Shoot the Fridge

Okay, so Sam started this refrigerator-revelation thing, and I’ve found it inexplicably fascinating to see what’s going on in other food bloggers’ fridges. It’s kind of like watching a behind-the-scenes documentary of my favorite movie – I mean, we all know the sophisticated creations that appear on food blogs, but what kinds of things do bloggers eat when they think no one’s looking? I would never have guessed, for example, that Matt eats blue cherries. Or that everyone but me seems to have a bottle of bubbly handy for those unexpected champagne moments.

But it didn’t take long to realize that so far this exercise has been completely dominated by those living in the lush, sun-drenched, organic-farm-and-artisan-producer-on-every-corner utopia known as the Golden State. And since California gets more than its fair share of screen time already, I decided to join in, if only to show how some of the rest of the world lives.

Oh, and also because the recipe I was intending to post about this week ended up being a miserable flop, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyhow, you’ll notice some things about my fridge. For example, it’s tiny. It is, however, standard size here for one and two bedroom apartments, and I knew a guy who lived in a five bedroom apartment whose fridge was only marginally bigger. The gigantic American-style models are catching on here, but they still remain the exception (and strictly the domain of the home-owning) rather than the norm.

It’s not as bad as you might think, though. The only time we really run into problems is when we have guests coming and we buy everything for their visit in advance. At times like those I wish I had played more Tetris in my youth. Otherwise, it holds a once-a-week shop for two people quite comfortably, and it forces me to do something regularly that I know many people with monster fridges avoid like the plague: clean it out! Seriously, when I go home to visit my family I often find in the back of their fridge leftovers of things I cooked the last time I visited (and we’re talking once-a-year visits, people). That just can’t happen with a tiny fridge – everything in there is on active duty, and should something slip through the cracks it is promptly discovered during the next weekly cull. I am, however, often forced to keep things out of the fridge that normally I would keep in it – things like mustard, mayo, jam, tortillas, pickles, even eggs (which are sold here at room temperature, unlike in the US) – but considering that we’ve lived to tell the tale so far I’m not losing any sleep over it.

The one regret I do have is the tiny freezer, which you can’t see in the photo, but is located behind a separate door at the top of the main fridge. It’s usually fine to store a few frozen veggies and a container of ice cream or two, but things start to get hairy when the weather turns warm and we want to have ice for cocktails (I mean smoothies – we drink far more smoothies than cocktails, okay mom?), or we have significant amounts of perishable leftovers that we can’t bear to part with. As for saving bones and vegetable parts for stock, or stocking up on 3-for-1 whole chicken offers… well, forget it.

The only other thing I’ll briefly say is that the amount of food is reasonably typical for the middle of the week (we normally do our big shopping on the weekend), but it’s actually an atypical week around here, as we’re hosting my German in-laws this weekend AND Manuel is having a birthday. So we skipped our big shop last weekend but we’ve bought a few extra things for the festivities, and more is yet to come today or tomorrow. And we did just make a trek out to Costco, which explains the large unopened packages of cheese, butter, etc.

But anyhow, enough blabbering from me…


p.s. I didn’t shoot the door, because it’s full of beer and – heaven help us – more film. Oh, and a canister of Lavazza Tierra and a jar of Better Than Bouillon chicken base (yes, David, I’m busted too!).