Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CSI: Kitchen Edition

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.

Until today.

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.


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.


apathy lounge said...

Some things are better left undiscovered. I know that's a hard truth for people like us who are educators, because it means we've given up. That said, there is no blue food and so the trashcan is absolutely where this stuff should have gone. Knowing what it was in a former life would only make you cry.

Kyla said...

I'm sure it used to be food...now it is a happy home for a variety of fungi and bacteria! Microbiology lab in your own home. ;)

Phoenix Rising said...

This is why I always store leftovers in plastic. You can just toss that nonsense and never think twice about it. So much harder when you're committed to the Corningware.

Sarah said...

OMG awesome! I found some seriously liquid vegetables in a Pyrex in the back of the fridge this week. I didn't know that asparagus wold actually liquify. But it will! The peas just got sort of mushy. The problem with Pyrex is that when the lid is on, you can't smell anything, and it looks totally innocuous from the outside. Also? French dips sound awesome.

Kim said...

Ha ha -- I know this grossed you out but it is funny too! I almost passed out when I went out of town for a week and everything in the fridge was liquid/fuzzy when I returned. Now when we leave town I make sure the fridge is empty!

Chiconky said...

This is hilarious! I especially love the "paste made of isopropyl alcohol and pumice from a dormant volcano in Greece named for the Goddess of Botulism." If it makes you feel any better, our trashcan (outdoor, thank God!) is now full of about 3 inches of bleach, boiling water, and bug spray that we dumped in there to kill a whole herd of trash loving insects that will not be named. That's what happens when you're all hippy and don't have enough trash to justify the curb for three weeks. Blech!

What'd you do with your shoes?

Ronni said...

I laughed so hard through this post. Hilarious!

EH said...

I have been known to throw out perfectly good rubbermaid containers rather than attempt to clean them. I did it yesterday, in fact. Some things are simply beyond my pay grade.

Also, why is garlic so wonderful in food, except after the food it is in rots, whereupon it turns into the most vile smell ever?

sarah said...

omg, Becca, everything about this post is HILARIOUS! You are such a fantastic writer. I love when things like this happen to you (sorry) because I know the way you explain it is going to make me laugh so hard my sides hurt.