Friday, January 1, 2010


When the stench from the refrigerator is bad enough to get a whiff of it even when the door is closed and you’re just walking past you don’t really have many options. At least, I don’t. It’s not like I could move out or call the maid or anything. And, although I really hate to discourage Denis from doing anything in the kitchen, I don’t like it when he gets all logical about this odor and says he’s going to find the source. What he really means he’s going to get in there and try to pitch stuff like the apples that feel like Nerf balls – I was going to make apple cake with them someday. Then he starts pulling out containers, opening lids, slipping the trashcan over to the door, exclaiming, WHAT is THIS? And, HERE, SMELL THIS. And WHY are you keeping THIS? I don’t want to get into it with him about why I’ve kept half a jar of capers for eighteen months, or the unopened bottle of angostura bitters for five years. And he may not like four different kinds of mustard, but I do. I just want him out of there. I don’t go into his office and riffle his papers, or rearrange his mountainous stacks of books and cds.

But. Because there was something that was knocking me back when I passed the refrigerator, I knew I didn’t have much time. And it is New Years Day. What better way to say I’m going to be a better person, I’m going to never over-buy or compulsive purchase. We will be eating every leftover, no fruit will rot… the deli meat will not get slick and smelly, and…. Nevermind. Just for today, at least, the fridge smells okay and there’s more room in there than there’s been for about three months.

So, happy New Year, Denis, my love. With very few excuses, this is what’s either freezing (it’s minus 2 degrees right now) out in the trash can by the alley or has been flushed down the toilet:

¼ jar of fermented salsa. - It got pushed to the back. Along with about fifty other jars of jam, pickles, olives.

Canned salmon with cream cheese, lemon, dill. - From the second you made this, Denis, I dropped to my knees retching. 12 days later… there are no words. You were supposed to eat it.

A bowl of greenish-molded boiled potatoes. I was going to make potato salad with these leftovers from a raclette dinner a month ago.

2 rotten apples.

2 limes brown and mushy. – The color of fresh limes make me happy, but I don't eat them much.

A shriveled piece of ginger. - A mystery. I didn’t put it there. Probably Anita.

A small bag of blackened cranberries. They were organic, even. Spoilage proves it. I made something with them in early November, can’t remember what. These were leftover.

4 egg whites growing clouds. Didn’t need them for the Mexican chocolate pots de crème.

1 serving of Mexican chocolate pots de crème with now sour whipped cream on top 3 ½ weeks old. - I thought Anita wanted it. (I know you don’t like chocolate that much.) She thought I did. Now neither of us want it.

A plastic bag of swampy brown and yellow liquid that leaked under the drawer.


Kerri said...

Whenever I read your stuff, I usually end up saying, "I thought I was the only one...."
In this case, it's "....who had a bag of swampy brown and green liquid in the 'crisper' drawer."

Denis Haack said...

And here I thought I was doing such a favor...

domandkat said...

Yes, we had one of those in our car a while back... something smelled bad, then worse, and then it smelled like vinegar, and then worse than vinegar. Finally I put my foot down and told my husband - who is the primary driver of said vehicle to find the source or else...mind you we HAD looked for it before...and out came this almost liquid banana from the depths under the seats. One wrong move and it would have been all over the car. The car has smelled like a rose ever since!

Margie Haack said...

Your welcome, Kerri, I love the company.
Denis, please don't stop trying.
domandkat, thank God he had the foresight to make bananas with peels.

Sandra Oster said...

Margie, You always remind me of home.

Amy Julia Becker said...


Glad your comment on my blog brought me to yours! I read Notes in the mail form, but hadn't visited here before. As usual, wonderful stuff.

I had a few thoughts and questions for you if you've got the time. My direct email is

Amy Julia