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November 30, 2012 1:27 PM   Subscribe

You are what you eat. A peek inside 50 people's refrigerators. navigate with left and right arrow keys
posted by special-k (190 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aw, I am glad I am not the only person who uses the pots she cooks in as storage vessels/tupperware.
posted by royalsong at 1:34 PM on November 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Irritating navigation but interesting. Some of these shots radiate sadness and deprivation.
posted by bearwife at 1:34 PM on November 30, 2012


I love these peeks into how other people live. As revealing as checking out the bookshelves. The one with the snake in the freezer made me wonder.
posted by ambrosia at 1:34 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh here it's interesting art, but when I go through people's medicine cabinets at parties I'm nosy.

Lousy double standards.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:36 PM on November 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


This is fascinating -- and often, very sad.

Also: "Ate nothing but donuts for over 3 years." But ... what ... how...?
posted by trillian at 1:36 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is a frozen coiled snake in one of those freezers. Why is there not more information about the FROZEN COILED SNAKE. I don't fucking care what she can bench press TELL ME ABOUT THE FROZEN COILED SNAKE.
posted by elizardbits at 1:37 PM on November 30, 2012 [49 favorites]


I love some of the descriptions:

Restaurant Owner | Waco, TX | 1-Person Household | Has a photographic memory for useless information
posted by ambrosia at 1:40 PM on November 30, 2012


Freezer snakes are far from the most deadly snakes on Earth, but they do give a nasty ice burn.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:41 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Italian-Puerto Rican Family Reunion

Oh thanks I'll be right over!

Documentary Film Makers | San Diego, CA | 3-Person Household | Efforts have helped send millions of dollars to children in Uganda.

No bath salts, hair products, or conveniently placed soldiers? Shenanigans!
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:42 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Where is the snake? I went through them all, but I missed it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:43 PM on November 30, 2012


No bath salts, hair products, or conveniently placed soldiers? Shenanigans!

No, but did you see how much beer they had in that fridge?
posted by royalsong at 1:44 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Farmacy.

I wish I could say thats my fridge but the only things I grew this year were bird house gourds and loofahs.
posted by Sailormom at 1:45 PM on November 30, 2012


snake!

"Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300 lbs."
posted by elizardbits at 1:46 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


All of my friends' fridges are creepily empty, and I always feel like some sort of goddamn freak for having a full fridge (mine resembles bits and bobs of many of these--tons of meat to be cooked, fresh fruit like those grapes in the bowl--no snake though!--and tons of raw produce ready to be cooked. This is cool.
posted by ifjuly at 1:49 PM on November 30, 2012


I want to know why the Bar Tender has a folded US Flag in their freezer.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:50 PM on November 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Some of the supposedly 1-person households have a seriously astonishing amount of food. I wonder how much they end up throwing away because it's gone off?
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The bartender probably has the stankiest fridge. All those takeout boxes are probably full of blue furry mould and brown juice.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


bearwife: “Irritating navigation but interesting. Some of these shots radiate sadness and deprivation.”

I'm not entirely certain how much one can glean from what's in a person's refrigerator, though. I live a pretty good little life, and the only things in my fridge right now are two blocks of tofu, some cheddar, and 32 tangerines.
posted by koeselitz at 1:51 PM on November 30, 2012


the blind man's fridge is 100X cleaner than mine.
posted by Dr. Twist at 1:52 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Aw, neighbors!

Retired Army Colonel | DeBary, Florida | 2-Person Household | Life was saved by next door neighbor during medical emergency.

Retired Emergency Room Nurse | DeBary, Florida | 1-Person Household | Saved the life of next door neighbor during medical emergency.
posted by paisley sheep at 1:52 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


The food in my fridge is what I haven't ate.

This is like judging my movie tastes by what is in my 'to watch' folder rather than looking at what i have actually watched.
posted by srboisvert at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


elizardbits, let me tell you about my frozen raccoon. I wish I were kidding. At least it's wrapped. Running into the frozen pheasant head, staring at me from atop the ice cream sandwiches, was my daily dose of surprise for about a month.
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


elizardbits: snake!

"Short Order Cook | Marathon, TX | 2-Person Household | She can bench press over 300 lbs.""

That's both a sad and weird fridge.

Very sad for the snake too. Hope that's not how it met its end.
posted by bearwife at 1:53 PM on November 30, 2012


the blind man's fridge is 100X cleaner than mine.

This sounds kind of like a zen koan.
posted by elizardbits at 1:54 PM on November 30, 2012 [14 favorites]


elizardbits, that's what I noticed first too! Maybe when I can bench squat 300 pounds I'll be snake-fridge-ready.
posted by ifjuly at 1:54 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I once visited the apartment of a bachelor friend of a friend who was making big money in his mid-'20s during the dot com boom days. He didn't drink, so literally the only thing he had in his fridge was dozens of condiment packets left over from takeout orders.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:55 PM on November 30, 2012


Some of these people have way too much milk.
posted by SharkParty at 1:55 PM on November 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


GOMAD!
posted by ifjuly at 1:56 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean I guess the superstuffed 1-person fridges make sense if they are cooking three large meals at home every single day, but otherwise I just can't figure out what the hell they're going to do with all that food before it spoils.


grrr wasteful
posted by elizardbits at 1:56 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean I guess the superstuffed 1-person fridges make sense if they are cooking three large meals at home every single day, but otherwise I just can't figure out what the hell they're going to do with all that food before it spoils.

Maybe they have a lot of guests. I have a friend who lives alone, but her fridge is generally stuffed with food and beer, because she's always inviting folks over and being a generous host. Certainly, she has more and nicer things in her fridge than Mrs. JimInLoganSquare and I have. (I read somewhere recently that folks who live alone tend to be more sociable than married w/o kids couples.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:00 PM on November 30, 2012


My empty fridge, let me show you it.
posted by blurker at 2:01 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


3rd shift fridge - yup. Pretty much everyone develops an eating disorder of some type. Breakfast feels like dinner, lunch feels like dinner, and you usually skip actual dinner. Snacking and take-out far in excess of what you'd normally do... some people just snack and miss meals altogether. So you have fat and sleepy 3rd shifters, or gaunt and restless 3rd shifters.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:02 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe they have a lot of guests.

Hm, true. I forget sometimes that normal human behavior is to allow others into your home for reasons other than fixing things or delivering things.

no seriously this is so weird to me
posted by elizardbits at 2:03 PM on November 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Anyway I wanna go to that family reunion and pretend to be the weird cousin no one has seen in 20 years and then eat all the things.
posted by elizardbits at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2012


"Food Artist | New York, New York | 1-Person Household | Runs a vegan bakery from her apartment."

WTF is a food artist?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2012


I noticed the people who are trying to only eat foods from within 100 miles of home (Portland, OR) have a giant bottle of Realemon in their fridge. I think they're doing it wrong.
posted by ambrosia at 2:04 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


What the heck is in the black box in front of the battery in the production designer's fridge?
posted by blurker at 2:05 PM on November 30, 2012


Hairy Lobster, a food artist makes food look good for photographs and flim.
posted by royalsong at 2:05 PM on November 30, 2012


My fridge is mostly empty because we ate the food.
Tomorrow is farmers market and then it will be full again.
posted by seanmpuckett at 2:07 PM on November 30, 2012


International Businessman | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Divorced after 33 years of marriage

Executive Assistant | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Divorced after 33 years of marriage


Aww. Sad now.
posted by blurker at 2:08 PM on November 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


The Gallery Owner's milk fetish is freaking me out.
Also, do the competitive eaters keep ... pyjamas in their crisper drawers? Maybe that's why hey eat competitively - they're doing it just that much wrong?

Mostly, I'm relieved to see that other people's fridges are way more disgusting than mine, which I think of as pretty gross most of the time.
posted by marylynn at 2:09 PM on November 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


I'm not entirely certain how much one can glean from what's in a person's refrigerator, though. I live a pretty good little life, and the only things in my fridge right now are two blocks of tofu, some cheddar, and 32 tangerines.

Yeah, but there are sad fridges with tofu, cheddar and citrus in them, and then there are pretty good little fridges with tofu, cheddar and citrus in them, you know what I mean?
posted by Rock Steady at 2:13 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


First week after deciding to eat all local produce.

I recognized this one from my life; I wonder if it had the same follow-up:

Two and half weeks later -- tomatoes, fruits, and onions all used; greens wilted and brown
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:14 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Remember those MetaTalk threads where everyone posted photos of their desks? I'm just now realizing that posting a photo of the contents of my fridge would feel much more revealing. Interesting.
posted by ambrosia at 2:17 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why does the Food Artist/Vegan Baker have eggs and butter in her fridge? Is it OK to run a vegan bakery and not be a vegan yourself? Is this photo going to expose someone's secret shame?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:18 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Two and half weeks later -- tomatoes, fruits, and onions all used; greens wilted and brown

Two of my university housemates used to come home from the local farmer's market with armloads of fresh fruits and vegetables they'd picked up for what they claimed were ridiculously low prices. Then they'd get high and forget about most of it. The greens would liquify in the crisper while fruit flies invited all of their friends over to our place to party over the pile of bananas rotting on the kitchen table.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:21 PM on November 30, 2012


International Businessman | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Divorced after 33 years of marriage

Executive Assistant | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Divorced after 33 years of marriage


Aww. Sad now.


At first glance, it is sad. But they both have really nicely stocked fridges, so I like to think they're both happy for the first time in a long time and are good friends.

Because if I'm going to start judging people based on their fridges and a one line description, I am going to be a fucking Pollyanna about it for as long as possible.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:22 PM on November 30, 2012 [16 favorites]


There were also potatoes in one of the fridges. Who does that?
posted by srboisvert at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [13 favorites]


I asked the same question.
posted by blurker at 2:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Potatoes in the fridge is a bad idea, I think. They seem to grow faster there.
posted by koeselitz at 2:25 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


And get mushy, IIRC.
posted by blurker at 2:27 PM on November 30, 2012


shit. is that Crystal Pepsi?!

Is it OK to run a vegan bakery and not be a vegan yourself?

Why not? I'm sure some producers of gluten-free food are not gluten-intolerant.

I live a pretty good little life, and the only things in my fridge right now are two blocks of tofu, some cheddar, and 32 tangerines.

Huh? You don't think that provides a limited portrait of your life? For one, I'm guessing you're not cooking dinner at home tonight.

There were also potatoes in one of the fridges. Who does that?

I do (with sweet potatoes). It's easier than putting them somewhere else. I usually cook them fairly quickly (within a week).

I too was most curious about the ... clothes?!?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:29 PM on November 30, 2012


the blind man's fridge is 100X cleaner than mine.

I was really impressed with how efficiently this fridge is organized. Things grouped together well, tall things at the back, short things at the front, beer right at that sweet-spot grabbing level.

But I feel like there's a bigger story behind that stick of butter. My first thought was that a blind person should cover their butter, lest they stick their fingers in it by accident. But it feels like this situation has already progressed way past the butter lid stage, and the butter has now been banished to its very own quadrant in the fridge, with a wide-dish warning system and an empty no-fly zone of sorts all around it.
posted by Kabanos at 2:31 PM on November 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Refrigeration of potatoes: The Answer Is Out There. Bottom line, refrigerating potatoes at normal refrigerator temperature seems like a bad idea unless you live in a very hot/humid climate (where potatoes rapidly rot and refrigeration is a necessity). If you have a spare wine fridge (and who doesn't?) that you can set around 45 - 50 degrees, then your potatoes should be very happy there.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:31 PM on November 30, 2012


apparently, a no-no for sweet potatoes too ...
posted by mrgrimm at 2:34 PM on November 30, 2012


I assumed the fabric/clothing was for moisture-absorbing purposes. Though, now I'm wondering if instead the reason is to chill the clothing...kind of like warming up your stuff in the dryer before putting it on in the winter, only in reverse?
posted by msbubbaclees at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


But if you store the potatoes with the onions (in my case, in a hanging basket in the mudroom) the potatoes will spoil much faster. So I keep them in the fridge. I don't notice that they taste sweeter, and they will get cooked within a week of purchase anyway.

Also, this makes me very proud of my refrigerator. I am another singleton who does a lot of entertaining, so my fridge is pretty full, but clean and neat.

(So is my medicine cabinet. You can go ahead and look, I don't mind.)
posted by caryatid at 2:36 PM on November 30, 2012


I too was most curious about the ... clothes?!?

I have heard of people taking damp laundry and refrigerating it until they have time to iron it. Keeping it damp apparently is easier than ironing out dried-in wrinkles. I can't vouch for this because I don't iron anything, ever.
posted by ambrosia at 2:36 PM on November 30, 2012


Eventually I stopped looking at the pictures, really, and just started reading the little captions and now I need to cry.
posted by byanyothername at 2:37 PM on November 30, 2012


I've read multiple articles about freezing your jeans but microbe dude says NO!
posted by SharkParty at 2:39 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. The potatoes in a large bag in my fridge seem very happy, and edible for the month it takes me to eat them all.

Also, my freezer has over the years briefly held 2 parakeets, 3 hamsters, and untold pet mice between death and burial. I'm guessing that's the deal with the snake.

And, when my dogs were puppies, there were always lots of dog toys in the freezer. We would take them away from the puppies when they fought over them, and put them in the "magic byebye bin". I suspect we'll end up doing this with our toddler soon, too. (I mean, with his toys.)
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:40 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


me: “I live a pretty good little life, and the only things in my fridge right now are two blocks of tofu, some cheddar, and 32 tangerines.”

mrgrimm: “Huh? You don't think that provides a limited portrait of your life? For one, I'm guessing you're not cooking dinner at home tonight.”

Well, it seems like a weird assumption to make to say that food goes in refrigerators. I think that's how some people just do it, e.g.

“I do [put sweet potatoes in the fridge]. It's easier than putting them somewhere else.”

... but some people don't. Most of my vegetables – tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, eggplant, etc – don't go in my fridge. My potatoes don't go in my fridge. I have good olive oil, and lots of dry foods (beans, rice, pasta) that don't need to be refrigerated. And I use a lot of canned tomatoes and tomato paste for sauces.

About once a week I'll get some meat. It sits in the fridge until I cook it, and sometimes there are leftovers of that for a while. But other than that, I don't need to refrigerate a lot.

Funny thing about eggs, too; as an American, I was raised putting eggs in the refrigerator, but other countries seem to find this to be a weird and almost barbaric tradition, and I've stopped altogether. Room-temperature eggs cook a lot better, and they keep just about as long as refrigerated eggs anyway.

On the old "Bit of Fry and Laurie" show, I remember they used to have a "man-on-the-street" bit that appeared to be interviews with random ridiculous people that were all actually Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie dressed up as people. In one of them, Stephen Fry was dressed as this debonair older gentleman of the type that you'd expect to be sexist, and his gag was: "a young woman is like a delicate, fragile egg: you, er, shouldn't keep her in the refrigerator."
posted by koeselitz at 2:45 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


(Okay, it's not really a "weird" assumption – just sometimes incorrect.)
posted by koeselitz at 2:46 PM on November 30, 2012


(Oh, and my tangerines are only in the fridge because I juice them, and cold tangerine juice is better than room-temperature tangerine juice.)
posted by koeselitz at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2012


elizardbits: "TELL ME ABOUT THE FROZEN COILED SNAKE."

Well, fuckit, sometimes a guy likes to treat himself, you know?
posted by boo_radley at 2:48 PM on November 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was secretly impressed that you know you have precisely 32 tangerines.
posted by ambrosia at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


I could have sworn this was on Metafilter three years ago.

ON PREVIEW (and actually looking for it):

Double.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:52 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


WTF is a food artist?

I am sure the NYT Style Section will soon be telling us this is exhaustive detail.

Also, re: eggs & butter in the vegan baker's fridge - I can see this costing her some business if people are able to figure out who she is. This is exactly the kind of thing that makes vegans unwilling to trust food items that claim to be vegan.
posted by elizardbits at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2012


shakes you are the ruiner of metafilter

RUINER STOP RUINING
posted by elizardbits at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Four bags of eight each. Less impressive than it sounds, sadly.
posted by koeselitz at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am sort of amazed that I was right about the 3-year thing though.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:54 PM on November 30, 2012


IMPORTANT SNAKE INFORMATION
posted by elizardbits at 2:55 PM on November 30, 2012


Amazing what you can find at the back of the MetaFridge.
posted by Kabanos at 2:55 PM on November 30, 2012


RUINER STOP RUINING

You need to say it two more times for that to work.
posted by ambrosia at 2:56 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I knew the potatoes in the fridge would get comments. I do that and they're totally fine. They seem to sprout whether they're in the fridge or not. I've had potatoes rot in the cupboard, and that's worse than whatever bad I'm doing to them by refrigerating them. And it's dry here, and I can't remember the last time it was hotter than 85F/30C.

I think if I was frying the potatoes I'd notice the refrigeration because the starch turns to sugar, and sugar is brown when cooked at high temperature. But I boil/bake/broil them.

I don't refrigerate tomatoes if I can help it, because they keep well and taste better at room temperature.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 2:57 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Beetlejuice!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:57 PM on November 30, 2012


You need to say it two more times for that to work.

If you say my name three times in the mirror I will appear and give you a 90s earworm.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:57 PM on November 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


No offense to the powers of your memory, shakespeherian, but you would think somebody else would have remembered the snake and the blind man's fridge earlier.


(Especially me as "Snake and The Blind Man's Fridge" was the name of my first studio theater play in college.)

((Not really.))
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2012


Wait, where are you supposed to keep potatoes if not in the fridge? Please note that I do not live somewhere with access to a deep-dug root cellar.
posted by elizardbits at 2:59 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


cupboard
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2012


the blind man's fridge is 100X cleaner than mine.

This sounds kind of like a zen koan.
Or the chorus of a song poem. (NSFW)
posted by usonian at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2012


But mice can nibble on them if they are in the cupboard. I am not feeding those tricksy little fuckers.
posted by elizardbits at 3:02 PM on November 30, 2012


It's sort of funny that I am pretending like I would actually cook a thing.
posted by elizardbits at 3:02 PM on November 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


the blind man's fridge is 100X cleaner than mine.

That's because of his more highly developed sense of smell.

Hard to ignore a foul odor.
posted by notreally at 3:17 PM on November 30, 2012


Except for the Cuervo and the small frozen model of the planet Venus (No other object has been misidentified as a flying saucer more often than the planet Venus. Even the former leader of your United States of America, James Earl Carter, Jr., thought he saw a UFO once, but it's been proven he only saw the planet Venus) the San Antonio fridge looks like mine.
Deer meat. Other.

Not everyone, but many people in the pics seem to drink either beer, or bad cola (Faygo, Dr. Thunder, Crystal Pepsi - although that may be just a Pepsi bottle filled with water, he's got the Faygo). The nurse has a little carousel for her Budweiser. Even the blind guy has beer.
Man, I'm such a lightweight.

I want to know why the Bar Tender has a folded US Flag in their freezer.
Because they don't serve the French flag anymore.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:22 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of the supposedly 1-person households have a seriously astonishing amount of food. I wonder how much they end up throwing away because it's gone off?

Yeah my two adult household holds like half that amount of food at any given point cause I am very big on NO FOOD EVER GETS WASTED EVER, one meal usually gets into two chances of being leftovers or lunch or somehow recycled into another meal. I fucking HATE throwing away perfectly good food( although I've got to finally accept that yes, the week old pasta can be thrown out,it's just pasta it is not worth the stress of having it in your fruge JUDGING YOu)

Then again, we meal plan two weeks in advance and I go to the market every single day and have a seriously overburdened dry goods storage in case I don't feel like going that day.
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on November 30, 2012


( there's also like a bottle of Vuevue Clique sitting in the crisping calling for an Occasioin)
posted by The Whelk at 3:27 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then again cooking for one sucks, two is a little better but you're still fighting the economies of scale.
posted by The Whelk at 3:28 PM on November 30, 2012


Previously, so like half of a double (half the pics).
posted by flex at 3:29 PM on November 30, 2012


Cooking for one is fucking tedious unless you are willing to eat the same thing 4-5 days in a row, which, lol, no.

SERVANTS BRING ME MY SOUFFLE
posted by elizardbits at 3:30 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Eating for one is difficult until you remember Guiness has yeast and B vitamins.
posted by The Whelk at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


"Disowned by parents for marrying a black man"...and I'm out.
posted by aerotive at 3:35 PM on November 30, 2012


There were also potatoes in one of the fridges. Who does that

People who don't have a lot of counter space and don't want to leave in the dark cabinets cause they don't eat them enough to risk opening a BAG OF LIVING, GRASPING ROOTING HORROR
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on November 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, if I buy potatoes it is because potato excitement will be happening IMMEDIATELY AND DELICIOUSLY. There is no real reason to worry about where to keep them. I also keep my fruits in the fridge, I don't even care about whatever pearl-clutching goes on about the DEATH OF VITAMINS, I need to have no fruit flies more than I need to have vitamins.
posted by elizardbits at 3:38 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean I guess the superstuffed 1-person fridges make sense if they are cooking three large meals at home every single day, but otherwise I just can't figure out what the hell they're going to do with all that food before it spoils.

I wonder this too. I was always a barely-use-the-fridge kind of person because when I cook I just go buy the ingredients and then cook them, and that's that. Leftovers don't really scan as "food" to me so I just do my best to cook the amount I need and no more, and then what else goes in your fridge but butter, milk, and eggs? And bacon. And beer.

Since getting married, the fridge in my house has developed a consistently terrifying array of boxes and baggies and unidentifiable stuff and I pretty much just ignore the entire thing as much as possible. My wife sometimes asks questions like "why do you eat out so often when there's so much good food at home if you'd only just cook it" - but it's not the work of cooking that's the problem, but the project of figuring out what the hell is in there in the first place, and how long it's been sitting there, and do I even want to touch it much less eat it. She looks at that wall of stuff and sees ingredients, where I just see a cleaning problem I don't want to deal with.

On the other hand, she is comfortable leaving butter and eggs and milk and cheese out on the counter for hours at a time, and thinks my inclination to shove those articles back in the fridge as rapidly as possible is a weirdly American paranoia.
posted by Mars Saxman at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well I also don't buy food that I'm not planning on using or eating within the next 48 hours cause WE HAVE LEARNED OUR HORRIBLE ROTTING BIOMASS LESSON. REPEATEDLY.

If I have that oh so fashionable bowl of apples and Im avoiding them out a tiny Steve Rogers appears and tells me I should eat the apple and not waste food and apples are food for health and do you want flies and then I get guilt tripped into eating it.

But only if I can have a square of dark chocolate after, this is the agreement with my Superego.
posted by The Whelk at 3:43 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, when my dogs were puppies, there were always lots of dog toys in the freezer.

A frozen washcloth straight from the freezer makes a good puppy chewtoy in the height of summer.
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:58 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


what else goes in your fridge but butter, milk, and eggs? And bacon. And beer.

Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, jelly, peanut butter, plum sauce, hoisin sauce, maple syrup, lemon curd, anchovy paste, tomato paste, teriyaki sauce, curry paste, horseradish, sour cream, cream cheese, other cheese, soy sauce, hot sauce, duck fat, and dried fruit. That's what.

Well, you asked.
posted by caryatid at 3:59 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Remove the dairy products above and you got me. Shelf stable sauces for the win.
posted by The Whelk at 4:08 PM on November 30, 2012


I keep my potatoes in the bedroom closet. It is the coolest place in the apartment. I am intrigued by the idea of not refrigerating eggs, but the kitchen is so flipping warm, they wouldn't last more than a day.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:09 PM on November 30, 2012


what else goes in your fridge but butter, milk, and eggs? And bacon. And beer.

Well, currently, six varieties of cheese.
posted by shakespeherian at 4:11 PM on November 30, 2012


I mean I guess the superstuffed 1-person fridges make sense if they are cooking three large meals at home every single day, but otherwise I just can't figure out what the hell they're going to do with all that food before it spoils.

Mine is always pretty packed, but I generally have a sense of what's likely to spoil soon, and eat it before it does. Lots of stuff in my fridge lasts for months, like eggs, or butter, or confit, or live-culture yogurt, or beer, or the current three gallons of eggnog that I'm aging for Xmas!

Turns out three gallons of eggnog takes up a pretty big amount of space.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:13 PM on November 30, 2012


That's why God invented stretch pants.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:18 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good Lord, a snake!
posted by Autumn at 4:23 PM on November 30, 2012


Tastes like frozen chicken.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:24 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


My freezer is packed because my roommate's mother keeps buying him $100 worth of Omaha steaks twice a year, so we've got pounds and pounds of steaks we need to eat. I don't think I'd ever look on eating steaks as a chore, but I do now.

Seriously though, our freezer would make us look insane if it weren't explained.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:41 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


three gallons of eggnog that I'm aging for Xmas!

Wait, what? You age eggnog? Why?

I am the designated eggnog-maker for the company party and I need to know.
posted by caryatid at 4:42 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Greg nog is egg nog
posted by The Whelk at 4:53 PM on November 30, 2012


I've got a fridge out in the garage with 10 bottles of Moët and 100 bottles of beer in it.

(Homebrewer + leftovers from a wedding in September.)

It's also got a bunch of apples in it because the boyfriend prefers them cold.
posted by elsietheeel at 4:57 PM on November 30, 2012


what else goes in your fridge but butter, milk, and eggs? And bacon. And beer.

A big vat of whatever probably-bean-based concoction I cooked on Sunday afternoon to transfer daily to the significantly more grotesque communal office fridge in something airtight. Cold-brew(ing) coffee, soaking beans, and occasionally beer. I'm a bulk-dried-things enthusiast, so the cupboard is more interesting than the fridge. There's millet and TVP in the cupboard.

It's interesting that, even as a bacon-negative leftoverivore, I'd probably agree with you about fridges in the most important particular: they are too fucking big, at least for those of us lucky enough to have a reasonable place to get groceries, more or less on the way home.
posted by kengraham at 4:59 PM on November 30, 2012


You age eggnog?

Check out this 12-month aged version.
posted by paperback version at 5:01 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: the snake is not a snake. Haven't y'all heard of Sausage Cozies? They're for preventing freezer burn on meat. That refrigerator's owner has perhaps fallen on hard times since they had the kind of disposable cash it takes to get a genuine snakeskin Sausage Cozy.
posted by kengraham at 5:03 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I once made homemade eggnog for a party with my wife's grad school class coming over, but nobody ate it because they were afraid of the raw eggs even though it was delicious and had alcohol and didn't make me sick at all.

In conclusion, I need a non-sexist or homophobic way to call people pussies.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:05 PM on November 30, 2012



In conclusion, I need a non-sexist or homophobic way to call people pussies.


"Coward!"

(alarmist, baby, caitiff, chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken, craven, cur, dastard, deserter, faint-of-heart, faintheart, fraidy-cat, funk, gutless, invertebrate, jellyfish, lily liver, malingerer, mouse, pessimist, poltroon, quitter, rabbit, recreant, scaredy cat, shirk, shirker, skulker, sneak, weakling, white liver, wimp, yellow belly, yellow)

I think I'll pass on the aged eggnog. I'll be using raw milk and raw cream in addition to raw eggs, and I wasn't planning on making it quite so alcoholic.
posted by caryatid at 5:07 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Am I weird for refrigerating bread? Is that rare? If it gets too stale I throw it out, but I just cannot abide moldy bread.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:11 PM on November 30, 2012


I refrigerate bread but only madmen refrigerate peanut butter.
posted by elizardbits at 5:17 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


MADMEN I TELL YOU
posted by elizardbits at 5:17 PM on November 30, 2012


only madmen refrigerate peanut butter

If you have little kids, keeping the PB in the fridge means your kid can make himself his own PB&J. Sometimes there is method to the madness.
posted by ambrosia at 5:20 PM on November 30, 2012


Peanut butter and jam belong in the fridge, side by side of course.
posted by fatehunter at 5:22 PM on November 30, 2012


but keeping it in the fridge makes it this horrible hard chilly mass that tears the bread when you try to spread it and that is a terrible sandwich crime and i am judging you
posted by elizardbits at 5:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


If you have little kids, keeping the PB in the fridge means your kid can make himself his own PB&J. Sometimes there is method to the madness.

Sorry if I'm being obtuse, as I have been a kid but never raised one ... but I'm not getting this; couldn't the kid grab the peanut butter out of the pantry just as well as from the refrigerator?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 5:24 PM on November 30, 2012


Kids can be a little dopey about remembering steps to do things sometimes so maybe it is easier to keep all the ingredients for a simple thing in one place?

no idea tbh
posted by elizardbits at 5:26 PM on November 30, 2012


I don't have kids, but I think the pantry may be too high for little kids to reach in many households.
posted by fatehunter at 5:27 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I mean, sorry parents, all your kids are brilliant geniuses and everything they do is glorious, even that one toddler I saw trying to eat dog poop off the sidewalk the other day.
posted by elizardbits at 5:27 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


what else goes in your fridge but butter, milk, and eggs? And bacon. And beer.

Vermouth. Cooking sherry. Wild Spirit (paddle your own canoe!). Bitters. Maraschino cherries. Olives. Pickled okra. Lilllet. Aquavit. Cocktail glasses, filled with water. Prosecco.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:29 PM on November 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


the advantage to refrigerating peanut butter is that if you get the hippie kind, it doesn't separate and leave you with peanut oil on top and peanut spackle on the bottom. The disadvantage is as elizardbits describes. We choose not to refrigerate. My daughter makes her own PB&Js anyway; otoh, she started trying to make herself a grilled cheese sandwich at age barely 3 (including cutting slices of bread with the bread knife and cheese with a very sharp paring knife) and was only foiled by the safety knobs on the stove. Nothing like starting your day with your kid saying "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy, I need help with the stove" at 5:30 AM.

My fridge currently contains 3 or 4 different kinds of cheese, a half a bottle of pinot gris, a 3-lb tub of sour cream, two pounds of butter, a mysterious and ancient block of cream cheese, a container of pork belly confit that will last forever, pickled green tomatoes, bacon, sausage, eggs quail eggs, divers sauces, cucumbers, beets, 2 gallons of vegetables marinating in balsamic vinaigrette which I will roast as soon as we get an oven that lights rather than gently exploding (should be soon), lemon and lime juice, salami, milk, almond milk, heavy whipping cream, and some leftover borani kadoo.
posted by KathrynT at 5:47 PM on November 30, 2012


The trick to keeping the hippie peanut butter in the cupboard is to stir it up as soon as you get it. Stir it as thoroughly as possible from bottom to top. Stir it til your forearm cramps up worse than when you gave your first awkward handjob. STIR THAT MOTHERFUCKER LIKE YOU WANT IT TO SCREAM YOUR NAME.

Anyway if you eat it with any kind of regularity one or two really good stirring sessions will keep it mixed long enough to eat the entire jar.
posted by elizardbits at 5:52 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


What is the trick to stirring it vigorously enough without slopping peanut oil all over everything? I never stir it well enough; I am a pathetic weakling and my husband has autoimmune arthritis so he is even less capable at this task than I am.

(Also the jar is also from costco and is like the size of my head.)
posted by KathrynT at 5:54 PM on November 30, 2012


You have to hold the knife (or whatever kitchen implement you choose) like you are planning to do someone some extremely grievous harm, and then kind of scoop from the bottom until all the oil on top is evenly distributed throughout. It is almost impossible to do without a little slopping over the sides tbh.
posted by elizardbits at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I buy the hippie peanut butter (huge jar of Adams) and keep it out of the fridge. It doesn't separate because I mix the whole jar thoroughly every time I open it. When it's cold it's difficult to mix, and you'll still get oil on top if you don't mix - it'll just be congealed.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:57 PM on November 30, 2012


What I've been doing is taking a large serving spoon and just plunging it down through the jar and pulling it back up again with a schlooping plop over and over again, like churning butter. It does a better job than you would think, but not really good enough.

I wonder if one of those paint mixers would do a better job. Or, ooh, I have a stick blender! Wait, does that way lie madness?
posted by KathrynT at 5:59 PM on November 30, 2012


It will burn out a stick blender in about 1.3 seconds unless it is some industrial hobart shit.
posted by elizardbits at 6:00 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


What is the trick to stirring it vigorously enough without slopping peanut oil all over everything?

As a long-time fan of hippy peanut butter (I was a grad student at Indiana University in Bloomington '89 - '91); it was just what you did) ... the solution is to do the stirring very, very slowly and carefully, then build up the speed and force of stirring as you proceed. I also have to think (not having actually tried this, mind you) that you could scoop the whole mess into a food processor, emulsify it therein, and transfer it back into the jar, with some loss of volume but totally homogenized. If you try this, please post a video.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:00 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It will burn out a stick blender in about 1.3 seconds unless it is some industrial hobart shit.

Damn.

If you try this, please post a video.

I do actually have a kitchenaid stand mixer. I might try that. . . once.
posted by KathrynT at 6:03 PM on November 30, 2012


My method is to use a butter knife, scooping from the bottom up. If your knife gets stuck, dig a little less deeply. Once you've freed some sludge from the bottom, stir slowly, and then increase speed as you pull the knife to the surface.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:10 PM on November 30, 2012


I have no problem keeping an apple on the counter and not eating it, Whelk, because I have plenty of woods and red squirrels. Although seeing one stuff a piece of brown bread up the hollow center post of my plastic lawn table was rather remarkable. They hide things everywhere, it seems. So I'll have to practice my throw.

We have veggies in one drawer, meat in the other, and my husband is only allowed into the deli drawer, unless I have specifically gotten out the meat and the veggies for him (as in shaved beef and cut up onions, peppers and mushrooms for his now speciality, steak bombs).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:12 PM on November 30, 2012


And don't stop until the peanut butter is of uniform consistency.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:14 PM on November 30, 2012


And don't stop until the peanut butter is of uniform consistency.

(It really helps if you are just a little bit high when stirring your hippy peanut butter.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:16 PM on November 30, 2012


Why couldn't you use a high-torque hand drill with a mixer attachment? Aside from the danger of your other hand not being strong enough to keep the jar from spinning out of control, throwing peanut oil and spread in great sweeping arcs, before being flung across the kitchen and out the window while the now-free beater spins madly, I see no drawback.

I grind my own peanut butter at the hippie store.
posted by malthusan at 6:19 PM on November 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


How does the blind guy tell the different sodas (or beer?) apart?
posted by yeoz at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2012


Metafilter: Aside from the danger of your other hand not being strong enough to keep the jar from spinning out of control, throwing peanut oil and spread in great sweeping arcs, before being flung across the kitchen and out the window while the now-free beater spins madly, I see no drawback.
posted by KathrynT at 6:23 PM on November 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Re: laundry in the fridge

I can confirm that you do indeed keep shirts in the fridge before ironing. My grandmother frequently told stories of how she always sent my grandfather off with the crispest shirts because she knew "the secret" of sprinkling dry laundry with drops of water and then keeping them in bags in the fridge until ironing time.

This was before she had a spray bottle or a steaming iron so it's most likely that it was simply to create an even dampness on the shirt, but perhaps there is some other magic going on there that we have lost over the years of no-drip steamers and polyblends.
posted by Vysharra at 6:25 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does the blind guy tell the different sodas (or beer?) apart?

He or someone he trusts put them in there in a pattern that he has memorized. (Grew up with a blind neighbor who explained this sort of stuff to me as a kid.)
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:26 PM on November 30, 2012


I have to make a cranky correction here—there is no such thing as "hippie" peanut butter. There is only genuine peanut butter, which contains (a) peanuts and sometimes (b) salt, and there is peanut-flavored Crisco polluted with corn syrup and preservatives, which is actually concentrated sadness reconstituted as a sort of plasticky caulk for childrens' cry-holes.
posted by sonascope at 6:27 PM on November 30, 2012 [17 favorites]


The real secret to stirring up peanut butter is to have it slightly cold, the tackiness helps avoid splashing all over.
posted by The Whelk at 6:29 PM on November 30, 2012


Re: hippie peanut butter, upon purchasing stick upside down in cupboard for a while to trick oil into hanging out with spackle. Uncork and stir, store in fridge thereafter.
posted by Cuke at 6:38 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think the guy with an American flag in his freezer may be trying to get rid of moth eggs.
posted by HypotheticalWoman at 6:39 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I grind my own peanut butter at the hippie store.

This. Presumably buying in small quantities forestalls the separation-before-complete-consumption issues.

I also buy hippies at the hippie store. I keep them in the closet, not the fridge (so they are sort of irrelevant to this thread). When I have enough of them, I won't have to go to the hippie store anymore. I'll throw peanuts and hobnailed boots into the closet and wait for patchouli-scented peanut butter to ooze out from under the door.
posted by kengraham at 6:44 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Those are some suspiciously clean fridges.
posted by angerbot at 7:00 PM on November 30, 2012


...they seem ...kinda average to slightly dirty to me?
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 PM on November 30, 2012


Hey, hippie peanut butter eaters, they make a special stirring lid to stick on your 16- or 26-oz. jar.

My fridge is full because my husband wants to have ALL THE CONDIMENTS even though he rarely uses them, so the door is all full of condiments. Otherwise, 2 gallons of milk (whole and 2%), sour cream, orange juice, apple juice, several types of cheese (feta, bleu, cheddar, mozzarella, string), summer sausage, hummus, eggs, sandwich bread but not other bread (I used to have a cat who'd eat through the plastic bag and I just got in the habit), storeboughten pie crust, berries, salad greens, cut carrots and celery, walnuts and almonds for cooking not snacking (the snacking ones are in the cabinet I don't know why), leftovers, and like six jars of salsa and pasta sauce that my husband opens, uses half of, sticks in the fridge, and forgets exist.

I know I could keep, say, the parmesan cheese in the cabinet but there's space in the deli drawer and that's where all the other cheese is so I can find it. I try to shop once a week and arrange the meals from most-spoilable ingredients to least-spoilable ingredients.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:04 PM on November 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cooking for one does not suck, and everyone who thinks that can bite me. I love to cook and I live alone and work super fucked up hours that make it really hard to have people over for a meal. So, I cook for me. Tonight is crab cakes with meyer lemon aioli and a salad of arugula, persimmons, probably some hazelnuts (maybe candied?) with homemade vinaigrette, and leftover apple crisp for dessert. I will probably end up with leftover crab cakes, which I will have for breakfast tomorrow. Crab cakes benedict is absolutely divine.

I'm really sorry you guys don't like cooking for yourself--it's one of the most joyous things about my life, and I wish I could share that.
posted by mollymayhem at 7:09 PM on November 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


Am I the only one who has a handy photo of my fridge? This is a few years ago but I still mostly eat the same thing, just more squash and bowls of squash seeds waiting to be roasted.
posted by jessamyn at 7:16 PM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Longhammer beer? That's perfect.
posted by goshling at 7:55 PM on November 30, 2012


We too are prone to The Condiment Demon (it's a bitch goddess), and it doesn't help that I love making cocktails so there's a bunch of real estate tied up with infused simple syrups, various vermouths and vermouth-like substances, brandied cherries, blah bah blah. The other major thing is that our shoddy apartment in the South is hot and humid as fuck 80% of the year (the kitchen is the one room in the place where the central air doesn't reach, ugh natch) making it impossible to keep things unspoiled out of the fridge that do fine at my yankee parents' abode on the counter. I have to keep nuts and most spices and many types of flours/grains in the freezer or fridge, alas. And there's always stuff like frozen lard, homemade stocks, pestos, blah blah blah. Adds up fast.
posted by ifjuly at 7:55 PM on November 30, 2012


Oh, speaking of being flabbergasted by the potatoes, that's how I felt about the onions. I had no idea people stored (uncut/unpeeled/unhalfused) onions in the fridge. That seems very odd to me, not just because I've never experienced in any climate a need to put them there, but it seems they'd stink the hell up out of the rest of the fridge (garlic too, but I didn't see that anywhere).

Which reminds, the worst is when you have a big batch of kimchi and nowhere to store it without claiming fridge neighbor casualties.
posted by ifjuly at 7:59 PM on November 30, 2012


but keeping it in the fridge makes it this horrible hard chilly mass that tears the bread when you try to spread it and that is a terrible sandwich crime and i am judging you

I keep sliced bread at room temp until a couple of days before it gets stale, then it goes into the freezer. When I need a couple of slices I'll toast them on low which defrosts and warms the bread but only minimally toasts it. Structural integrity retained and the core usually comes out fluffy and almost-like-new moist.

re: peanut butter

Nobody else plays "Hello Mr. Peanutbutter" where you you incorporate saying hello to Mr. Peanutbutter into a morning routine? I say goodmorning to my jar of peanut butter by inverting it before grinding my morning cup of coffee.

Also, as long as your utensils are clean, the oil in "real" peanutbutter preserves it even at room temperature. With HFCS-laden commercials, there's probably enough chemical preservatives and shelf-stabilizers so you don't need to keep it in the fridge.

I'm potato refrigeration agnostic.
posted by porpoise at 8:03 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had the same reaction to the onions as ifjuly, along with some panic about maybe I've been storing onions incorrectly all my life.

My SO had a difficult time adjusting to moving in and sharing a fridge because I keep various kinds of live foods for my fish and other critterpets in repurposed plastic food containers in there. He pretty much will not open yogurt or cottage cheese tubs ever, after the Tubifex Worm Ball Incident.
posted by jamaro at 8:51 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


My hoarder MIL's fridge is crammed with ancient condiments in the door, rotting vegetables in the bins, current dairy products at the front of the fridge and in the back, 2 rows of dairy products that expired 18 months previously. Not nearly as bad as what I've seen on the show Hoarders, but still, living there temporarily was awful for many reasons including this poor fridge doomed to devote itself to the housing of moldering food that its owners weren't going to eat but didn't want to deal with.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 9:11 PM on November 30, 2012


I still mostly eat the same thing, just more squash and bowls of squash seeds

The tyranny of NOW has you in its short-armed grasp.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:12 PM on November 30, 2012


No, no, no! The way to stir up real peanut butter is to dump it into a bowl, microwave for 2 minutes, then stir. Easy to stir and NO PEANUT OIL ON THE COUNTER. (The Adams has gotten too pricey for me, though--seriously, $6 a jar?--so I've been buying peanuts and making my own PB in the food processor. It doesn't stay around long enough to separate.)

And I guess I'm the only one with about 12 unlabeled canning jars of mysterious fluids in my fridge? True story--I once almost put my homemade facial moisturizer on my salad 'cause it was in one of the 12 unlabeled canning jars.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:22 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: concentrated sadness reconstituted as a sort of plasticky caulk for childrens' cry-holes
posted by thisclickableme at 9:24 PM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


As soon as I saw the snake I thought, "oh good! Someone else who freezes dead animals because they're more awesome than any flower bouquet." Also great for preserving art subjects, like a perfect, all-feathers-attached dead wren found in the snow.
posted by DisreputableDog at 12:15 AM on December 1, 2012


I've recently switched to sunflower butter. It too has the separation thing going on. I don't let it bother me, I just dig deep for my portion. I also don't refrigerate. Just like I don't refrigerate my potatoes or my Worcestershire sauce. Or my bread-- refrigerated bread is not good, warmed bread from the freezer is as good as new.

I do refrigerate the rice and the ground almond meal because of an ongoing pantry moth war.

As to Dead Animals I Have Had in the Refrigerator: baby bunnies. When I raised angora rabbits there would be the occasional baby that lost a limb so I would put the baby to sleep in the freezer. It was supposed to be a gentle death.

Other things you might find odd: seeds and bulbs. Some seeds and bulbs need a cold snap. The NC cold season is a short lived thing and if I want to plant seeds or bulbs out of season, they need to be chilled first.

Growing up we always refrigerated batteries. I sort of got out of the habit of doing that. Does it really work to prolong life or was that just a myth?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:23 AM on December 1, 2012


Cooking for one does not suck, and everyone who thinks that can bite me. I love to cook

There's the rub. I don't mind cooking, but it's more of a chore than a pleasure and if I'm only doing it for myself what's the point in getting too fancy?

but keeping it in the fridge makes it this horrible hard chilly mass that tears the bread when you try to spread it and that is a terrible sandwich crime and i am judging you

That's why you put your bread in the freezer so it's nice and hard when you go to make sandwiches for work in the morning.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2012


Am I the only one who has a handy photo of my fridge?

Wait, am I supposed to be keeping this growler of syrup in the fridge and not in the cupboard? COLD SYRUP OH GOD I CAN'T MY PRECIOUS PANCAKES WHY.
posted by elizardbits at 7:45 AM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


am I supposed to be keeping this growler of syrup in the fridge

Yeah, otherwise it totally grows mold, and you won't even know it because of the opaque container. Warm up the syrup in the microwave or a pan of warm water.

The tyranny of NOW has you in its short-armed grasp.


The National Organization for Women?
posted by jessamyn at 7:50 AM on December 1, 2012


?! syrup grows mold?
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:53 AM on December 1, 2012


Yes! Exciting mold.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 AM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's in a glass jar though so I can see if there are any scary things.

except it's so dark argh maybe there are demons i can't see
posted by elizardbits at 7:57 AM on December 1, 2012


Wow, that is indeed exciting mold.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:04 AM on December 1, 2012


Oh crap I've left my beer growler out on the counter for like weeks does it also have mold now?
posted by The Whelk at 8:15 AM on December 1, 2012


Wait, what? You age eggnog? Why?

Sorry, just saw this now. It's safer to age it, actually! The link in my post about Rockefeller University's eggnog has a video explaining it, and their recipe can be found here.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:02 AM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, now that I think of it, my cavalier attitude expressed above about leaving food out of the fridge probably has a lot to do with the fact that I live in New Mexico, where it's relatively dry compared to most of the country. Here, you can leave bagged bread on the counter for a week or more before mold appears. I seem to recall that that absolutely wasn't the case when I lived in Boston.
posted by koeselitz at 9:38 AM on December 1, 2012


I don't mind cooking, but it's more of a chore than a pleasure and if I'm only doing it for myself what's the point in getting too fancy?

For serious. Cooking for 1 = bowl of cereal. I will mix two kinds of cereal (kashi go lean AND bran flakes, ooh) if I am feeling ~*fancy*~.
posted by elizardbits at 9:47 AM on December 1, 2012


I mean I guess the superstuffed 1-person fridges make sense if they are cooking three large meals at home every single day, but otherwise I just can't figure out what the hell they're going to do with all that food before it spoils.

My fridge for one person would probably look pretty stuffed, but I cook a lot and very rarely snack so most of my eating during the day happens through meals. When breaking down my shopping habits and types of food cooked I usually find my fridge always looks more full than necessary for a single person. But more often than not it's because it's the raw ingredients, especially because I don't and most often can't grocery shop in bulk for a one person household. This usually means I'm stopping by grocery stores for large to small purchases every 3 days or once a week. My fridge is basically in constant rotation of uncooked foods, new foods and foods in the process of being finished off. Throw in the occasional special reason cooking, like making food for get togethers and whatnot, then there's more food in the fridge. Sometimes super full, sometimes not so much, but rarely empty.

For example, I have in the fridge right now 4 large bunches of collard greens purchased last night that make my fridge look a lot like the one of the lady that decided to start eating local produce, because collards are tough leaves. However, after trimming them tomorrow and 2 hours in some water and ham hocks they will cook down to easily half a pot of greens that can get handily wolfed down in about 4-6 servings. I also do a lot of different types of cuisine. Korean foods require large amounts of garlic, scallions and Chinese chives to be used. You also tend to make banchans you keep in the fridge and eat with rice. I also eat insane amounts of kai lan, and a shopping trip from Chinatown will mean the crisper is close to exploding. If I decide to make pernil, I'll probably pick up a pork shoulder 1-3 days before I'm going to make it and just let it chill in the fridge. So a photo taken of my fridge at any of these times will probably look more like I'm trying to feed a large family than a solitary lady living on her own.

Cooking for 1 = bowl of cereal.

Oddly enough, I have the worst trouble incorporating cereal into my life because I don't really drink or consume milk fast enough (unless I'm using it for baking or making certain foods) to keep enough of it in the house for cereal eating or it just goes bad. It's also probably because cereal wasn't really part of my diet growing up so I'm not big on eating it as a meal. I'm more of a savory foods person anyway so cereal would not be my first choice for eating food at any time of the day. Even as a breakfast food, for me growing up, breakfast was most likely to be Korean style rice with some things, or my dad's crazy Southern style calorie bombs of eggs, varieties of pork, biscuits and grits on weekends. I actually have a box of Raisin Bran (it's even my favorite cereal!) in my cupboard right now that I bought in July that's still easily 2/3 full and I will probably have to throw out because I am having such a hard time finishing it off.
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:05 PM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


You should have seen our freezer before Sandy. Our area didn't lose power on a large scale and our house didn't lose power at all, but it seemed like a good idea before hand (given the Weather Channel hype) to clear out unwanted and perishable items, starting with the dubious leftovers. I do the cooking and there are 3 people in the household so there are usually many leftovers. After 1 week the chance of their being eaten drops to zero, but we are all hoarders* so the leftovers don't get thrown out till they develop mold.

Over the last year I was persuaded to freeze leftover stews and casseroles but forgot to label and date them so various brown-colored items in clear plastic containers were taking up space in the freezer. After months (as I estimate) they resembled rations left over from Shackleton's expedition. Frost had developed inside some. An argument with Hoarder #2 and #3 ensued. #2 (female) agreed to throwing these out, #3 (male) wanted to keep them. He was overruled. The imperishable condiments remained in the fridge, including marmalade, which nobody likes. Every so often we feel like pretending to be British and eat it on toast, then are reminded how bitter it tastes.

Potatoes should be stored away from the light, whether you keep them in your fridge in a paper bag or at room temperature, or else they will turn green and bitter.

*hoarding being relative, none of us are clinical-scale hoarders as in the rooms being unusable for their original purpose with goat paths through the clutter, but any space that can be closed away (closets, drawers) tends to fill up.
posted by bad grammar at 2:44 PM on December 1, 2012


I know we're long past discussing the Snake in the Freezer, but it's not often I get to trot out my own Snake in the Freezer. My former stepfather used to hunt rattlesnakes and they'd live in the freezer until he'd get around to skinning them, after which he'd make them into hatbands. Usually they were in the backyard freezer, but occasionally, after a big hunt, the overflow would make it into the kitchen fridge. There is nothing so delightful as being a hungover 16-year-old opening the freezer for ice for one's morning soda and being confronted with a coiled, bagged, frozen rattlesnake.

On a non-snake note, I'm amazed at how deeply anxious some of those fridges make me. The things! Stacked on other things, willy-nilly! Open pots of other things!
posted by MsMacbeth at 3:25 PM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I have animal specimens in my freezer, but if I had a snake I would store it in alcohol.
posted by snofoam at 3:27 PM on December 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


We may still have a warbler in the freezer. Somewhere behind the vodka.
posted by gingerbeer at 4:44 PM on December 1, 2012


Also, jessamyn, that maple syrup mold link was awesome! Especially all the comments asking if they should eat the moldy syrup. (Answer: no!)
posted by gingerbeer at 4:45 PM on December 1, 2012


Cooking for one does not suck, and everyone who thinks that can bite me

There were a couple of things I didn't like about cooking for one, and so I don't do that anymore.

First, it was difficult to buy ingredients in quantities small enough for a single serving. I had to either throw a lot of stuff away, which was wasteful and expensive and made me feel bad, or I had to try to get myself enthused about eating leftovers, which I'm not.

Second, it takes just as long to cook for one as it does for two or three or maybe even four, but without all the happy fun conversation-over-dinner stuff. I'd have to spend 30-45 minutes in the kitchen preparing a meal it would take 5-10 minutes to eat. Seems like a lot of work for a fairly minimal reward. It's different with guests: you cook a meal, then you spend a while conversing and enjoying each other's company as you eat, and it's not just about the food.

It sounds like maybe you just inherently enjoy the process of cooking, which would certainly make the math work out differently. For me, sure, cooking is fun in the sense that it's making something, and making things is cool, but it's not in itself all that entertaining. I'd rather go out and sit at a little table and read a book while someone else does the work, and then they can clean up, too, and I'll spend about the same amount of money on the meal as it would have cost for all the ingredients, half of which I'd have ended up throwing away.
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:58 PM on December 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Was it just me, or did like everyone have CoffeMate in their fridge?
Also, the Hair Stylist/Musician one makes me want Eggo's and makes me sad I can't find them here.
posted by Karmeliet at 1:01 AM on December 2, 2012


> the worst is when you have a big batch of kimchi and nowhere to store it without claiming fridge neighbor casualties

The previous owners of my house were restaurant owners, possibly hoarders, and Korean, and they never cleaned. The kimchi claimed the entire kitchen and all the carpeting in the house.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:26 PM on December 4, 2012


Okay so I tried to make a video of the correct peanut butter stirring technique but I sort of miscalculated the number of hands required to do both tasks simultaneously and had to hold my phone in my mouth to make the video and tl;dr I now have a 45 second video of the inside of my mouth giggling drunkenly while peanut butter squishy noises happen in the background.
posted by elizardbits at 4:55 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: a 45 second video of the inside of my mouth giggling drunkenly while peanut butter squishy noises happen in the background.
posted by The Whelk at 4:57 PM on December 4, 2012


Needs a 70's pr0n wah-wah guitar pedal soundtrack.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:14 PM on December 4, 2012


Well? Where the hell is the video?
posted by koeselitz at 5:41 PM on December 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


01 i dont know how to get it off my phone

01.5 im drunk

02 it is only 4.5 seconds long not 45

03 because im drunk
posted by elizardbits at 7:23 PM on December 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Another trick to winning the pantry moth war is: everything food goes in a jar with a seal good enough that it would hold water.

Another trick to real peanut butter is to not bother stirring when it's full. Add more oil if you need more oil when you get to the bottom.
posted by aniola at 3:34 AM on December 16, 2012


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