My husband also collects sauces – mainly hot, but sometimes sweet. He may have started with the staple of Tabasco, but he rapidly expanded his entourage. We have as many bottles of sauce as we do peppers, but most of these are in the door of the fridge, which probably explains why the door lists like a leaky boat when you open it.
The pepper parade and sauce assembly have a decided down-side: There’s precious little room for anything else in the fridge. Every excursion to Reasor’s has to be tempered by the knowledge that if the perishable tally constitutes a volume much bigger than a breadbox, a dilemma will ensue. This is partially solved by the customary stacking and cramming, which substantially shortens the shelf life of anything on the bottom berth.
There’s also a problem with the fruit and veggie keepers. Fresh peppers – not the pickled kind – tend to camp out there. The other day, I noticed a 2-pound bag of Anaheims, the purchase of which I had not sanctioned. My husband also loads up on fruit every time Reasor’s has a sale, so may bring home a bag containing eight or nine peaches, a caboodle of cherries, or a passel of plums. But he often forgets about these until they have become waxed soft, fuzzy, blue and oozing. I object on the grounds that fresh fruit, even on sale, is too expensive to waste, but as is the case with wives since time out of mind, I’m rarely listened to. Another keeper conundrum: The Italian parsley always winds up in the basement, under the bag of peaches, which substantially shortens the already-meager lifespan of this tender herb.
Ultimately, because our fridge is so crammed full of stuff – both edibles and anything-buts – we can’t pinpoint the culprit when something goes bad enough to emit an unsavory odor. At the moment, there’s a decidedly unpleasant smell that wafts from the freezer every time I open the door – which wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t eventually permeate the water in the automatic ice-maker. Foul-flavored ice is not conducive to a tasty drink, even if alcohol is factored in. At this point, we suspect a tiny bit of liquid from some trout may have leaked out and wreaked havoc during the auto-defrost cycle.
I’m glad my son isn’t a regular reader of my column. If he knew the chore we have lined up for him when he arrives for the weekend, he might just stay in Norman.
Kim Poindexter is managing editor of the Tahlequah Daily Press.