Cleaning Granny’s Fridge and other Frightening Games

October 3, 2010 at 6:41 am (Uncategorized) (, )

Is it sad or funny?

A common activity for baby boomers whose parents are still living is a contest I like to call, “The-oldest-find-in-the-freezer” competition and its counterpart, “Guess-the-mysterious-food-preserved-in-ice” game.  In my most recent match I won the first event with a bag of frozen shredded cheddar cheese with a “use by” date of March 2004.  My sister, not to go away without any awards, correctly identified a brownish yellowy kind of ice blob with a pinkish tinge as frozen shrimp.  I’m not altogether sure that she was correct (although I think she was right about something “looking fishy” about the contents) but in the spirit of friendly rivalry I gave her that round.

I had to take solo-satisfaction in my quest to remove everything from the pantry that had outlived its “use-by” date.  Since I’d been down this road before there really wasn’t any creepy old stuff, but I did have a great round of “Duplication Solitaire.”  A great old fashioned game kind of like canasta, where one tries to get seven-of-a-kind in each of a variety of categories.  For example:  chicken soup, I found 26 cans, of which nine were Campbell’s’ chicken noodle, eight Campbell’s’ cream of chicken, six chicken with vegetables and three Progresso chicken vegetables, and just one chicken and rice.  Of course I could have gotten a special bonus in Duplication Solitaire if I had counted the dry chicken soup.  Apparently, gremlins sneak small boxes of the Lipton brand into your shopping cart EVERY TIME you go to the store if you are over 75 years of age.  My parents have 34 boxes.  They sometimes get the onion soup mix, 19 boxes, but not as often.

These are a few of the other more notable items from the inventory:  seven bottles of barbeque sauce, four quarts of mayonnaise, 17 cans of tomatoes in a variety of sizes and brands, eight bottles of pasta sauce, 31 cans of tuna (this includes some packed in oil, some in water, some flavored with lemon and pepper and also canned salmon), and five salsas. This seems like too many for two people that don’t “like that Mexican food,” eat out five or six times a week, and have problems with spicy food but perhaps they are expecting a gang of teenage boys to visit for the next Super Bowl Sunday.  And now, to make matters worse, Mommy has discovered some evil company called the Vermont Store.  Boxes of more food are arriving daily.  She will have to live to one hundred to consume all of the jams, jellies, fruit butters and preserves (19 jars and counting) that have moved in next to the seven boxes of Success rice. Or, I’ll just let her enjoy her three-year-old bacon.  She says, “If it’s frozen it’s fine.”  Who am I to argue?

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