Wrangling the refrigerator

Sometimes I open it and nothing falls out.  Other times, I’m not so lucky.  Stuffed-to-the-gills refrigerators really stress me out, and this represents the norm when the garden produce rolls in this time of year.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the bounty, but this chaos and disorder causes my brain to go into overdrive and shut down in self-defense.  Can’t.  Focus.  Make.  It.  Stop.

I hate to waste any food, don’t want one little bit to go bad, but at this point, waste is almost inevitable.  For one thing, poor air circulation in over-full fridges creates cold spots, freezing and ruining tender veggies, like lettuce.  Then, there’s the food that just gets lost, pushed back in some deep, dark corner, only to be discovered a month later, a special science experiment, green and fuzzy, fresh from your fridge.  Sometimes this almost makes me cry — I recently discovered a  jar of really delicious, locally grown and produced salsa, that came none too cheap, still one-third full and subjected to the mold bug.  So sad and such a waste.

I try to make mental lists of what we have and prioritize use, and we generally minimize our losses.  As my husband likes to remind me, when I look in the refrigerator and my brain almost explodes, any garden goods that go bad can just go into the compost pile and feed future crops.  But then why are they taking up space in the fridge in the first place?

Deep breaths.  Count to ten.

I created this lunch around our homemade dill gravy and some leafy greens that top my current mental “use it or lose it” list.

What are your tricks for taming the refrigerator and minimizing food waste?


  1. Oh man… I can SO relate to this one. I’ve totally got Fibber McGee’s refrigerator too. Actually, you’re probably WAY too young to get that reference. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9FGC68YcwM

    Anyhow, I have taken to freezing things, even leftovers or partially opened stuff that I just know I won’t have time to eat before it goes bad.

    1. hergreenlife says:

      Thanks for the reminder about the freezer. That seems so obvious, but I often forget. I also have to remember that when the garden produce gets overwhelming, I should find a neighbor or coworker who would enjoy some of the bounty 🙂

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