The top 5 myths about my refrigerator that I totally believe are true

Guest post by KathyRo
By: Nestor LacleCC BY 2.0

My mother’s fridge was SPOTLESS when I was growing up. BOTH of them! (She kept an older one in the garage that she only turned on when entertaining.) My stepmother’s is spotless too, as are my aunts’.

If I asked any of these women how they do it, they would just blink in confusion. It would be like asking them how they keep their assholes clean. You just don’t want to admit you’re having a problem in this area and yet I marvel at their abilities.

Instead of having a spotless fridge, I just cling to these five myths that I believe are true about my refrigerator…

Myth #5: Anything below the waist doesn’t require cleaning

The crisper in particular has magical properties of perpetual cleanliness, and besides: all the veggies are in plastic bags anyway.

Myth #4: Condiments never go bad

Corollary: you absolutely cannot throw out that old Worcestershire sauce because there’s only a tablespoon left at the bottom of the bottle. You can however buy another bottle and use that until there’s a tablespoon left and keep doing that until there’s a small forest of Worcestershire sauces taking up precious door space. The only way to reclaim this space is if your mother comes to your house and removes all the bottles when you’re not looking.

Also, for the purposes of this discussion, salad dressing, small yogurt containers, leftover penicillin prescriptions and that terrible “pumpkin” beer you bought last year all fall into the category of “condiments.” Basically anything that can fit in the door space is a condiment.

Myth #3: The refrigerator doesn’t smell

But if it did smell, it would only be because there’s something benign like an old juice box hiding somewhere and not because there’s something toxic like three-month-old Tupperware with decomposing animal parts in it. So there’s no reason to launch a full scale search and destroy mission.

Equally there’s no reason to doubt the sanitation of the fridge. Continue to place raw foodstuffs in it.

Myth #2: The freezer is an infinity box

Everything you put in it will last forever so there’s no reason to throw anything out — not even that frozen turkey from the “buy-one-get-one-free” Thanksgiving sale back in 2002. Yes, it’s completely white with possible freezer burn and yes, you’ve probably dropped it on your foot a few times. But you can’t just throw it out. Both it and the failed popsicle experiment from 2004 must stay until, again, your mother throws them out when you’re not looking.

Myth #1: The refrigerator has regenerative powers

That green onion that’s a little wilty? That will be fine a couple days. As will the bread with just a speck of mold. That leftover tomato paste with the fuzz growing on it will be okay. Give them a chance to bounce back. They’re just resting.

What do you think, Homies? What are the myths you know to be absolutely true about your refrigerator?

Comments on The top 5 myths about my refrigerator that I totally believe are true

  1. Ok, so I admit this is part of my anxiety problem, but THE FRIDGE MUST BE CLEAN. Fridges in other people’s houses universally stress me out. Even imagining food with mould on stresses me out. Argh.

    I’m not sure now if it’s better to have a dirty fridge or a mental health problem… Surely there must be a third way?!

    For those asking for tips – I wipe down my fridge every week. It never gets particularly gross in between. My food delivery comes on a Wednesday, so by Wednesday morning it’s pretty much empty and gets a wipe down. That’s all I do. Is that weirdly obsessive though?

    • Maybe a little bit obsessive but I get it. Every time my mother comes over to my house she comments on how clean my fridge is and all I can think is “That’s because your fridge* is so full of garbage that it traumatized me as a child”. My sister and I are in our 30’s and we still sneak over to their house and throw stuff out when they go on extended vacations.

      *she also has an additional fridge and full size freezer in her garage which are both full to the point where she routinely asks me to store stuff of hers in mine. *headdesk*

    • Right? So one purchases the correct number of grocery items, which are then consumed before new grocery items are purchased? I don’t…

    • The children in our house deem the fridge “empty” when there is no milk. Period. It could be so full as to not have room for milk (which means it’s time to clean out all the “dead” leftovers), but in their eyes it is empty; their plaintive cries merely echoing back at them from the yawning abyss.

  2. Mine:
    – that jar of sundried tomatoes cannot be thrown out. It doesn’t matter that you don’t like sundried tomatoes. It’s been there for long enough that it’s now an integral part of the fridge.
    – Putting lots of fresh vegetables into the fridge is just the same as eating them, and just as good for you.

  3. By virtue of living a student lifestyle and moving every year to a place with a new fridge, OF COURSE my fridge gets cleaned ! (…when I move out… in order to get my deposit back.)

  4. ok I just really need to make this annoying obligatory RN comment right now: there should never be any “leftover penicillin prescriptions” (unless for some reason you’ve been directed to do so by your provider)!! You’re supposed to take the entire course of antibiotic therapy, even if your symptoms are gone and you feel better. Not taking all of the prescribed antibiotic can contribute to antibiotic-resitant strains of bacteria. Ahhh! ok sorry bye

  5. If you put it in your fridge, you’ll eat it. Even if it’s produce you don’t like without the fancy dips you only see at Christmas parties.

  6. The bottom shelf of my fridge holds the booze cemetery in my house. My husband and I are really, really occasional drinkers, but we get a lot of booze gifts. So now we have this cache of liquor, micro-brew, and wine that is never opened. (We also know none of this really needs to be refridgerated , but it just migrates there, for some reason.) We keep swearing we will totally drink them one day. At least we’ll have something to trade with if the zombie apocalypse hits, right?

    • I have a lot of homebrewers in my family, and I do like to drink beer. But somehow I only ever finish half of a six-pack of microbrews. I think I have 3 6-pack holders in my tiny apartment fridge.
      I have discovered that the empty slots are just the right size for little baggies of fresh herbs, so at least *some* of that space isn’t going to waste… but still.

      • We use the empty six pack boxes to store condiment bottles! Those things are so handy for fridge door storage.

  7. Oh, I hear you, sweetheart. Two rules and two rules only do you need to follow. Well, maybe three.

    1) When you go grocery shopping, before you load things into the fridge, load things out of the fridge. Leftovers that don’t have a plan to be eaten get tossed, half empty sodas get recycled, and anything that was replaced in this grocery run is… well, replaced.

    2) When you peek at your leftovers and the tiny voice inside you whispers, “uhmmm, is this still good?” listen to that whisper. And the next time you see the leftovers, even if you are much hungrier, remember that little whisper and remember that it hasn’t gotten any fresher, and when you thought it looked a bit dodgy, that was…. uhhm, how long ago? When you get into a habit of remembering “I thought this was going bad before!” and tossing, you start tossing once you see it the first time.

    3) Yeah, sometimes you have to clean it. I don’t know, just sometimes.

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