July 30, 2006
Happy Holidays...

condies.jpgI am totally my mother's daughter.

Whenever I visit my her in Illinois, I go through her refrigerator, sniffing at the out of date cheese, cold cuts and condiments. "Mom, you mind if I toss this mustard that is two years out of date?" And I roll my eyes when I talk with my siblings about the dangers of eating out of Mom's fridge.

And my mine? Pristine, full of fresh ingredients and condiments that are well within their date? Of course not! It's easy to be judgemental with someone else's refrigerator contents, but it takes vigilance to deal with one's own cupboard of poisons. I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to chutneys. And because the Critic has a reputation for loving hot mustard and spicy sauces, we get a lot of those as gifts. And then there is my generous Midwestern family, who see that I am more than amply stocked in jams and jellies. I have a complete shelf in the fridge devoted to condiments and jams and that isn't nearly enough: they spill onto other shelves and into the door. And they go out of date.

By the time you read this, I'll either be in the US or on my way there. Two glorious weeks of holiday, sitting by my mother's pool or simply basking in her air conditioning. And then a beach holiday in Cornwall, at a delightfully named village called "Frogpool". Because of the five week holidays, we had to find a cat-sitter. Through the bulletin board at work, I found someone who is taking up duties in Paris in August and needs a place to stay while looking for a flat for his family. He is a cat lover and garden lover in need of an apartment; we are cat and garden owners in need of someone to look after them. A perfect match.

In fact, it's like having a house guest over, but worse. He's going to use the fridge. He's going to see those out of date chutneys and the withering strands of onion leaves in the cooler bin. He's going to see the stacks of books in every room, spilling off of tables, piano and anything that doesn't move. He's going to wonder what exactly that cheese I left in the cheese bin is doing walking all over the kitchen table.

So I had to do a little summer cleaning. These two were the ones that didn't fit in the dishwasher. If you could read the dates, you'd see January 2006 on the left and April 2005 on the right. They are gone, emptied, washed and sent to the recycling bin. Now I just need to attack the cheeses...

Posted by Meg in Sussex at July 30, 2006 5:09 PM Print-friendly version

So nice to know someone else is guilty of the same hoarding habits. And cannot face up to making decisions about keeping the offending stuff or chucking it OUT.
My family is now allowed to clean the fridge up and remove suspicious looking food without referring to me.
I am just so grateful to have it all empty- so I can begin to fill it up again.

Posted by deccanheffalump on July 31, 2006 at 3:48 AM

Aww shucks, Meg. You think Jan 2006 is sinful? Come on, that is child's play! TEE HEE.

Posted by Lu on July 31, 2006 at 10:05 PM

I have been living with Mom the past couple of months and have been throwing out food well past 6 years old. One packet of beignet mix has been with us so long it was like a member of the family! She says I can toss but only when she is gone so she doesn't have to see the carnage. My siblings have rejoiced over this development because they were all too scared to eat it or throw it away! It is much easier when it's not your own. :)

Posted by charlie on August 3, 2006 at 4:11 PM
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