The Fridges of our Lives

Ah, it seems there was just a glitch with our internet server: things are fine and dandy today. I’ve uploaded the pictures, and you can now click below to behold the splendor of reader fridges: namely those of Harry, Veronica, Terrance, and Delilah. Thanks, kind readers, for baring your fridges to us all!

The Fridge of Harry

Now my fridge isn’t what you call the average Israeli refrigerator. I am originally from New York so there are some American staples that my wife and I simply cannot do without. Up until a few years ago, ex-pats could only get any American products when the supermarkets would have “America Week” during the summer. “America Week” wasn’t all that wonderful either considering most of the products were Shop Rite brand. Thankfully, the supermarkets are top notch these days and anything that you can’t find in there you can get at a specialty shop.

Anyway, on to my fridge! Since I am located in Israel and we do indeed read Hebrew here so let’s start from right to left.

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On the top shelf we have some butter that probably needs to be thrown away, my wife’s beloved Hershey’s syrup, milk, Aunt Jemima syrup, an Israeli lager called Goldstar, and a vat of orange juice. Hiding behind the OJ is a carton of cherry juice (sweet and tart! It’s the nectar of the gods!) and another bottle of milk that is most likely spoiled. Yuck!

We start off our tour of the second shelf with an item that Israel is famous for – chocolate milk in a bag. What? You thought Israel was famous for targeted assassinations of  Hamas members? For being the home of three of the worlds religions?

The proper way to drink bagged chocolate milk is to tear a hole with your teeth in the corner and then suck that baby dry. That sounds gross. Adults drink bagged “shoco” as well, which makes this country pretty infantile. Behind the bags of chocolate milk is “techina,” or as Americans call it – tehini paste. It’s a wonderful staple to have for salad dressings, making hummous and making a kick ass sauce for kebabs. All you need to do is add some lemon juice and water and you are all set. Next up we have Helmans mayonnaise, mustard, garlic and cream. I like mayonnaise. So there.  Oh! And there is also a “milkie” hiding there. “Milkie” is chocolate pudding with whipped cream on it. I think that one has been sitting there since March. Double yuck!

On the next shelf we have eggs, locally grown cherries, a bottle of an alcoholic malt beverage called ‘Hooch” (I bought it because I liked the concept of drinking hooch), two Tupperware containers of homemade BBQ sauce (the BBQ Bible is indispensable for all your grill needs) and more bottles of Goldstar beer.

 On the bottom shelf we have cherry tomatoes, hoomoos, apple cobbler (I was inspired by this site to make it!), apricots, peaches and home grilled peppers and Portobello mushrooms from a BBQ we had last week. The baskets on the bottom have rotting veggies. My wife has been away for a week and I’m not as skilled as she is in Refrigerator maintenance.

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Since this is way too long already I am going to point out only a couple of things on the side shelves. Horseradish, Molasses, some salad dressings, jams, Thai fish sauce which I only use for Thai curry and my one of my greatest discovery ever which is a staple in most English households – Branston Pickle. It’s a sweet relish of sort. I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be eaten but I enjoy it on sandwiches and with cheese. Lest I forget to mention the four opened packages of butter and the delicious Mint Lemonade which is refreshing on a hot middle eastern day. But not as thirst quenching as the hooch.

[Check out Harry’s blog! The View from Here.]

The Fridge of Veronica

In the main part of the fridge, you’ll first notice

some lovely purple Tupperware. I went a little

overboard on the Tupperware, I own a truly ridiculous

amount of Tupperware. When I cook, I like to put a

one-meal sized portion away rather than put everything

away in a larger container. That way grabbing a quick

serving to heart up is easy. Also it makes use of my

ridiculous collection of small purple Tupperware

containers. Some of the containers have a mix of Cuban

saffron rice and black beans, which I made. The other

ones have horta, a Greek steamed chard and spinach

dish which I also made. Then you’ll see my cottage

cheese. The larger Tupperware is a mixed chopped

salad. I make that at the beginning of the week and

then I have salad ready to go anytime. I don’t add

tomatoes though, those get mushy in the fridge and go

in last-minute. Top shelf of fridge has wet catfood as

per feline request.

In the fridge door I keep the usual stuff, condiments,

yogurt, three bean blend (for the salads), salad

dressing, beer, and LOTS of sparkling water and fruit

drinks. Usually there is Coke too, but I just finished

a bottle. Notice the 2 cats pondering the suspicious

absence of Coke.

The freezer is the mother lode of awesome stuff from

Trader Joe’s (I love that store). 2 bags of frozen

fruit (peaches and a berry blend) which are good for

snacking. Frozen veggie meatballs (SO GOOD!), a

container of frozen artichoke tortellini, and a

plastic bottle with ice in it so that I can have cold

water when I am riding.

That’s it, my boring, basically empty fridge.

The Fridge of Terrance

So you want to know what’s in my fridge, huh?

I wasn’t sure, at first, that this was an adventure I wanted to take. My fridge can be a frightening place. Well, it used to be before I met my partner–the man who checks the expiration date on bread. I didn’t even know bread had an expiration date. Before him, I would leave stuff in the fridge until it started smell, grew fur, or growled at me when I open the door in the morning. But no more. So, in we go.

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Let’s see. There’s a lot of stuff in here I’m responsible for. The big bottle of lemon juice, for starters. See, I’m a Diet Coke addict. Recently, they’ve come out with Diet Coke with Lemon and Diet Coke with Lime. But I switch to decaf in the evening. So know I’m spiking my Caffeine Free Diet Coke with Lemon Juice. The spicy mustard is the hubby’s. The shredded Italian cheese blend is for when I make Italian, or when we have pizza. Behind the mustard and the cheese, we have maple syrup from Trader Joe’s (love that place). Beside that is the hubby’s soda water. Then there’s he usual condiments; mayo (mine), ketchup (or catsup).  Next shelf down is the sour cream; again, the hubby’s. I never could stand the stuff. Behind that is a jar of hamburger pickles, and behind that hamburger buns. (I use both on veggie burgers). We’ve got peanut butter. Peanut butter in the fridge? Well, yes. In an effort to be just a little healthier, we’re opting for a peanut butter without hydrogenated fat. So, it has to be refrigerated. Behind that is a jar of hoisin sauce that we got when we had Chinese dumplings (vegetable, of course) Moving right, there’s a huge bottle of grape jelly, because pb&j is a regular quick meal in our house. In front of that, the hubby’s jar of blackberry jam, with seeds. He likes the seeds. I don’t. We have a dozen eggs, and some Yo Baby yogurt, banana and vanilla, for the kid.

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Going down. There’s bread. Just bread. The spaghetti sauce is mine, Whole Foods 365 brand, sun dried tomato pesto flavor. It’s for my quick Italian meals. Behind that, more mayo (what is it with mayo in our house?), and a jar of Vegenaise, soy mayo. The tuppeware container is mine, and it contains vegetarian hot dogs, Morningstar Farms brand. I find it to be the best tasting vegetarian hot dog brand. In the deli drawer we have mozzerella cheese, the hubby’s (beef) hot dogs, American cheese (for the kid’s grilled cheese sandwiches), and some vegetarian Italian sausages (mine). The crisper drawer contains two apples, a bag of black seedless grapes, and a bulb of garlic. That last drawer at the bottom is typically empty.

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On to the door, starting at the top, we have soy margarine that I bought to make a recipe from The Grit Cookbook, from the Grit restaurant in Athens, GA, where I went to school. I wanted to make their “Golden Bowl” and required the margarine for the “Grit  Yeast Gravy.” I can’t remember when that was, and we should probably throw the margarine out. Then there’s the butter. We usually buy unsalted, which is weird for me because I grew up using salted butter. further down, we have soy sauce, brown miso (mine, because I like a hot cup of miso soup now and again). Tucked behind that is a shaker of “Butter Buds” for popcorn. Next to that, a bottle of oyster sauce, and beside that more butter. Just below is the obligatory box of baking soda to keep the fridge smelling fresh, and more eggs which must have been left over from something.

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Good Lord, we have a lot in our fridge. But I’m not complaining. Quick rundown. another bottle of oyster sauce, a bottle of teriyaki sauce, the hubby’s bottle of Catalina salad dressing (which he used to make a delicious orange tofu). The container of half and half, and the heavy cream next to it are left over from a brunch we had, at which we served the most evil baked French toast from Food TV’s Paula Dean. Behind the cream is my bottle of vegetarian worchestershire sauce,and beside McCormick’s Mesquite Barbecue Sauce. And on the bottom shelf, Caffeine Free Diet Coke (mine), Diet Coke with Lime (mine), and orange juice (hubby’s).

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OK. This is where I start getting embarrassed. We are such freezer queens. But that’s what happens when you get two working parents in one house. Dinner is what you can get from the freezer to the microwave and/or stove top. The top two shelves are my territory. There we will find and open box of Garden Burgers. They’re actually not for me. I feed them to the kid for a quick snack. Below that, a frozen dinner of angel hair pasta and marinara  that will be going to work with me, as my lunch. And moving right is a box of Boca Burger Bratwurst. I’ve never had a real bratwurst (vegetarian for 10+ years), so they taste pretty good to me. I’ve had their Italian variety too, which were good. Boca also makes a smoked sausage, which I think is only sold in southern markets, because I can’t find it anywhere around D.C. Next shelf down, more Garden Burger products; riblets on the bottom and barbecued chicken on the top. In the back, Boca Burgers, a Lean Cuisine (vegetable eggroll, which was my lunch today), and frozen cheese ravioli. Off to the side, a box of Morningstar Farms “Chicken” nuggets, and a frozen veggie lasagna. The next shelf down is the hubby’s and I stay out of it, since it mostly dead animals. The 4 cheese pizza on the bottom is the exception. That will be a family dinner later this week, with mushrooms and black olives.

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Again, more stuff for the hubby. The only things I bother with are the bag of fries on the front of the top drawer, and the ice cream (Edy’s non-fat praline caramel crunch). On the door, some old, whole bean coffee that needs throwing out. There’s nothing else on the door.

So there you have it, Adam. A tip-toe through my fridge. Actually, it wasn’t as frightening a trip as I’d anticipated. Now I’m going to go toss one or two of the items above, now that I realize how long they’ve been there.

Bon Apetit.

The Fridge of Delilah

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Per your heartfelt request… a picture of the contents of my

fridge…

I’m only feeding myself, so the fridge is quite bare. Actually, a

friend saw the inside of my fridge once and was quite

disturbed as to it’s

minimal contents. But, I usually just shop for what I need,

and consume it right away. Who wants a bunch of rotting

food cluttering up the shelves? My mom’s fridge was always

full of rotting stuff. And the fridge at my dad’s holds lots of

leftovers, only they are all stored in Pavel’s yogurt containers,

so you have to open them up, one by one, to get what you

are looking for. I should ask him to send you a picture, it’s

kinda funny.

Anyway, back to the contents of *my* fridge:

Starting at the top, left to right:

tofu! cream for coffee! cheese!

strawberry yogurt! (a tupperware container of cooked kasha

hides behind the yogurt). eggs! juice!

on top of the veggie drawer, a lemon and an onion.

The door contains the usual assortment of condiments:

butter, spicy

mustard, ketchup, mayo (had to face my fears to make

california rolls), wasabi, and leftover liquer. Peach liquer from

making peach, cranberry juice, sprite cocktails. And the

freezer is empty.

Happy studying!

I’ll try to send in some traditional Ukrainian recipes to share…

Delilah

Thanks everyone! Great work!

6 comments

  1. Did my pictures not come through? Anyhow, I loved reading about all these multicultural fridges ;)

  2. There is a dissertation in here somewhere – fridges and mothers, fridges as matrix of relationships, fridges as political statements, fridges as secret sources of food pleasure. My expired milk takes on a whole new dimension (and it already exists in about four) when viewed as a metaphor of my relationship with mom (aka Queen Jane).

  3. I have a question for all those with fridges. Does peanut butter (the normal kind, not Terrance’s natural variety) go in your fridge or not? In my family, it never did, but in my roommate’s and my boyfriend’s, the answer is yes. Am I not properly storing my pb, or are they abnormal freaks (my suspicion)?

    Also, thanks Terrance, for veggie products suggestions. I am currently addicted to Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burgers, and want to try some more varieties.

  4. In my house growing up, we never put peanut butter, ketchup, or mustard in the refrigerator. My husband puts all three in the fridge and it annoys me. I don’t like cold ketchup on my French fries and cold peanut butter can rip up a piece of bread. In general, I don’t like cold food. I am one of those odd ducks who doesn’t refrigerate my restaurant leftovers. I leave them on the stove and eat them for breakfast the next day. If I don’t have them for breakfast, then I just throw them out to avoid getting sick.

  5. My understanding is that the peanut butter that has hydrogenated fats in it (a/k/a the normal kind) does not need to be refridgerated. The kind we have, without the hydrogenated fats, has to be refrigerated because (I think) it will go rancid if it’s not refridgerated after opening. Also putting it in the fridge after opening it and stirring it up keeps it from separating again.

  6. Hey Harry, if you want your fridge to smell good stay cooler and get rid of the odor and excess moisture, do I have a product for you and your fridge. Your wife will love you for this one. This is a refrigertor filter that is 100% all natural, non-toxic and environmentlly safe. It saves money and extends the life of you food. Check out my website.

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