What’s in your fridge?

fridge 3You can really tell a lot about a person by what’s in their refridgerator. When you meet new people and go to their house for the first time, don’t bother snooping in the medicine cabinet, open their fridge. The contents of a person’s fridge can be indicative of what’s going on in their noggin. I’m telling you, this is true!

When I see someone with an empty fridge, my first assumption is that the person is not that into food. I mean, not everyone is a foodie, right? But we all have to eat. So, maybe this person is not a cook and they eat a lot of prepared foods and canned foods and only cook enough for one meal at a time. Then I begin to wonder if this person is extremely frugal and just doesn’t buy food. Or maybe this person eats out a lot or eats mostly fast food. Even more frightening is the prospect that this person is festidiously clean, a real neatness fanatic, the kind of neurotic and compulsive person who can hear a dirty spoon hit the sink from ten blocks away and will rush home to wash it. That could be a real horror show.

On the other side of EFS, Empty Fridge Syndrome, is the person whose fridge is so bulging with leftovers and castaways that as soon as the door opens, half eaten yogurt containers and bags of mushy grapes come tumbling out onto the floor. Have you ever opened someone’s fridge and your breath catches in your throat? It’s so full that the light won’t come on because there is kitchen detritus jammed up against the little button. This person quite possibly hasn’t seen the back of their refridgerator in months, if not years. A cluttered fridge is the sign of a cluttered mind.

The condition of a person’s fridge raises important questions about who they are, what they eat, what they buy and why.

I think part of the success or failure of many relationships revolves around the unspoken rules of the refridgerator. You don’t really know someone until you share a fridge with them. As people get to know each other, the ephemeral fridge boundaries are pushed and tempers can quickly become enflamed over who ate the last peach or who put an empty milk carton back in the ice box. It’s a bizarre dynamic and a fascinating study in human behavior that a houshold appliance can bring out those hidden personality traits that cause us to question the viability of our relationships. Weird, wild, whacky stuff.

My refridgerator is a curiosity shop. There are certain items that are always in there, even though I don’t use them too frequently. I always have a jar of Mrs. Fannings bread & butter pickles. I love them on hamburgers and the occassional egg salad sandwich, but I don’t eat them all the time. That jar can last more than a year, but my fridge just feels naked without them. I also keep a jar of rendered chicken fat in there. Again, I very rarely use it, but my mother had chicken fat in her fridge and so did my grandmother. So, I feel it is my responsibility to carry that family tradition forward. It’s in my genes to have chicken fat in the fridge.

I am also known among friends and family for my ability to cultivate science projects in the back of my fridge. I hate to throw any food items out, so I save small amounts of gravy, salads, sauces and stuff that I think I’ll find a way to utilize in some future dish. Alas, my honorable intentions are rarey fulfilled and these small items end up morphing in the back of the fridge. I have found containers of leftover veggies whose molecular structure has broken down and reformed into something entirely different. What started out as broccolli ended up as a beenie baby. I have opened tupperware containers and was unable to ascertain what the original occupant was. Sometimes it’s a little difficult to see through the layer of fur that has grown accross the top. I have thrown entire containers away because there is no amount of washing that would ever deliver them from the hell they were living through in the back of my fridge. My best friend recalls with great detail a fridge cleaning episode that resulted in her having to flush solid milk down the toilet. This behavior drives my husband crazy, so I have gotten a little better. But my good intentions still drive me to make bad food preservation decisions from time to time.

So, what’s in your fridge right now?


About radioabby

I'm a broadcast professional and home cook who loves music, travel and exploring unique, distinctive things, places and ideas. I love to cook, discover new flavors and improvise in the kitchen.
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6 Responses to What’s in your fridge?

  1. jen boyd says:

    right now my frig has beer, v-8 fusion, gingerale, left over pasta and dead salad makings….what does that say about me….i think i’ve grown because i do have a few science projects now…i still remember the days of only mayo and diet coke….

  2. Marguerite says:

    It’s the end of the week, so the fridge is a bit bare. But generally you can always find skim milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, salad greens, eggs, carrots, Parmesan cheese (not in a can!) and a couple of tupperware containers with the stuff I’ve cooked up over the weekend to heat up for dinner during the week. I have 5 half liter bottles of seltzer water and 3 half liter bottles of tonic because I keep forgetting I have any at all and pick up an extra one at the store. I also have four bottles of infused vinegars I made over (the best — fig w/spices). Went on an infusion tear this summer. Lots of vinegars left but, strangely, only half a bottle of the vodkas remains…

  3. deb says:

    Lots of bad stuff. Beer, wine, soda, margarita mix. Bacon, sausage, ham, salami. Cheddar, mozzarella, provolone, cheese sticks. Choc and white milk. no veggie or fruit 😦
    it’s a meat, cheese and booze house.

  4. Joan says:

    You also caught me on shopping day….
    So right now mine has:
    1/2 gal skim milk,eggs,un-salted butter,cheddar cheese,laughing cow cheese,Parmesean,Brummel&Brown,turkey bacon,jalapenos,green peppers,celery,cabbage(for tonights corned beef dinner)dill pickle slices, V-8,wine,coffee creamer,natural peanut butter,grape jelly,mayo,lots of open salad dresings,salsa,wine and Pina Colatta mix.
    Are you prepared to analyize these submissions?

  5. Beth says:

    Tupperware, lots of it- a big one with honest kitchen dog slop for Ella’s dinner, leftovers (big ass scarlet runner heirloom beans w/shitaake, okra/corn/tomato mix),
    -fresh eggs just dropped from the chickens and a bunch of veggies from our weekly CSA Farm box (beets, bok choy, serranos, butternut, coffeemate french vanilla, soymilk (lisa thinks she’s lactose intolerant- I’ve just been blaming it o the dog), milk, leftover fancy cheeses and quince paste from a pre-dinner party, mexican cokes, unopened diced pancetta, butter, a smattering of beers, but mostly PBR-really, half a bottle of sake from some recipe, half a container of veggie broth, a variety of condiments, including far too much tahini (used in making baba ganush, but now what to do with it), brita water container. Unfortunately, this fridge is void of schmaltz, but we still have the schmaltz you made us in Truckee!

    Not any experiments- fridge is smallish, so every Sunday nite, we go thru b/c garbage day is early Mon a.m.- and well, SF is now composting everything….

  6. Lisa says:

    Our fridge is the “Tale of Two Diets” – Billy is an omnivorous and frugal 56 year old Italian and French Canadian MAN and I am a 49 year old flexitarian portion control freak FEMALE with an extravagant bent that manifests in samples from the natural foods and gourmet sections. This week we have: whole wheat pastry flour, a jar of organic sauerkraut (that I bought 2 weeks ago only because I liked the jar and want to start sprouting seeds and grains again and thought the jar would help inspire me…the jar is half full of kraut, still…I don’t even like sauerkraut that much!), Stonyfield 2% milk (Bill), 2 % cottage cheese (both of us), Sam’s Club pesto (Bill’s – I don’t like that brand; prefer Pastene if it *has* to be store-bought), single portion Stonyfield fruit-on-the-bottom yogurts (Billy), butter, very old cans of V-8, 3 18 packs of eggs (me – I eat about 1/2 dozen whites a day….), about 10 lbs. cooked chicken (both of us, although I tend to eat most of it), shaved ham and shaved turkey (Billy’s…I won’t eat it – too much sodium and who knows what else) – 1/2 a cooked (previously frozen) DiGiorno pizza (Billy’s!) tubs of cooked steel cut oats and cooked whole spelt (me), cooked sweet potato (both of us), onions, mushrooms, cucumbers, apples, pears, grapes, cooked acorn squash, (both of us, but mostly me – especially the cucumbers, onions and mushrooms as they are “free” foods…don’t even ask….) several kinds of mustard (pub-style whole grain, dijon, hot-n-spicy, horseradish), ketchup, sesame seeds, bee pollen (me – I had to peel the price tag off of it so Billy wouldn’t see and then I stopped taking it after, like, a week…I really should either just eat it or get rid of it…), a big braid of garlic (both of us), squeeze mayonnaise (BILLY!), flavored seltzer (Billy), sunflower seeds (me), sesame oil (Billy got that one…) flax oil and Udo’s Choice 3-6-9 oil (me), Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce (but why do we refrigerate it? – probably not necessary to do that), cruet of home-assembled Good Seasons type, but Hannaford brand (because it’s much cheaper) Italian salad dressing (Billy), a container of sun-dried tomatoes – not in oil, so, again ,why do we refrigerate it? (both of us), Wish Bone brand balsamic vinegar salad dressing (both of us, but mostly Billy), big size (from Sam’s Club) grated parmesan (Billy), a hunk of Asiago (Billy!), a jar of Crofter’s strawberry jam (mine, but I only had about 1/4 cup on a “treat” day and it’s been sitting for several months now – I should just ask Bill if he wants it…I “hoard” treats such as that, saying “don’t eat my jam”…total control issues! It’s just a shame….Oh, and we have his-n-hers peanut butter – Teddy brand – mine’s chunky; his is smooth…..

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