottle of Perrier that has been kept for over a decade, I think.

Twelve raisins in a baggie…. I don’t know, you tell me.

There’s pickled something or other in a jar.  It was a gift and throwing it out just seems ungrateful.

Tucked in one of the door pockets is a jar of some kind of fish paste that has Asian characters on it.  It was also a gift; what were they thinking?  One of my culinary rules is, never make home-made Chinese; leave that one to the professionals.

What was I thinking when I shoved, into the netherworld of the garage-freezer, that leftover pureed canned pumpkin and its partner, gob-filling?  Maybe the justification was that I’d wake up one day and think, “I’m gonna bake three pumpkin gobs today, boy am I glad I kept that pumpkin and filling.”

I still have whole grains, mystery flours, and all manner of seeds that I thought of using in massive quantities, but used a few cups, to make several loaves of artisan breads.  This was maybe twenty years ago when we bought a wonderful bread machine that I now break out of the back of the cupboard once a year to make Finnish cardamom bread and before the low- carb diet that changed my life in 2003.

There’s a pretty designer bottle of homemade Horchata (Mexican rice milk), that I made in order to try a cocktail which I didn’t particularly like.  It still smells really good and looks so pretty in that bottle.  Speaking of pretty, we have some iced cider in a darling gift tin.

Oh, and there are choices of bottled salad dressings, all my husband’s, which stay permanently housed on the bottom shelf of the door.  I’m an olive oil and red wine vinegar gal, myself.

There are maybe two tablespoons in each, Catalina, why? Blue cheese, why? And two different kinds of ranch in bottles, several unopened packets of the really good kind of ranch; several packets of creamy Italian which came with subs; oh, and a dozen packets of mayonnaise which hubby can use if we run out of the good olive oil mayonnaise that we keep on hand.

Also stuffed in the door pockets is: A1 sauce for steaks which we just aren’t fans of, Cajun sauce for seafood which I bought for something a dozen years ago, Hickory seasoning for the salmon dip I make at Christmas time; Turkey broth in a packet which came with the turkey drumsticks which I tried last Christmas; Killer hot sauce which will remain, since we love any and all hot sauce as well as the two miniature bottles of real maple syrup alongside the corn syrup we call, pancake syrup for when hubby makes waffles, quarterly, at best.

Disclaimer, if you were the giver of any one of those food gifts that I mentioned in this column, do not take offense.  In this household we believe in the adage, “it’s the thought that counts.”  So, your gift was received with gratitude and your intent, banked.

Don’t worry, we’ve had a massive clean-out and ensconced a fresh, open box of baking soda to absorb that mystery odor from all of those enigmatic foods, long buried in our refrigerated storage box.  Cheers. – let’s have Perrier!

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