Tahlequah Daily Press

Columns

August 31, 2013

What's in the fridge? Only a husband knows for sure

TAHLEQUAH —

Regardless of who does the cooking in any household, I’m of the opinion that the husband always has the most intimate relationship with the kitchen refrigerator.

This doesn’t really have anything to do with the “Dagwood sandwich,” either. Most men can rummage around in the fridge and come up with the accouterments for a sandwich – even the namesake comic strip character, who never seemed to lift a finger that didn’t involve a knife in a mayonnaise jar.

I’m talking here not about what husbands take out of a refrigerator, but what they put into it. These are the things that often move in permanently – things that, like in-laws, often start stinking when they’ve overstayed their welcome. Things that occasionally grow a life of their own and go “bump” in the night.

My husband is a pickle fan. In our home, the noun “pickle” is not confined to culinary items that start their life as a cucumber. He also likes pickled beets, pickled okra, pickled garlic, pickled asparagus, pickled broccoli and cauliflower, pickled eggs, pickled pigs’ feet, and most of all, pickled peppers. In the pepper department, we must also have every type known to humankind: jalapeño, banana, chili, serrano, habañero, cherry, and as of late, peppadew. If possible, the peppers should be broken down according to spice level: sweet, medium, and hot.

I believe I can safely say we have, at this writing, about two dozen jars of various peppers in our fridge. Pigs’ feet, I’m happy to report, are not among the current offerings. Some of the jars have twins living in other parts of the fridge. This usually happens when Chris forgets he has a particular jar of peppers, purchases a new one, consumes part of the contents, and then puts the rest in the fridge – not realizing that a forlorn container of like-minded peppers has, over time, been consigned to the slums in the back. Only a blanket of mold will get the back jars a plot in the garbage-can cemetery. It takes a long time for mold to develop in a jar of hot peppers, but in our home, it has happened often.

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