Monday, November 21, 2011

What's in your ... refrigerator?

A friend of mine is known for coming over to my house, sticking her head in my refrigerator, and asking in a high-pitched voice, "What do you eat? There's nothing here."

My refrigerator is usually fairly empty, but hers was always chock full of stuff. I didn't feel slighted by her comment, as we cook to suit here with minimal leftovers. Fresh meat comes home and goes in the freezer until we need it. Fruit and veges go quickly, so those don't linger about either.

Was she talking about all the sauces, pickles and juices? Not sure, but I have a fridge door of condiments. So, sure there's room in my refrigerator. I don't think its any big deal. Maybe its because I had daughters instead of sons - perhaps less food overall came and went over the transom.

Anyway, to get to the point of the blog, recently I came across someone who said they didn't store their syrup in the fridge, that they used the "ghetto" way of storing it on the pantry shelf. It got me to wondering how many jars of things don't say "refrigerate after opening."

Mini-quiz for the brave: are these things in your fridge or on your shelves: mustard, jelly/jam, syrup, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, catsup, opened soda pops, pitchers of tea, pitchers of water. Feel free to add anything that you don't refrigerate on a routine basis that the rest of us might.

Inquiring minds want to know.

Maggie Toussaint

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  1. Maggie, I have all of the above items in my refridgerator, except for water. I generally drink it right from the tap.

  2. Maggie, you're cracking me up. My refrigerator is stuffed to the brim -- it always is, even though I try really hard to always use those leftovers. With two small kids at home, I always need plenty of snacks within a moment's notice. As far as not refrigerating...I used to keep peanut butter in there, until my dh told me to stop because it tears the bread if its too hard. The pb is now in the pantry. :-)

  3. Very unusual post, Maggie. LOL

    Right now my freezer is so full it hardly close. I cooked for Thanksgiving, and I'm taking the food to Chicago with me. The fridge is relatively empty as I didn't buy anything this week. I hate to leave leftovers when I'm going away. Usually in the fridghe: mustard, jelly/jam, catsup.
    On the shelf: syrup,soy sauce, worchestershire sauce.
    I don't keep: opened soda pops, pitchers of tea, pitchers of water.

  4. I have soy sauce and honey (no syrup) on the shelf. Most of the other stuff is in the fridge. I usually take water from the tap and add ice. When I make a pitcher of tea, I keep it on the counter until the end of the day, then I toss it. I think refrigeration discolors tea and changes its flavor. I also keep peanut butter on the shelf, but alas, I rarely have it here in Italy.

  5. Hi, Maggie! I just moved so this is a very interesting question. Fridge contents: five bottles of water, four cans of Coke, cheese, leftover soup, bag of lettuce, grapes, and condiments of dijon mustard, ketchup, yellow mustard and two little packets of Ranch dressing that came with the pizza on moving day.

    Sadly, it probably won't get much fuller. I also cook and seldom have leftovers.

  6. Sometimes I'm scared to look in my fridge. Hee.

    I don't refrigerate ketchup because it breaks down the lycopene (or whatever that tomato-thing is that fights cancer) or water because I prefer it room temp. Soda gets booted if we need room for the two gallons of milk my husband drinks. Worchestershire sauce is also in the pantry.

  7. How can anybody keep their refrigerator that neat? I mean, there are only two of us in the house these days and I would die before sending a pic of ours. LOL

  8. I'm with you, Pat. George Carlin once did a stand up about the stuff in the fridge, hairy meatcake, pudding that had shrunk away from the edges of the bowl. I think he must have looked in my fridge. LOL

  9. Ours is jam packed right now since we're hosting 8 plus a baby for Thanksgiving. (Fun!) But I don't keep Worchestershire, soy sauce, honey in the fridge. Mustard, jelly, catsup, pickles, olives, ice tea go inside. There's no such thing as an unfinished can of pop here. I meant to clean the shelves before I shopped for the holiday, but it's too late now!

  10. Only in the dead of winter do I stock up. I'm one of those people that shops often and buys a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. I sort of do it week by week. I never buy huge amounts. I also prefer fresh bread and don't stock up on much of the packaged kind. So I guess we have that in common. Have a delicious gobble gobble day!

  11. mustard = fridge,
    jelly/jam = fridge,
    syrup = pantry,
    soy sauce = fridge,
    worchestershire sauce = fridge,
    catsup = either or usually fridge,
    opened soda pops = only by 12oz cans so no open soda,
    pitchers of tea = fridge! When we have it, not supposed to drink it,
    pitchers of water = BLEH but fridge.

  12. I'm enjoying the wonderful refrigerator comments. Here's another point to consider.

    When I went out to do a newspaper interview just now, the guy told me his mom used to keep mayonnaise on the counter. He looked at me, his brows running together in a single line, and said: "How am I not dead?"

    I don't remember mayo being out at my house, but butter was. So were eggs. Kinda scary looking back. There were five of us kids and we lived miles from the nearest store. My mom would do "big" grocery shopping once a week and come home with five loaves of bread. We had to eat them in order, as if delaying opening the last bag would keep it fresher.

    Keep those comments coming!

  13. How about loads of healthy things in my refrigerator, Maggie. More realistically the loads of, being: one green grape, two green grapes,three....and maybe a black one too! my hubby and I fight over whether the mustard should go in, and the ketchup, and the salad dressings, and his Jardine's Texas Champagne sauce that could strip paint from a wall! You maybe get the picture that jars in our fridge are rare! But he NEVER gets to leave my Mayo out!

  14. What a neat fridge! Mine is a bit like yours, Maggie - well, not nearly as neat, ahem, but the fresh stuff comes and goes within days as I need it in the week. Milk, cream, cheese, all the dairy stuff is in the fridge, except for fresh eggs, though stuff with eggs in, like mayo, that's in there. Imagine having one of thoise cyber-fridges that checks what's in your fridge and comes up with tonight's dinner recipe for you - I can't decide if that's weird or wonderful!
    Jam, pickles, soy sauce, vinegars, oils, dried herbs and spices - in the condiments cupboard or out on the worktop to hand if they're used most days. Oh, and fridge door - the kids' collection of Dr Who fridge magnets. ;-)
    My ambition is to have one of those huge 'chef-y' wooden larder cupboards you see on the cooking shows, packed. Mine will have a blackboard on the doors and a supply of coloured chalks for lists and doodling. You can't doodle on a fridge!
    Great fun post, Maggie!

    Jane x

  15. mustard = fridge,
    jelly/jam = fridge,
    syrup = pantry, unless is real maple syrup and then it goes in the fridge
    soy sauce = fridge,
    worchestershire sauce = fridge,
    peanut butter - pantry
    Tea - fridge
    water - from the tap (with a really good whole house filter) and ice
    Soda - in the pantry. My fridge is always overflowing--I look forward to winter when I can use the porch as a fridge in a pinch.

  16. Thanks for the wonderful comments. I find it fascinating that there are so many different refrigerator traditions. Thanks also for the folks who tried to leave comments that emailed me separately after blogger refused to cooperate with them. I never understand the inner workings of blogger, or cyberspace, truthfully, but most of the time, I don't think about it. Just like when I put the key in my car - I expect it to work!

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

  17. Maggie, LOL!! What an awesome refrigerator you have. All my condiments rest on the side doors as well, Sweetie. I have also have: egg nog, leftover gumbo soup, milk, yogurt for the kids, grapes, apples, eggs...and there's the refrigerator in the garage. Thanks for the smiles today.


  18. I don't refrigerate syrups, either. Most of the others on your list I do refrigerate.

    Mine is much more barren than yours. The crispers are full of veggies and fruit, but I only have butter and eggs and applesauce on the top shelf. Bottles of soda on another, and coffee on the bottom. Now and then there is a little container of leftovers as my hubby likes that for lunch as opposed to a sandwich.

  19. Maggie, I don't refrigerate syrup, but most everything else you listed is there. And when I get desperate for space, I'll cram anything into the crispers.

  20. Ooh, Thanksgiving week isn't the best time (or maybe it is) to look in my fridge. I do not put mustard, syrup (except for fruit syrup), soy sauce, worchestershire sauce or catsup in my fridge. I do like to keep Tiger sauce and/or Pickapeppa sauce in my fridge.

    Oh wait, go back to the mustard--yellow in pantry, Dijon in fridge. I also have several kinds of pickles and relishes in the fridge. My crisper contains kale and leeks from the garden--they're all I had room for.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  21. I'm pleased to see more discussion about refrigeration here. Guess I'll have to drag my syrup out of the fridge as most people seem to leave it in their pantry and no one's dropped dead of syrup poisoning yet.

    Looking forward to a blessed holiday with my family, and I hope for the same for you.


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