Monday was "National Clean Out Your Refrigerator" day. Seriously. I don't make this stuff up. And I fully intended to celebrate the holiday in style with red glitter and possibly a Jell-0 salad, and I had planned to wear an old t-shirt from my breastfeeding days that reads, "Got Milk? I do!". But I got distracted by a Jim Gaffigan special on Netflix, getting my tush kicked by Jessica in an iPod Scrabble game, a ninja war with a small but defiant rodent, and the resurgence of the McRib, and I forgot.
Better late than never, right? After all, if I weren't a procrastinator, my fridge would be all Fly Lady sparkly and organized and I wouldn't have found myself donning the yellow rubber gloves to tackle this job, would I?
I began with the top shelf, a shelf useful only for items under five inches tall. Hummus, sour cream, cottage cheese, jams & jellies, and yogurt, because as much as I hate yogurt, I seem to be unable to stop buying it. So, I checked the printed expiration date on the sides of each one, because yogurt tastes exactly the same before, after, and even WAY after it has "gone bad". The top shelf also contained seven - SEVEN jars of jalapenos. Why? Apparently to keep the 8 jars of salsa from getting lonely. I must have been planning a Cinco de Mayo party back in June when I discovered my mistake. Anyway . . . I combined the half-empty jars, the mostly empty jars, and the one that seemed to have been saved for the juice alone, reducing the jalapeno count to three, but all of the salsas had crusty residue under the lids, so they had to go.
I discovered something on the middle shelf that required a Haz-Mat Team. I'm pretty certain, at one time, that toxic Tupperware actually contained a half-eaten block of sweetened Philadelphia Cream Cheese surrounded by blackberries. Today, all covered in enough fuzz to be president of the Hair Club for Men, it looked more like Dead Possum in a Snap-n-Seal.
At some point, an Olive Garden take-home box dripping with butter had been shoved onto the bottom shelf, and had collided with an 18-count carton of brown eggs, cracking one of the eggs, and overturning some heavy cream and a not-quite-closed jar of grated parmesan. The result was a petrified Alfredo Sauce strong enough to cement styrofoam containers to plexiglass.
Finally, in the crisper drawers, I saw my first UFO (Unidentified Fermenting Object), which appeared to be both a solid and a liquid in one gelatinous blob, and something that could, quite possibly, be a shrunken head from the Huambisa tribe in the Amazon Basin. Or an old plum. Hard to tell.
After utilizing an entire bottle of vinegar (because I'm trying to be "green"), an entire roll of paper towel (because I'm not THAT "green"), the shop-vac and the air compressor, the job was complete.
I'm so relieved "National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day" only comes around once a year. I'd hate to have to do this every week.