Recently, one of my writing prompts asked, If I looked in your fridge right now, what would I find?
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I could list the items we’ve accumulated for our upcoming festive cooking. Instead, I’m going to talk turkey about what is in my refrigerator most of the time.
- Cooked Chicken and Browned Beef My husband loves his InstaPot. I purposely avoid knowing how to use it. Including him in meal prep by saying, “If you want to play with your InstaPot…” has eased up on my angst about what to make for dinner. I also have a hang-up I’m trying to overcome. I tend to resent my husband’s advice about cooking. Admittedly, he is much better at it than I am. A follower of recipes, I only recently have experimented with my own substitutions. He simply knows how to pick a blend of spices that brings out the best in the food I buy. (Except for those ribs with the cayenne rub. My face still gives him a dirty look for that one!) He is the one who savors the opportunity to cook our Thanksgiving turkey. I am much happier focusing on sides. So, having these prepped meat items in my fridge not only saves me time, it also saves my marriage.
- Deli Tray I like quick, no-fuss lunch options that are portioned controlled. I never liked sandwiches and recently discovered the brilliant option of having cheese, meat, and crackers at-the-ready.
- Hot Dogs Apparently, this is a household staple at the moment. But, like the deli tray, it makes lunch easier. My son with special needs knows how to make his own microwaved hot dog, and he is gaining confidence about making other lunch items for himself. But, I do buy beef hot dogs. The alternative is questionable.
- Natural Peanut Butter We are trying to be low-carb and keto. So, I’ve recently been buying natural peanut butter because it is what it is: peanut butter. I honestly love seeing that container in my fridge. It reminds me of my grandmother who was hypoglycemic. Although come to think of it, I don’t ever remember her eating peanut butter. As with many things, she might have kept it around for my grandfather who needed to watch his sodium. I have to say, if I wasn’t trying to be low-carb, I could buy Vienna bread to fully create the memory.
- Leftover Chipolte Stew Not all recipes are well-received. I am thrilled when I can please 75% of my family. Most of the time I settle for 50%. But, I’m not even sure I loved this one. I will be adapting it. I mention leftovers because they don’t disappear the way I wish they would. In our society, we throw away more food than we care to admit. It is something I want to avoid doing in the coming year because it’s poor stewardship of a basic need that many go without.
- Expired Unopened Perishables Discovering these items in my fridge shames me to no end. It reflects poor planning. My family likes to eat out and to get take-out. I need to do a better job of planning, so that I don’t end up buying for a recipe that I never prepare. This is another habit I need to break.
- Penicillin Cleaning out the refrigerator is important for avoiding unintentional chemistry experiments and potential food-code violations. (NOTE: I highly encourage home educators to label intentional chemistry experiments.)
Going into the next year, I hope I will be more content with the contents of my refrigerator!