My refrigerator is the place where food goes to die. It’s not so much a refrigerator as it is a food morgue. Inside are things that look like they’ve been in there since my bar mitzvah. The “bodies” of the decomposed generally stay there until they can no longer be identified and are then laid to rest en masse in a tall kitchen bag.
It all starts when I buy food I like, and ends with me chucking it, uneaten, into a dumpster. Why this happens, I don’t know. It just does. Some would think I’m wasting food and money. I prefer to think of it as creating job security in the waste management industry.
Refrigeration, as we all know, keeps food fresher longer by slowing down the decaying process. Yet there are certain foods that don’t fully adhere to that. Like bags of ready-to-eat salad. On paper, it looks like a brilliant idea. Want to make salad for a family of four? Open a couple of bags, add some dressing and you’re done. The ultimate in healthy convenience. No more filling your shopping cart with lettuce, celery, carrots and other individual fresh veggies. No more spending time chopping, grating, slicing and dicing. No more driving to the emergency room for stitches. That alone saves me thousands of dollars a year.
The flip side to all this convenience is salad with an expiration date in minutes. Open the bag and it’s like watching a time-lapse movie. Within seconds, the beautiful crisp, colorful veggies that enticed you to buy, start to wilt until they’re brown and have the consistency of pond scum. Funny how they didn’t put that picture on the bag. That’s why the first thing you should do when you get home from food shopping is throw out the salad. Then you won’t have to worry if the salad will last til dinner. Who needs that kind of pressure?
As quickly as a bag of salad disintegrates, other foods in my refrigerator seem naturally immune to decomposition. These are the staples like butter, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. Technically, these aren’t really food. They’re food-esque. Quasi-foods. If you were lost in the woods I seriously doubt you’d want to survive on just butter, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. Eating one or any combination of the four just to stay alive doesn’t seem worth it. However, take those same four items, deep fry them and you can make a fortune at a county fair.
Something else that seems to last forever in the fridge is grape jelly. I’ve got a jar in there that doesn’t even have an expiration date on it. Well, it may. I just can’t tell. Three years ago something leaked nearby and now the damn thing is welded to the door shelf.
What I can’t understand is why I have grape jelly in the house in the first place. I can’t eat peanut butter so what’s the point in even buying it? What purpose could it possibly have other than to be one-half of a classic sandwich? I mean, really. How many recipes require grape jelly as an ingredient?
So what’s the take-away from all this? Now you know why I’m still single.
Til next Tuesday…
An apple a day keeps the doctor away especially if you throw one at him.