Sunday, June 06, 2004

What's In Your Fridge?

I took a break from my aforementioned Work Avoidance Behaviours to forage for food in the neighbourhood. What started out as a simple sandwich errand turned into a full-on grocery shop, complete with shower caddy. One left, at $1.49. Lucky me. Anyway, the food-foraging mission was to balance out the oversupply of condiments with Real FoodTM. I think you know what I'm talking about.

Looked in your fridge lately, people? Forget the mental inventory -- trust me, it doesn't work unless you just cleaned out your fridge. Go on, stick your nose in there and take a cursory inventory. Are there:

- half-filled bottles of sauces, eg. ketchup, HP, Worcestershire?
- packets of fast food condiments like vinegar, ketchup, mustard, or pseudo-salsa?
- tiny bottles of deli items such as capers, hot banana peppers, or chutney?
- salad dressings, eg. vinaigrette, diet/lite stuff that tastes horrible but you can't bear to go to waste unless someone with less discerning tastes comes over who you can pawn it off to?

Yeah, I thought so.

I do things kinda backwards. For example, when I was last fiddling with this blog template, I had a look at the Haloscan commenting gallery, picked a decent commenting template, looked at the colour codes, applied them to my blog template, and -- voilà! -- it's all done and everything matches. It seems this method is a good deal faster than previous attempts using a colour matching system that gave me the full spectrum of colour available to the naked eye. I just couldn't bloody well make up my mind.

So how this is related to refrigerated foodstuffs, you might ask, is this: I was standing in Supervalu on Davie St. a couple of hours ago, trying to figure out what to buy, and it occurred to me that the only way I'm going to reduce my stock of condiments besides either throwing the whole lot away (which is in direct conflict with my instinct to not waste anything), or giving it away (who on earth would take a half jar of American-style mustard? -- not me!) is to buy food that I would actually use with those condiments. Now, I know what you're going to say, and that's a great big "DUH!!!!" But hey, this is easier said than than done when you've got stuff accumulated from:

- a number of overseas visitors who would rather have stuff shipped from back home than go without;
- overseas visitors who hired an RV to to tour BC and Alberta and left all leftover stuff behind from that fridge;
- ex-boyfriends with a penchant for buying family-size quantities of condiments from Costco;
- people who have stayed with me (or stayed here without me, even) and left stuff behind.

My fridge is one big condiment repository. Sometimes I'll rummage around the kitchen cupboards and find things I didn't buy but were put there by others, eg., the tube of Tomy mustard that Daniela brought from Liechtenstein, some Knorr powder from Switzerland left by Krista, capers that Iris bought (was it last year or the year before?) before heading back to Germany, barbecue sauce that Chris bought before returning to California... jeez, that stuff has really got to go -- you know it's time to do some spring cleaning when the barbecue sauce has outlasted the relationship, and the time passed is exponentially longer than the longevity of the relationship itself. (I'm cringing at the thought, yes I am.)

The Singleton's Fridge. Full of condiments, vestiges of meal experiments gone awry, and a head-scratching mix of vegetarianism and carnivorous cravings. There are tetrapaks of soy milk next to bottles of organic cow's milk. There are chickpea burgers next to barbecued spicy chicken wings. Beansprouts next to Bavarian sausages. And then there's the freezer! There's frozen yoghurt next to a tub of Oreo ice cream, neither of which were purchased by me. The bottle of Number 10 gin that's in there is Matt's replacement bottle for the one I bought at duty-free and he swigged while I was in Europe. I returned with a collection of W. & J. Graham's port from the duty-free at Heathrow, because I simply could not be bothered to lug around any more stuff after Spain, but at least I don't have to refrigerate it, otherwise it would be lost in the Big Black Hole that is my fridge.