Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Hour--cleaning the fridge

We had a happy hour gathering tonight--Jordan and neighbor Jay cleaned out my refrigerator, while I sat, answered questions, etc. I mean really, when they ask you when you bought a jar of pickles, do you remember? It seems I had about ten kinds of mustard, half of them way out of date--Jay kept asking incredulously, "How much mustard so you need?" Truth is, different recipes call for different kinds of mustard. I apparently had them all. We did agree that sauerkraut lasts forever, and we lowered a shelf because I had to buy a new brand of box wine (shh! the shame of it!) that wouldn't fit in the existing space. Out went jellies, jams, chocolate sauce from 2008, and dabs of undated pickle relish; horseradish got a pass even though there were two open jars, and I fought for a jar of white honey (forgot it was there and it's so good). Bread and butter pickles stayed though I can't imagine why I ever had them in the first place. Jordan scrubbed the shelves, particularly those in the door that get messy and sticky and awful. Result is I have a shining refrigerator with almost empty shelves, cottage cheese, eggs, and a few other things...and lots of condiments in the door (plus a few bottles of wine). My gratitude to Jordan and Jay knows no bounds, though I have the uncomfortable thought that as I age I'm more willing to sit back and let others do these things for me. It's a tendency I must fight.
Christian took Jacob and a friend to the rodeo tonight because the friend's father was competing in the calf roping. So Jordan and I had a girls' night after Jay left. Jordan asked for a seafood dinner, and I cooked things Christian won't eat--sautéed mushrooms on toast (oh, so British!) and sautéed scallops. I did better on the scallops than sometimes, although I cooked them in the mushroom skillet, so they picked up a bit of the juice which only made them better. Jordan made our favorite blue cheese salad. Great meal. And now I'm munching a couple of homemade peanut butter cookies.
There are still things to be done before my family arrives this weekend but I have a clean kitchen (well, we didn't touch the freezer) and the linen is all clean and the guest room closet presentable for the first time in a long time.
It may take two years to clean all the nooks, crannies and bookshelves in this house...and as Jay said then it will be time to do the refrigerator again. Jordan said she feels it's her obligation to tell me if I become a hoarder. This over a multi-faceted class jar that no longer fastens securely enough for food storage but is way too pretty to discard. May become a planter.
Really, when was the last time you looked at all those jars in the way back of your fridge?

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