There are some upsides to being ill and convalescing at home. Being waited on is a pleasant experience and ranks right up there alongside, not having to shop, unpacking and storing groceries. There are also disadvantages, because your partner, or whoever you might be living with takes over. Here speaks the voice of experience. In particular, my fridge has become a battleground. Foods that should not be in there are taking up space like peanut butter and cucumbers. So here is why red peppers got divorced from lettuce and my fridge became liberated again. Fridge wars, it’s my turf!
Fridge Wars – Preservative Products
I ventured into the refrigerator after being bedbound for a few weeks. The tightly packed top shelf allowed no more light than a firefly’s glowing bum. Pickles, peanut butter, (side note I don’t use any of these but they were there in abundance) and other preservative based products like ketchup and honey filled the top shelf. I am convalescing, but the sight had my temperature rising.
Pickling was a solution to preserving food before we had refrigeration. Pickled foods can last for years outside of the refrigerator, and the taste nor quality will suffer. They got moved out pretty quick into a cupboard where they belong.
The peanut butter, jam, honey, and ketchup have all joined the pickles. Peanut butter dries out in the fridge and becomes hard and tough. There are lots of preservatives used in Jam. Once a clean spoon is used, and food debris (bits of crackers) does not contaminate, the pot with jam should be in the cupboard. Along with the honey! Honey is filled with natural preservatives and will stay good forever, once kept in an airtight container and clean utensils are used to serve it. Beehives don’t have refrigeration! Refrigerated honey becomes hard and crystallises far faster.
Sitting in the refrigerator door was a bottle of ketchup. Ketchup has an abundance of acids which prevent bacteria. It can exist outside the fridge for years.
Fridge Wars – Fruit & Veg
I also evicted the tomatoes, carrots, and cucumber from the salad drawer.
Tomatoes are a fruit and like many fruits (avocados, citrus fruits, etc.) they ripen and taste better outside of the fridge. The cold breaks down the membranes within the fruit walls. Refrigerated tomatoes lose their flavour and texture. I put them in the fruit bowl.
Like tomatoes, uncut melons retain their natural antioxidant properties outside of the fridge. Refrigeration also causes loss of beta-carotene. So I reclaimed half of the third shelf by putting the melon back in the fruit bowl. Once you have cut melon, cover it, and keep it in the fridge. Pumpkins like a cool dark place, so a well-ventilated cupboard is best for them. And now my fridge is looking better.
Cucumbers and carrots deteriorate faster in refrigerators. The moist atmosphere makes them water-logged and soggy. My carrots are now residing in the same cool dark cupboard as the potatoes, onions, and garlic. Snug in my vegetable box and not a plastic bag in sight. The cucumber is sharing a bowl with my sweet peppers and chili peppers.
Bread and Coffee.
I have made the bread homeless, but it will last longer outside. Refrigeration dries out bread making it go stale more quickly than it sitting on the work surface.
I love coffee, especially fresh coffee. Imagine my dismay at finding packets of fresh coffee at the bottom of the fridge. Coffee beans and ground coffee need to be kept in airtight containers in a cool dark place to maintain their freshness and flavour. You can freeze coffee, but not store it in a refrigerator.
Fridge Wars – There’s Plenty Space
There is now lots of space in the refrigerator. The food is in places where they are better preserved. How long this will last remains to be seen but for the moment, when you open the fridge door, it’s like Blackpool illuminations!
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