A month or so ago I cleaned out my freezer.
Yesterday I cleaned my refrigerator. This is a different thing than just cleaning it out. Cleaning it out mostly involves taking most of the food off of the shelves, sorting it and putting the good stuff back. Maybe wiping up some visible spills. But not getting behind or under things or dealing with the bottles on the door.
Cleaning it involves taking all the food out, all the bins out, plus disassembling the shelves and scrubbing them & the inside of the fridge all clean.
This happens as rarely as the freezer cleaning for much the same reasons – it’s cold, my hands cramp up from the scrubbing and the solid yet still gel like substances that accumulate in dark forgotten corners are a PITA to get clean. Plus the heavy tempered glass shelves are too big to fit in the kitchen sink and have to be washed in the bathtub. Which means I then I have to wash the bathtub. And mop. I never manage to clean the fridge without getting dirty water on the floor, or wrecking the kitchen in general
So it’s a bit of an undertaking really.
But someone didn’t put the lid back securely on a juice bottle and then someone grabbed it off the shelf with wild abandon, resulting in juice splattering and then someone did not wipe the mess up. (could be the same someone, could be a conspiracy, it’s hard to say as I was not around at the time)
The other night I saw this on the door
There was more on the inside shelves and it had solidified in the chill so it could not be wiped up easily any longer.
You see how given the layout & lighting seeing what is under the cheese drawer is almost impossible? Or behind the jelly? or the back half of the bottom shelf? (this is not an actual before photo, it is from last month)
I cleared the top shelves & removed them & the cheese drawer & found this
I emptied the door shelves, removed them and found this
What is it? How did it get there? How long has it been there?
I left the shelves to soak in the bathtub and scrubbed the whole fridge. Then I sorted the food.
This is all the non-expired still edible food in the fridge, minus a 6 pack of hard cider that didn’t fit on the counter, the bottles that go on the door shelves and the contents of the fruit & veggie bins.
Rather a lot of dairy products, especially if you include the crescent rolls & eggs which are both often found in the dairy aisle of the supermarket. Dairy, alcohol, bread and soup. My 4 food groups.
I cleaned out the bottled condiments for the first time in forever as well. These are all that were expired, surprisingly enough. We only like Newman’s Own Parmesan & Garlic salad dressing but keep others on hand for company. I have no idea why we have pickle relish.
The prominently placed small bottle of Ranch is the oldest. I suppose it got hidden behind other bottles & forgotten & probably I failed to check dates last time I cleaned the bins. (which was this summer when the Newman’s Own fell over with a loose lid and made an all natural oily mess)
So, how long have I been ignoring this small bottle of dressing?
Not quite as long as I overlooked the tater tots. The rest of the stuff expired in the past 2 months so I suppose I don’t completely suck at keeping the food rotated.
The shelves were washed, dried, replaced and the food put back neatly. (twice because I can never remember which holes the shelves were in & can’t tell until the food is there if I left enough space)
Look at my lovely clean fridge
I’ll be offering classes on “The Effects of Cold on Sticky Liquids & Why You Should Clean them Immediately” to various members of the household in the coming days.
They will be followed by brief lectures on “The Importance of Checking Dates Before Eating Anything Because Mom is Lazy” and “Lids – How to Tighten Them” which is a fun filled hands on seminar.
The first person who spills anything in that fridge will reach for a sponge if he values his life.
It’s delurker day too! So now would be a great chance for you to delurk and tell me what the oldest thing in your fridge is or what the biggest mess you have ever cleaned out of you fridge was.
I look forward to hearing about it!