Some time ago, there used to be a recurring article in one of the bolt of industry periodicals that came across my desk.
The Fridge Raid.
The editors would pick some pseudo-celebrity or high profile chef… and poke around in their refrigerator.
In voyeuristic terms alone, it was a opportunity to peek inside the private lives of kinda public people and chance seeing a half eaten celo-pack of Ho-Ho’s nestled next to a carton of quail eggs… a myriad of take-out boxes, and a truffle… a half-eaten Costco chicken and a block of Maytag.
Although, since you can’t count on everyone playing fairly, there would be the occasional, obviously pre-informed raid and the expertly back-lit cooler would reveal 4 highly polished bottles of Perrier, a micro beer, 2 tubs of micro greens, a handful of high end condiments (all unopened) and a loaf of artisan 15-grain bread…
Who the hell eats like that.
So.. the fridge raid. I decided to poke around in our fridge and tell you what I keep on hand. Yes.. it’s self serving…. Yes.. it’s a little embarrassing when I actually put it down in print… and Yes.. feel free to make fun of the mess all you want….
I’m eating well…
I keep 3 to 4 different types of mustard at all times. I like yellow for hot dogs, brown for sammiches, and German style when I need to burn my nose hairs.
Mayo is Dukes. It used to be Kraft, but they did something bizarre to the formulation and it turns watery after it’s been open for a week.
There’s a 1/2 bottle of Brianna’s French Dressing, a bottle of Marzetti ranch, sesame and balsamic dressings I use for marinades.
Pickles and olives – one of each. Bread -n- Butter, Dill, Kosher, Cornichons, stuffed pitted olives and calamata.
I’m also a sucker for relish, so there’s usually a chow chow, onion relish and a chutney there.
Jams and Jellies – a jar of Minneola Marmalade, Stem Ginger (preparation below), Frog and Fig preserves, Strawberry Jam and Apple Butter.
Condiments – Soy Sauce, Sticky Soy, Fermented Black Beans, lemongrass in a tube, fish sauce, sesame oil (toasted and plain), Maggi, Worcestershire Sauce, liquid smoke, sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, three types of chili sauce, Ketchup, Chicken and Beef Stock.
Eggs – 2 to 3 dozen at all times. Omega 3… preferably Eggland’s Best.
Jello Indulgence Lemon Parfaits (lactose free)
Pre-prepared foods: some kind of cooked protein (pot roast, cooked chicken) A fully cooked entree, veg and starch for a last minute meal if needed.
Bread – a pack of English Muffins, Tabouleh Rolls ( a dairy free crescent -style roll), Individual packs of Buttermilk Waffles (lactose free), a zipper bag of corn muffins.
Cottage Cheese – Lactaid lactose free version.
Romaine Lettuce and a bag of Spring Mix
Cabbage and Radicchio
Carrots, shallots, baby potatoes, scallions, 1 leek, chives, sweet peppers, celery hearts, artichoke (2), eggplant habanero chili (1)
Low Sodium Bacon – I find the Kroger brand is a larger strip, 10 fewer grams of sodium and 10 calories lighter than Oscar Meyer
Turkey Pepperoni – it just lasts longer
Sliced black forest ham
Tofutti Sour Cream and Cream Cheeses
Tofu – 1 block, extra firm
Romano and Parmesan
Colby Cheese – I know...but it makes the best cheese toast.
Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar – It’s Lactose Free
Convenience packs of Tartar Sauce and Hummus.
Earth Balance and Smart Balance butter substitutes
Wine – Dry white and champagne; a beer; tonic water; caffeine free Diet Coke (it has that grab your throat bite where Coke Zero doesn’t); Lactose Free Milk, Buttermilk, Tomato and Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, Yuzu Juice and currently – Flying Dragon juice.
One package At least of each protein – beef, chicken, pork, fish. (I will buy larger cuts of beef and pork, then cut them down to 1 pound portions before freezing. That usually nets me 3 – 1lb roasts and a couple of packs of stewing beef. For chicken, I buy the family packs and break them down into individual meals. So between beef and chicken alone – I have 10 days of protein for 2 people) And, It’s less temptation on 2 people to overeat when there is less meat cooked up at meal time. A left over whole Chuck Roast Pot Roast wont last 2 days in the fridge if its just sitting there….calling me.
There are always Italian Sausages and Boar’s Head Hot Dogs (they are the closest to German Style wieners you can get)
1 Pack each of Chopped Onions and Peppers
6 packs Frozen Corn from the Cob and Run Summer
Frozen peas and beans 1 each
A pack of puff pastry, filo dough, pie crust
Semolina Flour, orange zest, lemon zest, dragon zest – lemon juice ice cubes.
Yeast, coconut flakes, dried peaches, cranberries, quince and mango
Edy’s Fruit Bars (sugar free), Decadently Yours Coconut Milk Ice Cream,
3 loaves of dressing, a bag of generic ravioli and budget meatballs.
So… this begs the question…
What’s in your fridge?
Here’s the Preparation if you want to make your own Stem Ginger (Ginger in Syrup) It makes for a quick gingery addition to any marinade, add it to something acidic and a little oil and you have a quick dressing, add 2 tablespoons to a glass of club soda for killer homemade Ginger Ale.
(Ginger in Syrup)
Makes 1 Pint
You Will Need
1 Pound Ginger Root – Peeled and Julienne
4 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Water
Large Sauce Pan
- Place the ginger strips in water on high heat and bring to a boil
- Reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour
- Add the sugar and return the pan to just boiling
- Reduce one again to low heat and simmer for an additional 30 minutes
- At the end of the 30 minutes, the syrup should be the consistency of light corn syrup
- Pour into sterilized preserving jars and seal.
- The ginger will last in the fridge for about a year – and on the pantry shelf for about 6 months.