When considering household cleanliness, fridges are almost forgettable, a place where leftovers and all kinds of science projects can collect behind the impermeable, sealed-shut door.
Yeah, you remember when you go in for a Mountain Dew that the Chinese food from Mumbletytember is still in the back, and little kids drip syrup, grape juice and every other imaginable thing in its many stainable crevices. And while laundry or a sink full of dishes sits there and taunts you, a messy fridge is easy to ignore even when sanctimoniously getting the rest of the house spotless.
One “come to Jesus” moment with refrigerators is a sudden influx of new food, like when you have a party and need to chill eighteen tons of beer, crudites and all your birth control rings. What? Anyway, given that next week is one of the biggest annual food orgies America sees each year, it makes sense that today, November 15th, is Clean Out Your Fridge Day.
An annual fridge overhaul is not a bad idea, although perhaps Clean Out Your Fridge Day should be considered at least a seasonal holiday. It’s a good time to go through your stocks of less-perishables, like jam, ketchup, mustard, mayo and soy sauce and plan to stock up on new ones. If you’ve got company coming next week, all the better to swap out old stuff for new and avoid the embarrassment of a guest requesting a little used condiment only to find it passed its best-buy date sometime in the middle of the second Bush administration.
If you need a bit of help to decide what to keep and what to toss, the website StillTasty.com is a good resource for determining how long perishables last in different forms of storage. Do you plan to “celebrate” Clean Out Your Fridge Day?