You 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?