The Silence of Rotting Food


Last week, we came home from a short trip away to discover that our refrigerator door had been left open. I’m going to avoid the opportunity to highlight potentially guilty parties or the “how could you not?” rhetorical (blaming) ‘questions’ and just say that it sucked. Obviously. But especially because I tend to keep a very well stocked fridge. Needless to say, the garbage bin that held our warm, rotten food was very full and I’m surprised I did not shed tears at the sight of it.

The positive side of this is that it remotivated some food planning in our household. In part, because there was a large number of condiments (and other things) that I held on to, but was not sure if I should have held on to, so I figured we better use them up very quickly just in case.

This concept – not wasting food; recycling questionable/expired foods – is the main cooking legacy my mother has passed on to me. And I say that with no hidden criticism. Unbeknownst to me, we probably ate the same recycled meal for a week at a time and no one ever realized (the roast that was the roast that became the sandwiches that became the stroganoff that became part of a meatloaf/quiche/loaf of bread or frozen for next year’s Christmas dinner). This instilled in me a great amount of (irrational) confidence as a cook and also zero regard for how things are supposed to be prepared or the ingredients that are normally supposed to be in certain things. Yet, as someone who is generally reluctant to do things she may fail at, this parenting model allowed me to skip over some kitchen-hesitation that I otherwise may have had.

So, I’d like to inspire you by documenting the recycled meals we made out of a fridge full of warm condiments:

  1. Quiche! With sour milk & 1/2 dozen eggs that were extra cooked to extra kill that Salmonella potential!
  2. Pizza! With wilted greens, naturally fermented crust (read: expired yogurt) and a trimmed back block of cheese.
  3. Curry! With boxed coconut cream, remaining expired yogurt, (unaffected) rice, and a myriad of vegetables in a myriad of life stages. Extra boil, extra simmer.

Anyone for supper?


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