A moment of panic, then a wave of nausea, followed by indignant resignation. Yes… it’s time to clean out the refrigerator. The day of dread when all things green and fuzzy lurking in the shadowy back corners of the crisper drawer must be eradicated. The mere mention of this chore brings a flood of tears and “I need to do Math” or “Dad needs me to rotate the tires on the van”. A general hush comes over the household, while they wait to see who will be selected as the refrigerator cleaning assistant.
This may well be the least liked chore in our entire repetoire of chores. It is too horrible to use even as a punishment, being considered cruel and unusual. Each time I manage to whip that overloaded refrigerator back into shape and it gleams and sparkles like new, I vow to never allow it to reach so sordid a condition again. But alas, I live with ….swine. Is that the nice way to say someone is a pig, because I want to be as gentle as I can, but seriously, in the realm of refrigerator encounters, there are some things I just don’t understand.
- What makes a grown man stand in front of the refrigerator, open a container and consume it’s contents and then put the empty container back in the refrigerator? I’m just asking.
- Why would man or beast spill a sticky carbonated beverage on the top shelf, allow it to run off the backside of said shelf, down the back of the refrigerator, onto the second shelf, swirl around the jug of milk and then run off that shelf into the crisper drawer below, finally pooling around an innocent head of cabbage? Why, after witnessing all that carnage, would said man or beast leave it there for Mom to find, after it has solidified into a sticky goo? Really, I want to know the thought process, here.
- If a bag of cheese has a zip-top to keep the cheese from becoming blue-green and hairy, why would someone consciously decide to insert half an onion in the bag with the cheese and throw them, unzipped, into the fridge? It boggles the mind.
- Were they finger-painting in here or are those ketchup, mustard, and chocolate syrup fingerprints?
- Dear Lord, please help me. Did something move back there?
Of course, my favorite guy and the kids can’t take all the blame here. There is always the hermetically sealed container on the bottom shelf, placed there by me in a “waste-not, want-not moment”. After all, someone can have it for lunch tomorrow, or Tuesday or after it has disintegrated into a filmy liquid in the bottom of the bowl. Okay, I don’t really like that container anyway. Just toss it.
I always mean to use all my fresh fruit and vegetables in the order they were purchased — first in, first out. But, good intentions can’t save a fuzzy, gray zucchini. How did that poor guy get past me?
Now see, THIS is a lovely refrigerator. It isn’t mine.
There has to be a better way. There’s going to be a new refrigerator sheriff in town! Seriously though, the cure has got to be routine and education. If I can teach an algebraic equation, then I can teach this, right?
I think the thing to do is to include refrigerator maintenance in the evening dishes routine. As the dishwasher begins his or her task, the young padawan assigned to leftovers and counter wiping, can be taught to check the fridge for spills, drips and obvious signs of spoilage. A Thursday night tossing of old leftovers and some quick reorganization, should have our icebox ready to be loaded with new groceries after shopping on Friday.
Sounds good, right? Pray for me. — lol — I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going and I would love to hear your ideas and tips for keeping the fridge a friendly place.