Everyone jokes that the leftovers in their fridge have been there so long as to be unrecognizable. But that never really happens, right? I mean, you might have a little trouble determining which green vegetable it was that has turned orange and liquidy in the bottom of the Corningware dish some well-intentioned relative gave you for your wedding. But usually with a little bit of thought, review of grocery store receipts, and laboratory analysis you can piece it together.
Oh yeah, I remember making green beans almondine for Thanksgiving now. What was it, 2009?
I've never truly had the "What the hell was THAT?" experience when cleaning out the fridge. No matter how badly deteriorated the contents of the bowl was, I could always sort of remember having bought it, prepared it, or brought it home from someone else's house with the intention of eating it at some point.
I came home from the store and opened the fridge to put the milk away only to have a medium sized enameled baking dish fall onto my foot, ejecting it's blue, fuzzy contents all over the floor and my shoes.
I stood there for a moment, gallon of milk in hand, muttering unladylike things about the rest of my family and why I'm the only one who ever cleans the fridge before remembering how I went to yoga last night while Ryan put the big boys to bed then cleaned the kitchen before starting on the actual work he had still to do before going to bed and getting up with James several times between three and six in the morning. OK! Time to clean the fridge!
After putting the baking dish in some soapy water and cleaning all the blue fuzz off the floor I put on my lead apron and face shield and removed a covered Corningware dish from the lower shelf for inspection.
It was about the size of a softball and appeared to have been some kind of roast at one time. The last roast I bought I had cooked in the crockpot to make French Dips, so I am fairly certain this was not it. Whatever it was had been white meat and was covered with a creamy orange sauce with what appeared to have been bits of some kind of herb in it.
Whether or not the sauce was intended to be orange is a matter of uncertainty. The herbs looked tasty though. If they were actually herbs.
I stared at it for several minutes trying to remember when I had cooked it and what it had been but came up with nothing. I looked closer at it and noticed what might have been cheese back in 1997 when it was originally prepared, but this did not help either.
And then, and I cannot explain this behavior other than to remind you that James got up multiple times between three and six last night, I gave it a little sniff.
CRAP ON A CRACKER.
I am pretty sure that was not how it smelled originally when I cooked it to celebrate JFK's inauguration.
Defeated, I scraped it into the trash and washed out the dish. Carefully. And then sterilized my hands in a paste made of isopropyl alcohol and pumice from a dormant volcano in Greece named for the Goddess of Botulism.
I am very unsettled not knowing what it was.