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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dealing With Spilt Milk

In continuing with my theme this week to make you jealous, I thought I would share with y'all something that totally blessed me yesterday. I felt so! very! excited! to have the opportunity to participate in such a task. And I know y'all will heave one long, wistful sigh when I tell you what I was able to do. But before I do that ... and to minimize any covetousness you might possibly feel ... I want to remind everyone that this is something ALL OF US can do, if we just take the time to do it. It is an experience NOT to be missed, so I hope that by sharing my joy, I shall somehow convince you, too, to experience the bliss that I experienced yesterday.

Y'all, I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday.

And it was an... er... experience.

Because I'm not just talking about the twice a month, quick scan of the cottage cheese expiration date cleaning... I am talking about taking out the veggie drawers, checking the dates on each and every bottle of salad dressing, spritzing down the shelves kind of cleaning. The one that takes an hour and spirals the refrigerator owner into the Deep Abyss of Embarrassment.

(And I totally KNOW you know what I'm talking about, even if you refuse to admit it.)

Because oh my lands, y'all, I know there is a saying "don't cry over spilt milk," but obviously the person who coined THAT little gem never removed a refrigerator crisper to find a puddle of congealed... well, let's just not go there, shall we? I'm sure you get the picture. And it's not a pretty one at that.

All in all, the toss out contents of the fridge didn't appear too embarrassing, but only because there are no expiration dates on crumbs. And no, I don't know from what the crumbs came... bread? crackers? solidified... something? I'm only glad I wore gloves during the process. I also tossed a few bottles, thankfully with expiration dates traveling back a mere six months or less. And I washed a few Tongginator juice cups that had been sitting in there for... however long they had been sitting in there.

(Admit it. You wish you had my life right now, don't you? You totally do.)

On the plus side, I discovered a much-loved bottle of chocolate sauce that had disappeared into the depths at some point. And the Husband will rejoice to learn that I found humus that is still good (blech) as well as a jar of capers (double blech).

And after I finished all of that, guess what I did? Because it makes perfect sense to do after spending an hour throwing away spoiled food and cleaning congealed refrigerator shelves. Yes, y'all, I went to the grocery store. I totally did. Because nothing says Shop For Food like a refrigerator clean-out session.

Yum.

So what is the absolute worst thing you have ever discovered in your refrigerator? (And freezers totally don't count. Because there are limited smell issues with freezers.)

34 comments:

Andrea said...

While cleaning out my mom's fridge, I found a bottle of Ranch salad dressing that expired in 2001.

It was 2009 when I found the bottle! And to make matters worse, she was serving it to guests when I made the discovery. *sigh*

Shanna said...

Too funny! as I can totally relate. I cleaned my fridge and freezer last week. Didn't want to clean it,and would not have, but I had to..... we are moving. Egad! I had NO idea that a cucumber could go from a solid to a liquid. Oh, and I found a frozen glass with a Beta fish in it. My daughter confessed that she didn't have the heart to flush her dead fish.... so she froze it, and hid it behind the fish sticks.

Aus said...

Well - I'd like to tell you what we found in a 'fridge cleaning session' - but frankly we are at a loss as to what it was! It was in one of those plastic tubs that's left over from the "in a rush grab some lunch meat for a sandwhich that will taste like dust" containers...it must have had some kind of an acidic base (tomato sauce maybe?) because a part of the tub had degraded / dissolved....it was furry and at one time appeared to have a bone in it....but we have no idea what it was originally. At least it had petrified to the point that it didn't smell 'too bad' - but I had to take a putty knife to get the rest off of the glass shelf!

hugs - aus and co.

Rhonda said...

Shanna,

That's HILARIOUS!

We recently cleaned out the fridge (for Passover) from top to bottom. In addition to a liquid cucumber, we also found two beautiful onions (that we had forgotten about). They had turned black and started growing new roots. Mmmmm tasty...

Annie said...

Oh too funny, TM!! The kids have spring break this week and that was one of my goals!! Sad isn't it? You know what's even sadder? I didn't even make THAT goal!! LOL!!

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

Two words: Liquefied zucchinis. Thank God they were still in the produce bag.

Stefanie said...

Limited smell issues?? I think NOT. We happen to have 'inherited' a freezer that was left with our house when we bought it. Little did we know it's horrendously odoriferous.
Can you say FISH?!?
I don't think we could pay someone to haul it off. It's that bad.
Just wanted to clarify... freezer smells can get pretty nasty ;)

Erin @ Closing Time said...

Not that this has EVER happened to me, but hypothetically speaking...

If one were to clean out the vegetable drawer and discover a plastic bag filled with some completely black, smushy and putrid substance that was once a vegetable...and if that person could not even tell what kind of vegetable it used to be because it had somehow found its way to the bottom of the drawer for an undetermined length of time and had decayed beyond recognition. If all of this were to occur, it would be pretty gross.

Not that I have ever experienced that or anything. :)

Beach Mama said...

You post was so totally appropriate for me! Living in the south, I usually reserve the "Cleaning of the Fridge" for after we have had a hurricane. I think Hurricanes are God's way of saying it is time to clean out the fridge. Anyway, I had the pleasure of doing this task off-season at about 9:00 at night when I discovered that the yogurt The Princess had to have was put back into the fridge (opened) and it had spilled, dripped, pooled on every shelf, bin etc. I didn't discover this until about 2 days after she had put the opened container of yogurt in the fridge where it had been pushed around until it fought back.

It is a mystery to me how a refrigerator can get so "dirty" inside.

happygeek said...

I just did this very thing last week.
Minus the capers and the hummus.
Because DH thinks much like you on those lines.
I used to clean out apartments in a senior's complex to get them ready for the new occupants. There pretty much isn't anything I haven't seen in the whole fridge department.
And now I am off to gag at the memories.

LucisMomma said...

Just YUCK at the Aus' comments.

This isn't from the fridge, but once we went on a 3 week trip to see my folks. When we got home, DS (5 years old) asked me to fix him some chocolate milk. Fuss-pot that I am, I put this in a sippy cup so it wouldn't spill everywhere. Well, he picks up a sippy cup and starts to drink....from a cup of milk that had been sitting there since we left THREE WEEKS AGO.

Drinking curdled chocolate milk makes 5 yo boys make pretty disgusting faces....

*Given Much Momma* said...

Shoot! I gotta go clean my fridge now! :)

Chris said...

I love how you can take such an ordinary event and turn it into a funny adventure...
This post almost makes me want to clean out my refrigerator...
Almost....but, not today!! :)

Sarah said...

My mom cleaned out my grandma's fridge in 1990... and found Velveeta that had expired in 1986. :)

Journeywoman said...

D calls me a murderer to a new protazoan life form.

We always clean our fridge to Weird Al's Livin' in the fridge.

Mei Ling said...

I'm never reading your blog during my lunch break at work ever again.

This post put tears in my eyes because I was trying to contain my laughter. The comments didn't help.

Cavatica said...

Clean the refridgerator? Your supposed to clean it? I'm no longer jealous of you. Nope.

Aunt LoLo said...

Hrm...the worst thing I've found? Well, there was the half a chicken I threw out last night...that was Easter Dinner...the Sunday before Easter. There was also a failed attempt at a fish dish...that was from the Friday before the chicken. And that was all found WITHOUT the deep clean. UGH.

longbrakeliving said...

I cleaned the fridge last weekend; I didn't really think it was too dirty until I saw it clean! Now I'm embarassed.

The worst thing I found was a container of chicken dip I had made for a Super Bowl party. The entire thing had turned into a hard block of mold, and the mold had started to creep out through the tin foil. Gross.

Lisa said...

All I can say is this....thank god I'm not the only one! LOL

I needed this pick me up today...thank TM!! :)

Michal said...

My Mom's fridge is WAAAAAY worse than mine. Really. I once found a bunch of mint that had been in there so long it was black liquid, that smelled of rot and mint. Nice. It is also very common to find cheese wearing green sweaters in there. In mine? It's usually old dried up juice or milk. Sometimes I wait to clean out the fridge until I hear it murmuring at me, like the old stuff is gaining precience? THEN I clean.

Janet said...

I can't think of anything right now...but I did clean out my fridge recently and it was totally worth it. I like it when it's sparkly and not covered in crumbs and orange juice and ....undistinguishable muck.

CC said...

Ugh! I think I've found a few things in there that were about 4 years past expiration date. Does that tell you how often I clean it?? ;)

prechrswife said...

We really need to have a thorough clean out around here...there have been several smaller attempts lately. As in, my husband decided to clean the top shelf yesterday when he went to remove the tea pitcher and it was stuck to the shelf. With us, our issue is usually ruined citrus fruit. People here gives us bags full of oranges, etc., and we stick them in the fridge and forget they are there. Just the other day, we discovered a bag and don't even remember when we stuck them in the produce drawer.

And the betta fish comment--hahahahahahaha. :-)

Kristi said...

Found a bottle of salad dressing in a fridge that was three years out of date. Sad thing is that we had moved from our previous house (with the bottle of course) only one year before...

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

I had to do this to my fridge after accidentally dumping a jar of jalapenos!

Cristina said...

I am SO going to clean my fridge now - you guys have guilted me into it!!!

Cristina said...

OK, it is 7.45am and I have just finished cleaning the fridge!! Feeling very virtuous now (with no good reason as fridge is only 3 months old and really shouldn't have been quite so filthy...)

Carla said...

Not participating...only because I couldn't identify what the black sludge that coated the bottom of the frige really was. I swear it was a 1/4 inch thick and OOZED. I know it was likely either the liquefied veggies (zucchini) or it was spilled soda pop (Dr. Pepper most likely), but my worst nightmare was a mixture of all that plus things like spilled Orange Juice...or something.

I made Dh clean it out. yes I did. He chose "clean the refrigerator" over "do the laundry" from the list of chores to do. He thought it would take less time.

Marla said...

I hate cleaning the fridge with a passion. Nothing burns me more than tossing out $100 worth of crap because we let it expire. I can't beat the beta fish story, LOL, the worst I've done is let veggies get hairy (and scary). Now I want to go clean both our fridges, the one in the laundry room is mostly for beer though, so it doesn't get too dirty and letting it expire isn't really a problem. :)

Sharie said...

I don't buy much food - so it's rather easy for me to keep track of - USUALLY!
I was eating cheese one night a few weeks ago...at least 3. It was probably 2 in the morning as I was trying to finish a paper before leaving for vacation. The next morning I got up thinking I forgot to put the cheese away, so I went to my desk, but it wasn't there.

Well guess what I found TODAY while I was unloading the dishwasher? The package of cheese in the cupboard! I saw what it was, saw the I don't know what growing on it and quickly threw it in the trash.

I used to live with my mom, the hoarder, so I've seen some nasty things in the back of the fridge - but that cheese - TOPS!

Patty O. said...

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. EXACTLY. I hate cleaning my refrigerator. Once it stank and I couldn't figure out where the smell was coming from. I tossed all kinds of things and nothing made the smell go away. I finally pulled out the crisper drawers and beheld (and smelled) the most disgusting smell/sight ever. Whatever liquid that had collected under there (possibly from liquefied veggies gone rancid?) had molded. I had to have Bil clean it out because I was about to vomit. Blech. Now I try to remember to clean under there at least monthly--just in case.

Sheri said...

In April 1986 I stayed with some friends for a month when I was moving to the DC area from California. Their fridge smelled so bad that on my second night there I volunteered to clean it out (so I could put my own food in it without gagging or risking food poisoning). With permission granted, I tied a damp, perfumed hand towel across my face and started in. Oh, how I wished I'd thought to bring in some rubber gloves first!! At one point I picked up a foil covered bowl and durn near screamed when I realized I had something dry and fuzzy in my hand... I dropped it to the floor - the bowl was so cushioned by mold on the bottom that it didn't break. I called Mark in to the kitchen (his wife was still at work) and said (pointing with shaking finger): "I don't care WHAT THAT IS: I'm not lifting the foil to find out - if you want to keep the bowl, you'll have to clean it." He poked around a bit, informed me that it was part of their "wedding china" and proceeded to clean it out (with bleach). I immediately vowed to eat off paper plates the entire time I stayed with them. NEVER have I seen mold that LONG. It grew out of the bowl, under the foil, and down the sides, and curled across the bottom of the bowl. There was no telling what had originally been IN the bowl - or how long that stuff had been growing. Bleech!!! The dang thang gave me nightmares for years afterwards - and I've been quite good about cleaning out my own fridge ever after. Altho... I did recently run across some canola oil that expired in March 2008 in one of my cabinets... but I plead innocence: my MOM bought it: I only use olive and sesame oils!! Anyway, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!

Sheri said...

I should add that I have several hundred dollars of dead bugs in my freezer - left over from my former life as a commercial butterfly farmer - so I'm really NOT squeamish!!