The refrigerator is probably the kitchen’s most taken-for-granted-appliance. Often it becomes a dumping ground for foods that we don’t know what to do with. Like all the condiments you bought mostly because you liked the packaging, but you really don’t know how to use them. Or those eggs, how old are those? And dare you smell that milk to see if it’s good? Yeah, I thought not.
The state of my mom’s fridge is alarming. I’ve discovered new life forms in there. Marmo is a fantastic cook, but you would never know it from the state of her refrigerator. The Box has threatened to call the EPA, and if you open the door, various items may launch themselves at you, either because of a lack of space or because they’ve been in there so long, they JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!
Often, the Box opens the door, asks the contents of the fridge the following, “Who’s the President?” and receives the answer, “Truman!” Either that, or he opens it and just walks away cursing, usually leaving the door slightly open, creaking forlornly back and forth.
My favorite refrigerator-related incident was when myself, The Box, and Marmo were all gathered in the kitchen ’round the fridge (kind of like the campfire). The Box opened the door, and food containers just came spilling out, splattering on the floor. Marmo looked at the mess and declared, “This place is a PIG HOLE!” To which I responded, “Mom, I don’t think pigs live in holes. It’s either a s@%t hole or a pig sty. But yes, it is.”
Accordingly, what follows is a (mostly) complete itemization of the stuff in Marmo’s fridge (bonus door shelves follow!) spotted the last time I was there. Here we go:
1. Two milk containers, both opened: I grabbed one for a bowl of cereal, asking (innocently), “Why are there two containers of open milk?” Marmo’s response, “Oh, one of them isn’t good.” Then why….oh forget it.
2. Diet Orange Crush: The Box drinks this for breakfast. I can’t even express how grossed out I am by this.
3. One Egg Yolk in a Tupperware Container: Just in case, I guess.
4. Heavy Cream: Also one of two heavy creams in the fridge. Both opened.
5. Pizza Dough: Also, just in case. But this makes way more sense than the single egg yolk.
6. Roasted Red Peppers: A staple in the Iaciofano house. Used for antipasto, salads, and thrown into just about anything. If you can spot all the containers of these, you get a prize (yes, there are more than one).
7. Leftover Take-Out Chinese: But from WHEN??
8. Arm and Hammer Baking Soda: In the hopes that this one tiny box, shoved aaaalllllll the way in the back can do something to tame the madness within. Not a chance.
9. Some Kind of Swiss Chard and White Bean Stew: I actually took my chances with this one and ate it. It was good.
10. That COULD be Leftover Gravy From Thanksgiving: Help us all if it is.
11. Unopened Butter: And yes, our fridge does have a butter shelf, but apparently only OPENED butter goes in there, as you’ll see from the door photograph.
12. Eggs: We have an egg shelf too…
13. Meat and Cheese Drawer: Open if you can. It has been known to be so stacked with cold cuts that it gets stuck.
And now the door! Check out all these mysterious condiments! Who knows the last time they were opened…
14. Apple Jelly: What is this used for?
15. I Don’t Even Know: I could have turned the bottle around to check the label, but I forgot my HAZMAT suit.
16. Ponzu Sauce!: I feel like when you say PONZU! you need an exclamation point. Also, no idea what you use this for.
17. Maple Syrup: This is the good stuff.
18. Lard: Real, honest to goodness lard. Good job, Marmo.
19. Mascarpone Cheese: Once I opened a container of this stuff only to find a fuzzy, green mess. I actually have a photo of it, but I won’t horrify you all with that. Besides, I sent it to the CDC and am awaiting a response…
20. Various Asian Sauces: Plum Sauce, some kind of Thai flavoring…You know, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Marmo cook with these.
21. Hot Sauces: An assortment.
22. Hero Strawberry Preserves: Love this brand. My favorite is the blueberry.
As the holidays are approaching, Marmo’s refrigerator will become even more populated with random (and not-so-random) stuff. A filet mignon, heads of cauliflower and even more butter will all take up residence on the shelves, probably being horseshoed into the tight crevices between the ever-important Orange Crush and the carton of spoiled milk.
It will become a dangerous place for even the bravest of souls, items shifting and changing in the night, so that one moment you put in some left over baked ziti and upon retrieving it, find this in it’s place.