Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lynn “The Refrigerator” Bering

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen last night. One thing I did was make a fabulous new recipe I found on Veggie Venture . I made it while g-baby Claire sat on the counter playing with spoons and whisks and plastic bowls. Who knew kitchen utensils could be such good babysitters?

This Curried Squash recipe (if you love curry) is to die for. (It was so good I had leftovers for breakfast this morning.) Also, while the squash roasted in the oven, I made a fabulous veggie soup using my first-ever homemade vegetable broth. I have to say, it’s better than any boxed, canned or cubed veggie broth I’ve ever bought. I’m not sure I can go back to the store-bought. Dammmit. Now I’m destined to make veggie broth every other week.

All this time in the kitchen meant frequent trips to the refrigerator, which started me thinking, “If you want to get to know someone, look at their refrigerator.” A refrigerator speaks volumes about who a person is and what’s important to them. Besides, if you want to know a little something about someone, looking at their fridge is way less intrusive than looking in their medicine cabinet.

My refrigerator tells the ongoing story of my life. There are photos all over it that I rotate every few weeks depending on if there’s been a birthday, holiday, get-together, or just random silliness.

Holding the photos in place are magnets from businesses I use and places I’ve been. Included in my collection is a magnet photo of Socks the Cat I bought at the Clinton Library in Little Rock; one from Chincoteague Island I bought when I was married to someone else; random magnets from Minnesota, New York and California; and a few from the Andy Warhol Museum. There’s one from the salon I go to and one from the vet’s office. Calendar magnets from our insurance company come in handy when I hang paintings by Claire because they’re big.

As for the inside of my refrigerator, it’s a fairly healthy testimony to how I eat. You’ll see the random frozen yogurt container, perhaps scoff at the sticks of butter, maybe wonder what I’m doing with so many types of jam (I’ll never give up the jam), and think, “She drinks boxed wine?” (yup, I do). But my refrigerator is a picture of health compared to six years ago when my fridge was stuffed with fat-laden leftovers and condiments as well as take-out I forgot were there.

I’m amazed by how many people are like the old me, who have no idea what’s in their refrigerator. These days, I have the contents of mine memorized, including most sell-by and use-by dates. This doesn’t make me a saint or anything. I just have a good memory and the desire to keep tabs on all the food I consume. If I slice a tomato, wrap up the unused part and put it in the crisper, I remember it’s there and create a sandwich or omelet around it before it goes bad. At least I usually do.

There’s always the occasional food that I open or have made and not liked much, but I’ve kept it anyway “just in case.” I know it’s there, but it gets pushed further and further to the back. By the time I throw it away, it has died a natural death and I feel less guilty for letting it go. (It’s a mind game, I know. But I have to tell myself that two tablespoons of peanut sauce or the year-old jar of barbecue sauce won’t feed the world.)

In many ways, my refrigerator is a lot like me. After many soul-searching years, the person I am now on the outside reflects who I am on the inside. My outside shows happiness as well as age (i.e. refrigerator has photos and magnets, and I have grey hair and wrinkles, but a big old smile). On the inside is maturity (i.e. the refrigerator contains no more double cheese pizzas, and I’ve quit, for the most part, the negative self-talk).

I’m no longer embarrassed by my “refrigerator.” Anyone who visits or attends my parties is welcome to take a look. Just don’t look in the medicine cabinet. That might be a little harder to explain.

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P.S. Apologies for reverting back to the other way of leaving messages. I keep forgetting to click on that super secret button when I post. This will most likely happen again, so bear with me.

Also, thank you for your responses to my recipe post. Lori, the Brussels sprouts recipe sounds challenging, only in that while shredding those little buggers I know I’ll shred my knuckles, but I’m going to give it a try. Blood adds no calories, right? Debby, my husband (your kindred spirit) gauges his veggie taste on how “British” they are, as in boiled just right or boiled to death. Lynn, thanks for the sprouts recipe! McLauren, LOVE cauliflower that way! And Pat, your okra story…so sad. I would sit in a chair for days if it meant I didn’t have to eat it. It’s like snot on a fork.

9 comments:

Lori said...

Lynn - you are so organized! I wish I could be like you in that way.

You can invest in an oyster glove if you want to avoid shredding your knuckles :D

carla said...

Im with lori...although Ive starting just claiming SemiMessyDisorganized as my personal style.

I need to learn how to use my new handheld and email you...a few thoughts for your head.

Ali said...

You may have gray hair and wrinkles, but you have a beautiful, smiling face, and a fantastic body to boot!

Love seeing inside your refrigerator.

Sunny said...

I collect magnets from places we go to, too! :D

You are such an inspiration, despite the curry. ;)

Vickie said...

You absolutely may know something that I don't - or I might have misunderstood or perhaps your version of blogger is different than mine. But for me - I do not have to reset comments - it stays the same way.

Steps to get to the screen:
Settings,
Comments,
Who can Comment,
have to have a blogger ID


I freeze broth! But I still make every other week (as you said) because I use it constantly and there are 4-5 of us here.

And congrats for ditching the store bought!!!

Vickie said...

there is a SAVE or APPLY (or something) on that page.

debby said...

Boy howdy on the contents of the refrigerator changing! Never in my life have I had so much yogurt, cottage cheese, and fresh fruits and vegetables especially bursting out of my frig!

And I had to laugh when you said that was the British standard--a lot of my ancestry on both sides is English, so I guess that's where that came from. Boiled vegetables rule LOL!

Shelley said...

I used to consider the veggie bins in my fridge a waste of space until I started storing things like 12-packs of sodas in them. Now, my fridge contains no soda, and my veggie bins are spilling over onto the shelves with ACTUAL veggies (and fruit) that I eat...not buy out of guilt and let it rot like in the old days!

P.S. Oh how funny - my word verification is "cookin"!

Pubsgal said...

Loved this post! Know what struck me? How about 1/2 of your fridge is the color GREEN! Yay, veggies! I peeked in my own fridge last night, and other than noticing a HUGE box of strawberries that my husband just bought, ours is packed with condiments! (This could very well become the new weight loss blogger meme...) I have no idea what that says about us, though, other than we can't leave our food well enough alone...

Oh, thanks for linking to the curry recipe! I've been loving the curry lately, shaking curry powder and a drizzle of evoo on just about every steamed veggie these days. Yum.