Today is “National Clean Out Your Refrigerator” day.
Seriously. I don’t make this stuff up.
I fully intended to celebrate the holiday in style with green glitter, a Jell-0 salad, and possibly an old “Got Milk?” t-shirt from my breastfeeding days, but I got distracted by the final season of Downton Abbey, and, well, you know.
Better late than never, right? After all, if I wasn’t a procrastinator, my fridge would be all sparkly and organized and I wouldn’t have found myself donning the yellow rubber gloves to tackle this job, now would I?
I began with the top shelf, useful only for items under five inches tall. Spicy 3-pepper hummus, Manuka honey, cottage cheese, jams, jellies, and yogurt, because as much as I hate yogurt, I seem to be unable to not buy it. So, I checked the printed expiration date on the sides of each one, because yogurt tastes exactly the same before, after, and even WAY after it has “gone bad”.
The top shelf also contained seven – SEVEN jars of jalapenos. Why? Apparently to keep the 8 jars of salsa from getting lonely. I must have been planning a Cinco de Mayo party back in June when I discovered that Cinco de Mayo didn’t have anything to do with mayonnaise. Anyway…I combined the half-empty jars, the mostly empty jars, and the one that seemed to have been saved for the juice alone, reducing the jalapeno count to three, but all of the salsas had crusty residue under the lids, so they had to go.
I discovered something on the middle shelf that required a Haz-Mat Team.
I’m pretty certain, at one time, that toxic Tupperware actually contained a half-eaten block of sweetened Philadelphia Cream Cheese surrounded by blackberries. Today, all covered in enough fuzz to be this year’s Chia Pet, it looked more like The Walking Dead in a Snap-n-Seal.
An Italian take-out box dripping with butter had been shoved onto the bottom shelf, and had collided with a carton of eggs, cracking one and overturning some heavy cream and a container of grated parmesan. The result was a petrified Alfredo Sauce strong enough to cement styrofoam containers to plexiglass.
Finally, in the crisper drawers, I discovered my first UFO (the “F” is for Fermenting), which appeared to be both a solid and a liquid in one gelatinous blob, and something that could, quite possibly, be a shrunken head from the Huambisa tribe in the Amazon Basin.
Or an old plum. Hard to tell.
After utilizing an entire bottle of vinegar (because I’m trying to be “green”), an entire roll of Brawny (because I’m not THAT “green”), the shop-vac and the air compressor, the job was complete.
I’m relieved “National Clean Out Your Fridge Day” only comes around once a year.
I’d hate to have to do this every week.