Simpler Life: The Fridge

Simpler Life - Fridge

I seem to spend lots of time rearranging the fridge which never seems to have any space in it. There is a myriad of jars and bottles which I have used some of, blogged about, put in the fridge and forgotten.

I hate throwing food away, it feels wrong and wasteful, so the bottles of sauces and pastes stay in the fridge, waiting for me to be in the mood to cook with them, and thus making me feel guilty (and cross about the lack of space) every time I open the fridge.

I found:

  • One sourdough starter – untouched since June.  I keep thinking I can revive it, but really know it is dead so any attempt is pointless.  If by some miracle it did recover it will be sluggish.   I can get another from any one of a number of friends who are more caring with their sourdough than I am.
  • Chilli Vodka – this has been in the fridge for at least 5 years.  It is so hot that it is unusable, one drop will more than flavour a large casserole.  I have wrecked and had to chuck several meals from using too much – the irony of this does not escape me.  Yet still it remained in the fridge – because I might dilute it down one day.
  • Crystallised over cooked marmalade – because I might add some water, simmer and use in a sponge pudding.
  • 2 identical opened jars of miso, because I could not see the open one behind everything else.
  • Umeboshi Plums – opened and three years out of date.
  • 3 jars assorted Asian cooking pastes.

I could go on.  The thing is that I know that (apart from the miso) this stuff was in there.  My guilt was making me believe I would use it one day, the need to use them was always lurking at the back of my mind.

I am not enjoying the food I want to eat as much as I could, because I am feeling guilty about the food I feel I should be eating so as not to waste stuff. This is insanity.

Once opened (and out of date) I cannot donate it. Dumped. Bottles and jars in the recycling.  I still dislike food waste, but need to accept when to let go.

What lurks in your fridge? Go on grab something you will never use and bin it!

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About Helen

Helen Best-Shaw is a freelance writer, who has been writing about achievable and affordable food on Fuss Free Flavours since 2007. She also contributes articles and recipes to a number of online and print food magazines.

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Comments

  1. I don’t like jars of stuff and regurlarly now read the use by date and then don’t buy said jar. Most jars have ridiculous use buy stipulations on them and you know you’re not going to get through them in that time. Spices are another thing that get ridiculously out of date if they are not in your regular use list and I have to admit to using them in desperation (even when 3 yrs out of date on 1 occassion), no-one noticed. In fact I used out of date Camomile Tea last night as a medicinal aid for my daughter’s sore eyes last night, they were much better this morning so I was glad I hadn’t chucked them and only ever use as First Aid and not to drink. Must go and clear out some more tat from my fridge, did start on the freezer last night with some very iced over, freezer burnt Quorn peices, more to be done in there too! Thanks for reminder and keep up the good work!

  2. I think you can revive the sourdough. Spike the first refresh with a bit of rye and it will bounce back to life. Mine’s been neglected nearly that long too, and I plan to reanimate it this week or next.

  3. Heidi Roberts says:

    I make soup for Clive to take to work so that I can use up all the little bits of veg in the fridge then he forgets to take it, leaves it in the fridge too long and it get chucked out. Another irony! I should just put the veg on the compost heap in the first place and feed that!!

    • Heidi – why not freeze the soup in a microwavable pot so he can take it to work frozen and then defrost and heat there? If it gets forgotton then there is no waste?

  4. I love this series Helen! I’m quite strict every few weeks (months) and throw things out. Somehow the jars acumulate again however. I once had a jar
    MiracleWhip (mayonnaise from US) and when it went out of date I still couldn’t throw it away for sentimental reasons- madness how can one be sentimental about mayonnaise! You should get a little bottle of vodka & dilute your chili vodka, you will feel so satisfied at having done that & not wasted it!

  5. I must admit I am better about using up jars and pastes fro the fridge than I am in using up my store cupboard ingredients. I am fridge obsessed and like to wipe it out almost daily and use whatever i can. The one thing I ignore is the use by dates on the Authentic That curry pastes, can’t remember the brand. They have a shelf life of about a month but I keep mine and use way past this time, with no problem at all.
    Wonder if your spicy vodka would taste good in a Sriracha style chilli sauce?!

  6. Lesley Bain says:

    I’m bad for opening jars of pesto then losing half-jars in my fridge behind other things. I’ve also found some furry tomato paste in a jar lurking in there recently.

    My excuse is I’m short so can’t see anything but the front of the top shelf lol x

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