Wow, it’s been over a year since the Houseguest started renting a room. How time flies! In celebration, I thought I’d look back and share one of our earlier misunderstandings.
So now that the Houseguest has been sharing the casa for a couple of months (on and off based on her travels) we’ve only had a couple of territorial skirmishes, mostly centered around the fridge or the pantry. We each buy our own provisions though there is some communal sharing and it works pretty well other than the on-going hard feelings and recriminations over the Wheat Thins Incident (by the way, totally not my fault).
Then the other day, I went to get an apple. I looked on the shelf in the fridge where I distinctly remembered placing them after purchase the previous month.
My apples were gone.
Again, I looked on the shelf where they should have been just in case they’d reappeared. Still not there. The houseguest was lolling on the couch, reading a magazine. I took a deep breath and steeled myself for the coming conflict.
“Did you eat my apples?”
An indignant denial followed.
I knew she probably hadn’t because I only eat Granny Smith apples and she’s one of those red apple people. But I was determined to get to the bottom of this because unless a bear was breaking into my fridge and slipping out unseen, the list of culprits was pretty narrow. I knew there should be apples in there because I’d bought four a month ago. And while I can’t remember what I had for dinner last night, if you give me a pop quiz and ask me how many apples or beers are in my fridge, I can tell you. I knew I’d eaten two apples a couple weeks ago, so I should have had two left. Not really a superpower, but it’s all I’ve got.
Like a detective, I began laying out my circumstantial case, which she met with an eye roll.
“They’re in the middle drawer.”
Now it was my turn to be indignant.
“Why in God’s name would they be in the middle drawer?!?”
“Because that’s where I put them. You know — where normal people store them.”
Sure enough, to my surprise, my middle and bottom drawers had all kinds of vegetables and fruit in them, along with my apples.
Let me say, fridge organization has never been high on my list of priorities. When I bought my side-by-side fridge, my main concern was that it would fit frozen pizzas comfortably in the narrow freezer side, and fit a gallon of milk in the side door of the fridge portion. In fact, when I told the salesman at Lowes that those were going to be the determining criteria for me purchasing a fridge, we spent an awkward moment while he tried to simulate the storing of a nonexistent frozen pizza. This involved him guestimating the average size of one with his hands in comparison to the freezer width.
But I digress.
The way that I organize the rest of my non-frozen pizza food in my fridge is based primarily on desirability, viewability, accessibility (actually, these are all closely intertwined) and lastly, where does it fit. For example, I use the fridge’s wine rack to store bottles of Coke Zero or beer for easy retrieval. Delicious Korma leftovers from the India Oven that I will consume shortly? Second shelf from the top, conveniently right up front, in the position of an honored guest. That’s the system. Inefficient? Quite possibly. Lots of stuff gets shoved out of sight till it demands attention through an assault on the nose when it spoils. But it works for me. So all this new drawer usage was discombobulating me.
I recently read an article on the proper use of the bottom and middle fridge drawers (i.e. fruits and vegetables) — that you should have a high humidity drawer and low humidity drawer because different fruits and vegetables last longer based on their storage environment. Interesting on a theoretical level, I’d never seen it in action. To me, those bottom drawers serve two main purposes as:
- research tools for those studying long-term mold growth in low-temperature conditions; and as
- hiding places for things I feel compelled to buy occasionally but really don’t want to eat, like Brussel sprouts.
Anyway, I anticipate future turf wars, but for now, at least I know where my apples are.