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07 January 2011

Fridge cleaning... I need either a forensic pathologist or an archaeologist to determine exactly what the fuck I just pried out of a bowl from the back of the fridge.[More:]I mean, shit, it looked like a failed shoggoth-breeding experiment, except that it practically had stalagmites coming out of it.

Judging from the bones, this might have once been leftover beef spare ribs (unless they're teeth, in which case we are all in serious trouble).

The thing is that we haven't had Korean food for AGES. Possibly four or five months?

Jesus. Please someone, share a story about the food that time forgot and make me feel like slightly less of a housekeeping failure.
*backs away*
posted by gomichild 07 January | 06:50
I often forget to look in the drawer in the fridge. Yes, that drawer, the one for keeping vegetables crisp. Except it doesn't work, because a month later instead of the fresh lettuce, the courgettes and the peppers that went in there, there's primordial slime that's practically pulsating.
posted by Senyar 07 January | 07:47
Well, you could have posted this.
posted by apoch 07 January | 08:32
We just ran out of milk, and I saw a box of heavy cream in the back of the fridge that must have been left over from Thanksgiving. I was all "Oooh! Heavy cream!" and then commenced to pour liquidish CHEESE into my coffee.

*shudder*
posted by Miko 07 January | 08:39
I once (in high school) found a 1/2 cup of chocolate milk under my bed. It had turned into a hard brown crust floating on top of BRIGHT GREEN liquid!

Oddly, it didn't smell like anything.
posted by JoanArkham 07 January | 08:50
Did you know that 2-year-old flour tastes and smells exactly like cardboard?
posted by Melismata 07 January | 09:29
I once ate a handful of goldfish crackers that were four or five years old. The package was still sealed, but they tasted like death. It was a struggle not to throw up.
posted by youngergirl44 07 January | 10:49
I once helped a friend clean out his fridge. We found a jar of jelly that he couldn't remember buying and neither could his roommates. We figured it was probably at least a year old. I wanted to just chuck it but he insisted on opening it to see whether it was still any good. "Jelly preserves fruit- it should be fine!" As he turned the lid, it made a sound that sent us both running from the room in terror. It was an eery, foreboding hissing that sounded simultaneously like CO2 produced as a byproduct of bacterial metabolisms and the boiler room scenes from Nightmare on Elm St.
posted by martinxs bellbottoms 07 January | 11:25
ew

thanks for reminding me that the mister and I were both gone for fourteen days on short notice and now there are things lurking in the veggie drawer of our fridge that, well... best not to think about that.

o_O
posted by lonefrontranger 07 January | 12:07
I eat a lot of oatmeal when it's cold out, but not so much in warmer weather. A while (end of Nov, prolly) ago I thought about making oatmeal cookies and realized that the oatmeal I had was all still left from the previous winter. Hadn't been touched since March at the latest.
posted by galadriel 07 January | 12:13
A few summers ago, I kept smelling a faint, fishy whiff in and around our kitchen --- so faint that I thought I might be imagining it, but it persisted, so I persisted in trying to track it down.

Fish. In a vegetarian kitchen. This itself is puzzling.

I cleaned the fridge and checked that nothing had rolled under it. I emptied the trash and bleached the trashcan. I poured boiling water down the drains. I rolled the kitchen cart out of the way and swept and scrubbed the corners of the floor. I sniffed in the freezer. I emptied the fruit bowl.

And finally I gave up.

... until I remembered the farmstand tomatoes. I had bought a dozen of them, and to protect them from a recent flurry of fruit flies, I put them in covered baskets and stashed the baskets in their usual place: on a shelf above the cookbooks, just outside our tiny kitchen, away from the heat of the stove and in a nice airy spot. We'd eaten our way happily through, ooooooh I guess eleven of 'em.

And forgotten the twelfth.







Yup. Turns out that rotting tomato on woven willow smells remarkably like spoiled fish.

I had to throw out the basket and the cutting board it was sitting on, and if the slushy, moldy, fishy slop had had another day or so to drip-drop its vile way down the shelf, I might have lost some cookbooks, too.

You'd think that experience would've stayed with me. But it was only yesterday, after several days of wondering what ON EARTH that horrible stench was, that I went and looked at that same shelf: The Fella brought home some grocery-store tomatoes, stashed 'em there, and then forgot about them. This batch smells less like fish and more like something went horribly wrong with our toilet.
posted by Elsa 07 January | 13:26
Friends with kids did a major renovation on their kitchen in the summer of 2008. When I helped them clean out the old fridge, I noticed a small tupperware container with the label "NOT pesto experiment!" (It indeed looked like pesto.) The other day, I was searching for hot sauce and saw the same small container. It still looks just like pesto.
posted by annaramma 07 January | 13:29
Very, very Stephen King. See, I read this thread, but I MADE myself do it.
posted by bearwife 07 January | 13:57
You do not even want to hear about the stuff my son brings up to the kitchen from his basement lair (fondly referred to as Teenage Wasteland.) There are bowls and cups that. . . that. . . let's just say their contents have long since achieved sentience and moved on to empire building and colonization.

Also, we may never know what the brown sticky stuff on the bottom of the fridge was. And that's OK. Conceivably it shouldn't have been there for seven or so months but hey, in a perfect universe it might have evaporated and disappeared. One must give these things time.
posted by mygothlaundry 07 January | 14:49
Here you go, ninazer0: from this past June

1. While cleaning out my car, I found an old tortilla in a wrapper underneath the passenger seat that was harder than concrete and moldy. I still have no idea where it came from or how long it had been there.

Also, mygothlaundry, fondly referred to as Teenage Wasteland just made me literally laugh out loud. That's awesome.
posted by ufez 07 January | 15:23
Agreed - Teenage Wasteland is completely awesome.

*sigh*

Thanks for sharing, guys. It just REALLY upsets me that I'm 38 and I still have problems with basic grown-up stuff.
posted by ninazer0 07 January | 17:54
Oooh! Another one! Just went to open a box of veggie broth and accidentally got the one that had migrated to the back of the fridge. It was bulging! I turned my head and opened it over the sink, like a live grenade...
posted by JoanArkham 07 January | 18:29
Thanks for sharing, guys. It just REALLY upsets me that I'm 38 and I still have problems with basic grown-up stuff.

Oh, man --- this strikes such a chord with me because I used to feel like I was The Only One, the only little kid masquerading as a proper adult. In the last decade or so, I've learned that the vast majority of proper adults I know are not only have similar lapses and quirks, but that most of them also fear that they are The Only Ones.

If you can forgive the self-indulgence of quoting my own damn blog:

But then I remember: most people donít feel like proper adults. (clean all the things?) Most people are making it up as they go along, subduing their fears and laziness and ignorance long enough to make progress, doing the best they can when they can do their best, and muddling along the rest of the time.

Everyone I know is just trying to work it out as best they can. And most of them are doing okay.

Me, too.

I suppose this might not be universally true, but it's true enough to have become a major revelation for me, and a comforting point of reference in the daily muddle just to get things done. I'm the grown-up. I get to decide what that means, and (once my civic and civil obligations are met) I get to decide what's important.

It's such an important idea in our home that last Valentine's Day I gave The Fella a hand-matted print of this strip to hang in our living room.

Gunk in the fridge? Moldy tortilla? Fishy tomato? That's just [funny/silly/gross/inconvenient/whatever]. That's not Total Grown-up Failure... unless you decide that it is.
posted by Elsa 07 January | 18:34
Wow, Elsa. That really hit the nail on the head.

I really LOVE you guys! :)
posted by ninazer0 07 January | 18:56
It just REALLY upsets me that I'm 38 and I still have problems with basic grown-up stuff.
Well, I'm 49 and still haven't figured most of this stuff out.
posted by dg 07 January | 22:25
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISMEAR!!!!! || Why Hollywood keeps making crappy action flicks:

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