Thursday, June 25, 2009

The beauty (and memory) of an empty refrigerator

I opened the refrigerator this evening and realized that I’d become my mother.

There’s no other explanation for the comfort I felt when I realized that that the refrigerator was nicely emptying out and, if only someone would finish off the gallon-size jar of pepperocinis (what got into me on that Costco trip?!) or guzzle a beer, we’d be approaching actual refrigerator satisfaction.


A refrigerator full of food made my mother nervous. When the fridge was well-stocked, she’d lament that “it all needs to be eaten.” Like now, she’d say. And when the contents of the fridge became more sparse, she’d noticeably relax and exclaim how nice it was to have it “all cleaned out.”

My siblings and I, children of the Ho-Ho generation and admirers of neighbors with fully-stocked refrigerators (Suzie Lisker’s family even had a steady supply of Sara Lee pound cake in their refrigerator!), thought Mom’s obsession was a little nuts.

So this evening when I opened the refrigerator and without thinking, thought to myself (if such a thing can be done), ‘It’s getting there… just a couple fewer items and this will be a perfectly empty refrigerator,” I audibly gasped at myself.

I expected that I’d realize that I’m becoming more and more like Mom when I’d someday peer into the mirror and see her quizzical eyes looking back at me or unexpectedly hear her intonation in my voice. But never did I expect to peer into a refrigerator containing not much more than (ahhhhhhhh!) a few eggs, some baking soda, and a jar of barbeque sauce and realize that now – right now – I am becoming my mother.

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Anonymous said...

I'm becoming your mother too. At least on the fridge issue. :)


Kat said...

umm... do i spy some leftover bean thing!??? PLEASE send some my way, I just got a major craving!!


Carol said...

OMG -- Eagle eyes for "the bean thing," Kat!

Recipe here, folks:


Goofball said...

uh? really? I'd get nervous by an empty fridge!!!! That means I need to get shopping, that means that if I get a craving for something it is not going to be there, that means there's no quickly to heat up left-over that means no effort for dinner.....

Jan likes to shop last minute before he cooks, but I somehow find relieve to have a full fridge, freezer and pantry with lots of options. I like to come home and think "hmm do I feel like pasta with this or that" "oh it's hot out here, perfect for a cold soup and some salad" and knowing the ingredients are ready available there.

Maria said...

I'm also becoming your mother! I can not stand a cluttered fridge! I will help you de-clutter yours by drinking a St. Pauli girl! ;-)

Shriyansi said...

Ok, now I know I am far less experienced at keeping house but CAROL!!! Look at all those cans and jars and junk food!!!! Where are your greens and 'good for the body' foods??? The only time my fridge looks like that is when we have house guests whom I can't force into eating healthier options!!
You better be cutting back on them preservatives... or you won't like it when the fridge police moves to your continent! :)

Carol said...

Shriyansi! All the fresh veggies are in a huge drawer at the bottom. Blame Kat for the frosting, Peter/Tom, and Aleks for the beer, same guys for the (gag) BBQ sauce, and let's see... who else can I blame? Ah yes, the same lot for the sodas.

Do you see "the bean thing" in the leftover dish? That IS HEALTHY!!

When you come to visit, we're gonna go get ICE CREAM! So HA!

Love, Carol

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