Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fridge Sins

Hi all. Hope the nutty spring weather is keeping you entertained!

Today I thought I’d write about a funny realization I had recently while debating whether or not I wanted to tackle cleaning out my fridge. The weather was too spotty to really make me want to do anything outside, so I was working on being productive around the house. Per usual, this meant I wandered around for a half-hour or so before deciding I’d rather try out a new recipe for no-knead bread than clean anything (why do the dishes if you’re just going to make more, right?).

In the course of my wanderings, I also stood with my fridge door open for an unacceptably long time. The contents in one word: messy. There was the normal bit of sour milk and dubious leftovers in Tupperware. A head of wilted lettuce that made me search the door for salad dressing. And what did I find there? A bottle of balsamic vinaigrette with approximately one half-teaspoon left at the bottom (useful). An older, emptier bottle of raspberry vinaigrette that I’m pretty sure I inherited when I moved out of my old apartment. An equally empty ketchup bottle, a few random mustards I scarcely remembered buying. Tabasco sauce. Soy sauce. More sauces. Kraft Mayo in a squeezable plastic jug.

Hmm. This is getting embarrassing.

But we all have our fridge sins, right? It might be that sour cream growing Technicolor mold at the back of the bottom shelf. Or the spilled something that makes everything around it sticky, but you studiously ignore. Maybe a half-eaten can of Taco Bell brand “refried beans.” I think for me, in addition to a couple of the above, I realized that I have an awful lot of condiments in there that I spent money on but rarely use. Most of which are likely easy to make. Most of which contain various unpronounceable ingredients, ingredients of dubious origin, ingredients that generally don’t jive with my attempts to eat locally, seasonally, and sustainably…

Thus, I have made a resolution. No more bottled salad dressing for me. This seemed the easiest point of departure, given that I have no access to tomatoes to make my own ketchup right now and making my own mustard sounds ambitious. And I have no idea how to approach soy sauce except doing some research. But salad dressing is pretty easy: I’ve whipped up vinaigrettes before after all. No problemo. Plus, this is a good reason to collect bottles of olive oil and walnut oil and various delectable sounding vinegars that I admire regularly but have yet to invest in. New food horizons, hooray!

What are your fridge sins? What items do you buy because they’re convenient, even when your little slow-foodie conscience scolds you for it? (You don’t need to admit to mold or sticky messes though… I know you’re more virtuous than that.)

Check out the recipes page for a couple of salad dressings that I am very much looking forward to making!

Stay dry out there.

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