What’s In My Fridge?

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Looking into a person’s refrigerator is like looking into their soul. What will you see when you open the door? Will you like what you see there? Will its emptiness betray an emptiness of spirit? Or will there be goblins like that scene in Ghostbusters with Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver?

A long time ago when I lived in Atlanta with my friend Lauren, I showed you the contents of my fridge. Looking back on that post now, I feel like I’m looking at the soul of a different person. Our fridges change as we change and now that I’ve been food blogging for almost five years (“lord have mercy!”) it’s time to peek in again and see how I’m different. Are you ready? Here we go….

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Why what’s that we have there? That’s the lasagna I made for Craig’s parents when they came last week. It’s, of course, a Barefoot Contessa recipe–her lasagna with turkey sausage from her Family Style book. Of course, I swapped the turkey sausage for real sausage and it was that much more decadent. A big hit that Craig will be having for dinner tonight, even though it’s a week old. (He’ll heat it up in a pot because we don’t have a microwave. I think that’s funny.)

There’s a bottle of wine from last night’s dinner. I made my famous roast chicken with potatoes and served a Macon-Lugny Chardonnay from France (don’t worry, I didn’t memorize that: I just went into the fridge to read the label.) It was minerally and light; I’d prefer a more robust Chardonnay next time.

You’ll see a beer left from the six-pack we bought a few days ago for company. The beer is resting on anchovies that I use to make various sauces and salad dressings. Next to it is Crisco which I haven’t used since last summer when I made pie. On top of that is creme fraiche that I bought from Key Foods and that isn’t really that good (I much prefer the Ronnybrook brand I can get at Union Market). Next to that you’ll see mayo which I rarely use and next to that the Lingonberry jam from Ikea that’s just ok. And then, of course, our Brita filter.

Let’s look at the top shelf:

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The top shelf is where things get a little crazier. There are lots of egg cartons, mostly because Barefoot Contessa recipes require extra-large eggs so I have the eggs I bought for her souffle and then just a random scramble (pun intended) of other eggs I’ve purchased over the last few weeks. I see Lolita’s canned cat food which I give her in small portions every now and then. I see cherry tomatoes that I need to throw out. I see a bottle of horseradish I used in the smoked salmon spread that you see in that checkered bowl. There’s sour cream and the milk Craig’s parents bought. There’s grainy mustard we like to eat with our chicken. There’s black currant mustard I bought at the Italian import store at the Chelsea Market, but I haven’t tried it yet. There’s more anchovies from the Caesar I made with the lasagna. There’s thyme from the chicken. And in the very back left pancetta that I also bought from the Italian import store.

Now let’s look in the side door of the fridge:

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Oh no, I’m almost out of butter! (I buy big blocks of four sticks and go through them like water.) There’s cheese wrapped in plastic for grating on pasta; there’s cream cheese from 8 million years ago that I should throw out. There’s hot sauce and mustard and I see my baking soda and more anchovies and a carton of sun-dried tomatoes that I should also throw out.

And that, my friends, is the inside of your fridge. Do you feel like you know me better? Are you scared by what you’ve seen? Do you dare show us the inside of YOUR refrigerator? If you do, write a post and link to it in the comments.

From my fridge to yours,

The A.G.

42 comments

  1. I LOVE that at least three of the things you mentioned had the caveat “which I should probably/have to throw out.” I’m always doing that. This past semester every couple of weeks my roommates would look into the fridge and yell that I had something else that needed to be trashed. Other than that, your fridge puts my aforementioned fridge to shame.

  2. Just curious.

    Is there a certain brand of anchovies that make the Caesar dressing better tasting?

    Reminds me of my college days.

  3. I just cleaned my fridge out and it was a bit shameful what I had to get rid of – a bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s from perhaps 5 years ago, a jar of preserved lemons that were just starting to turn green and, some what I believe were sundried tomatoes, but can’t be sure.

  4. oh, sweet mother of pearl. i want to come organize that and arrange it. good food choices though. except your tomatoes will taste better out of the fridge…..

    on the other hand , mine might be organized but i’m sure it has a half lemon in the back, chicken parmesan that no one is going to finish, some limoncello i need to polish off, and a ranch dressing bottle my kids put back empty.

  5. oh, sweet mother of pearl. i want to come organize that and arrange it. good food choices though. except your tomatoes will taste better out of the fridge…..

    on the other hand , mine might be organized but i’m sure it has a half lemon in the back, chicken parmesan that no one is going to finish, some limoncello i need to polish off, and a ranch dressing bottle my kids put back empty.

  6. I would go crazy, if I had stuff haphazard like that…. It would absolutely drive me crazy. And I too am wondering where your fresh fruits/vegetables are?

  7. My fridge is absolutely terrifying, but I swear it’s not my fault. It doesn’t chill to the right extent, so I have all my stuff crammed into a crisper (fresh vegetables, yoghurt, and cheese, basically) except for the things that don’t fit (half consumed bottle of wine, container holding onion skins, carrot tops, etc. for stock) and my butter.

    My house tends to cycle roommates, and when they leave they leave their food behind. I’ve been cleaning/sorting things (like the two jars of salsa I threw out last week) but it’s still gross. I’ve only been here a couple of months, so it’ll probably take a couple more before my fridge isn’t like something out of a cook’s nightmare.

  8. adam, i’m with you — alouette creme fraiche is nasty. i have that same carton in my fridge with one spoonful missing, waiting to be thrown out.

    ronnybrook is the best, but i also like vermont butter and cheese brand.

  9. it’s much easier to reheat things like lasagna in the oven than in a pot on the stove. you may want to transfer it to a smaller ovenproof dish so the scraps elsewhere on the dish don’t burn on. 15-20 minutes at around 250-300F should be about right

  10. We enjoy the same brand of mustard – it’s a good one! I don’t know if I am brave enough to reveal my fridge yet though, I’ll think about it! There is no excuse for keeping tomatoes in the fridge though ;-) That is so funny about Craig heating his lasagne up in a pot. Whty doesn’t he just put it in the oven?

  11. What the hell eh? Here is the state of my fridge as of this morning:

    http://www.eiosk.com/zeep/zeep_fridge.jpg

    Yes, those are Pillsbury biscuits hiding in the way back (a guilty pleasure) – the greek yogurt was inspired by AG’s skyr post, and now I’m hooked on the stuff… the mango chutney is great on fish tacos…

  12. I’m pretty sure you don’t need to keep Crisco in the fridge. I never do and I’ve never had any go bad.

  13. First of all, kudos for showing this, it really is like exposing your cooking soul to the world.

    I’m curious about this because I would never eat lasagna that had been sitting in the fridge loosely covered for a week. Three days is my general limit for leftovers, 4 at the most if well stored. What would other people here do?

    P.S. I couldn’t stand 3 opened eggs and 3 opened butter cartons—the insanity–it is time to consolidate, lol!

  14. I know this is kind of random, but seeing your lasagna reminded me of this pasta dish that I cooked last week. I made it with this carba-nada pasta from Al Dente pasta that was just incredible. It tasted better than most other fettucine pastas i’ve ever had and it was low-carb as well! I would definitely recommend it to anyone reading this blog.

  15. Adam

    You are pretty amusing. You refer to your butter as “big blocks of four sticks”. Up here in Massachusetts we refer to them as “pounds of butter”. Also, what’s with the tomatoes in the fridge? Don’t you know refrigeration is a sure fire way to kill those lovely little darlings in a “New York Second”?

  16. Adam

    You are pretty amusing. You refer to your butter as “big blocks of four sticks”. Up here in Massachusetts we refer to them as “pounds of butter”. Also, what’s with the tomatoes in the fridge? Don’t you know refrigeration is a sure fire way to kill those lovely little darlings in a “New York Second”?

  17. Adam

    You are pretty amusing. You refer to your butter as “big blocks of four sticks”. Up here in Massachusetts we refer to them as “pounds of butter”. Also, what’s with the tomatoes in the fridge? Don’t you know refrigeration is a sure fire way to kill those lovely little darlings in a “New York Second”?

  18. I love the idea of posting the inside of my fridge–maybe I’ll do that soon. The contents of mine vary alot based on how long it’s been since I’ve been to the store, but typically you’ll find 4 lemons (usually one that’s naked from zesting), 1 gallon organic skim milk, baby carrots, a red pepper, leftovers, cheese sticks, leftover fresh herbs, assorted condiments, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, capers, roasted red peppers (to throw away), 2 kinds of pickles, 3 kinds of marinade, 2 salad dressings, sundried tomatoes, a half used box of chicken broth, orange juice, assorted imported beer, flavored seltzer or sparkling non-alc beverage from Trader Joes. The cheese sticks are explained by my pregnancy–one of my favorite snacks these days.

  19. I love the idea of posting the inside of my fridge–maybe I’ll do that soon. The contents of mine vary alot based on how long it’s been since I’ve been to the store, but typically you’ll find 4 lemons (usually one that’s naked from zesting), 1 gallon organic skim milk, baby carrots, a red pepper, leftovers, cheese sticks, leftover fresh herbs, assorted condiments, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, capers, roasted red peppers (to throw away), 2 kinds of pickles, 3 kinds of marinade, 2 salad dressings, sundried tomatoes, a half used box of chicken broth, orange juice, assorted imported beer, flavored seltzer or sparkling non-alc beverage from Trader Joes. The cheese sticks are explained by my pregnancy–one of my favorite snacks these days.

  20. I can’t stand it. I feel like flying up to NYC right now just to organize your fridge for you. The condiment bottles aren’t even standing up straight!

  21. I’ll echo everyone else: Wow, you need organization. :)

    The one thing that caught my eye were the boxes of butter. I have a system for butter: Entirely full boxes go in the meat crisper drawer. Once I open the box, I throw the outer box out, and put all full sticks back in the drawer. Partially-used sticks go in the door. That means I can always glance in the fridge and know how much butter I have: If I see a box, I know it’s full, if I see sticks, I know how many I have, and otherwise, I buy more.

  22. I’ll echo everyone else: Wow, you need organization. :)

    The one thing that caught my eye were the boxes of butter. I have a system for butter: Entirely full boxes go in the meat crisper drawer. Once I open the box, I throw the outer box out, and put all full sticks back in the drawer. Partially-used sticks go in the door. That means I can always glance in the fridge and know how much butter I have: If I see a box, I know it’s full, if I see sticks, I know how many I have, and otherwise, I buy more.

  23. Adam, your fridge is so messy! Get in there, throw things out and get organized. Lordy! I liked your comment about the butter. I go through butter as if it’s water too. There’s never enough.

  24. Touche. This is why I never open my fridge when I have guests over. It tells a tale of always being on the go.

  25. Never leave just mayo, pickles and single slice of bread in the fridge. Most guests don’t think to highly of that sight.

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