Saturday, January 12, 2008

Where Bar Fruit Goes To Die

One of the more disagreeable tasks in the kitchen has to be cleaning the crisper drawer. And that is because you never know what's lurking down there, what kind of squishy, putrid mess is sloshing around underneath the lettuce.

To my mind, crisper drawers are a bad idea, especially the big, deep ones we have that seem to invite a jumble of items, exactly the kind of environment where little bits of things can be quickly stashed, then forgotten, only to make a home for one kind of mold or another when nobody is paying attention. It's almost impossible to maintain any kind of order. What I try to do is keep things organized in Ziploc bags.

I knew it was time to bite the bullet and empty the crisper drawer when I noticed not one, not two, but three separate bags of grapes flopping around in there. This is what I found:

2 fairly old knobs of ginger
1/2 yellow onion, bagged
2 old limes
An open bag of carrots
A small bag of arugula from the CSA, weeks past its prime
4 grapefruit of various sizes
4 oranges
2 clementines, one partially peeled
2 giant radishes from the CSA box before Christmas
A piece of horseradish
1 head broccoli
A Ziploc bag containing 2 cooked fingerling potatoes and a small handful of cooked edamame, at least two weeks old
A fennel bulb
3 bags of grapes, one contiaining just six grapes
3 loose grapes

Unhygenically, there is also half a stewing chicken that arrived in the CSA box Thursday. (It was a whole chicken, but we split our share with friends Helen and Jeff.) Uncooked poultry really shouldn't be stashed with fruits and vegetables. But we are making the food for a friend's birthday party: The rest of the refrigerator is stuffed.


Kevin said...

Hate those damned drawers.

Pam said...

I usually wait until I actually have something liquid left in a bag, then I really have no idea what it is.

Ramona said...

Sometimes my crisper drawers are the black hole of produce. I always feel bad when I waste and strive to vow to try to attempt to do better ;-)
BTW...I store my ginger knobs in the freezer. Right out of the freezer I grate in on a ginger grater (porcelein thing) skin and all because the skin is so paper thin. Or- I slice it into chunks and throw into stock. If I need to julienne it, I let a chunch thaw a bit. Lasts forever that way.

The Baklava Queen said...

Have to say, Ed, you inspired me to clean out my crisper drawer this weekend. It wasn't full, and there was nothing unrecognizable (though the cauliflower lingering from the last farmers' market is looking... spotty), but I did spot mold on the bottom, so figured I'd better take care of that.

Strangely enough, I keep my citrus in the cheese drawer. And I should get busy and enjoy that, too...

Anonymous said...

I have 2 worm bins, so there's no such thing as "waste," just "worm food" and future soil amendment!


Ed Bruske said...

Kevin, it's only gotten worse since I wrote this.

Pam, I think I sometimes avoid the crisper drawer entirely 'cause I don't want to know what's in there.

Ramona, great tip about the ginger! I don't even want to think about how many partially used knobs of ginger I've thrown away.I will start freezing them from now on.

Jennifer, if you only knew how our drawers are falling apart. Curse you, Amana!

Anonymous, everything we don't eat goes into the compost pile (except meat, dairy, etc.) So nothing wasted, exactly.