Thursday, January 18, 2007

"You mustn't hide too well. You mustn't be too good at the game. The player must never be bigger than the game itself." - Jean Baudrillard

I cleaned my refrigerator today.

I threw out the leftover homemade pickles from this summer, and the month-old applesauce, and two half-eaten yogurts, and the A1 Steak Sauce I don’t even remember buying, and the six bread bags, each containing two heels, bread crumbs be damned.

I took out and washed in warm soapy water (as directed) all the shelves and drawers. I took the Lysol and Fantastik to the interior. I wiped the grime out of all the rubber gaskets, and the coil cover. I even managed to get the red marker off the front of the door.

There was a giant splatter of something deep red all down the back of the fridge; it looked like a murder scene. There was also a puddle of something that smelled suspiciously like molasses pooled in the left back corner under the veggie bin, that I had to take a spatula to.

I rearranged all the shelves when I put them back in, so my juices – which I take out once a day – are on the bottom shelf, and the breads – which I take out at least three times a day – are on the top shelf. I swapped the veggie drawer with the fruit drawer, because I use the fruit drawer more frequently and wanted to have easier access. (Hmmm, my OCD seems to be kicking in a bit…) In short, I redesigned my refrigerator to be more user-friendly.

H can never find anything in there anyway; he couldn’t spot a leftover if it leapt out and bit him, so I might as well make it work for me – as I am the primary grocery shopper/putter-away, and cook.

We recently acquired a second refrigerator that lives in the basement, for the stocking-up of chicken nuggets, waffles, and frozen pizza; for the beer and soda; for the five pounds of chicken breasts that were on special. I love having a second fridge, and as my only working oven is also in the basement and my pantry is on the landing to the basement, there’s a part of me that’s tempted to just set up my kitchen down there and be done with it.

I could call it my “Passover kitchen” or my “little old Italian lady” kitchen. Or I could call it my “Someday I am going to trip and fall up the basement stairs while carrying hot things” preventive measure.

Or I could just admit the truth (but only to you), which is that I hide in the basement when I need peace and quiet for ten minutes, under the guise of sorting dirty laundry or keeping an eye on something in the oven.

And that I have taken to keeping a book down there, to read while I am “keeping an eye on something in the oven.”

Don’t tell.


tut-tut said...

There's nothing quite like cleaning out your refrigerator—unless it's cleaning your oven—for total clear-the-decks satisfaction.

Badger said...

I promise not to tell if you promise to come over here and do to my refrigerators (I have three of them, will that be a problem?) what you just did to yours.

WVW: hjnku, which reminds me that I need to go to the Asian market next week....

Sarah Louise said...

I won't tell.

Katy said...

tell what?

Anonymous said...

For some reason I am SHOCKED to learn that your oven is in the basement. I feel like I should've already known this, but why would I?


Suse said...

I go to the clothesline when I need to escape.

I remember when Son #2 was just born, and #1 was only two and my mum was staying to help and doing all the housework and I never got those ten minutes of peace outside, just me and the pegs and the fragrant washing and the line. In the end I remember wrestling her for the laundry basket in desperation.

blackbird said...

Badger has 3? sheesh.

I just did my fridge too...what do I use most?

You put me to shame with the washing of the gaskets, though.

Anonymous said...

Do you think we're having early bouts of Spring Cleaning?

My fridge is still putrid, but my kitchen floor is sparkly clean.

I scrubbed it yesterday til I was light-headed. (I don't know whether to attribute the light-headedness to the toxic cleaning products I was using or to my surprise at finding myself actually scrubbing something.)

lazy cow said...

1. You must feel SO good and pure now.
2. I'm with Jess.
3. You know where *I* go to escape ;-)

Caro said...

No fair.

You have your own bedroom and a basement!


Bec said...

I did this before Christmas. It felt like a completely new fridge for at least a week afterwards. The smell!! There WAS none!!

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I am insanely jealous. Our house is a kind of open contemporary layout and it drives me nuts not having anywhere to escape to except the bathroom. The second my bedroom door closes, the kids are literally pounding on the door - brats.

MsCellania said...

Sounds like you did one whiz-bang job. You had the 'new fridge' smell!

We have a big double-door unit in the kitchen. Then a Freezer-on-bottom full size in the lower level storage room. And a kegerator in the lower level kitchen. I'd like to rip that out and put in a dishwasher, but the fellow doesn't ask for much, so it stays. All these refriges are always full, all the time (they suffer from severe Costco-itis) and could use a good scrubbing. Cleaning the gaskets helps them seal better, so you've done a good thing with that chore!

Ack. I'll add it to my endless list of unfinishable tasks.

Suse said...

oh my god, you're up the duff aren't you?