• Pre-Holiday Cleaning Frenzy

    by Neil Jameson

    I have been advised that November 15th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day? I was given this tweet, though I have to say that in my 30 years as a firehouse cook, cleaning out the refrigerator was never an issue. Expecting to see leftovers survive the shift change was, instead, the eternal hope of every firehouse cook.

    This article from the Internet had eight steps, but since they’re mostly common sense, I only reprinted a few. You can read it all at http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-clean-out-your-refrigerator.html

    The timing makes sense, considering upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving and National Eat Leftover Gravy and Mashed Potatoes Until You’re Too Full to Move Week. Make room for massive amounts of pie with this guide to cleaning out your fridge:

    Step 1:  Dispose

    Start by taking everything out of the fridge and collecting it on a free counter. If you plan to make this a leisurely activity, keep perishables fresh by transferring them into a cold cooler.

    Next, say your long-overdue goodbyes to the stuff that’s expired. Packaged foods will have an expiration date, but if you have homemade meals or deli products in there, follow this guide:

    Pasta, egg, or protein—chicken, tuna, etc.—salads: 3-5 days
    Lunch meat, opened or deli: 3-5 days
    Lunch meat, unopened: 2 weeks
    Ground meat: 1-2 days
    Fresh steaks, chops, and roasts: 3-5 days
    Fresh poultry: 1-2 days
    Soups and stews: 3-4 days
    Leftover cooked meat/poultry: 3-4 days

    Step 2:  Consolidate

    Two half-empty bottles of the same hot sauce? Combine them to save space—just make sure one isn’t expired or isn’t set to expire any day now so that you don’t have to toss both portions.

    Step 8:  Keep it clean

    Clean out any expired food once a week, and stick a container of baking soda and a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract in there so that your fridge smells like unicorns and rainbows 24/7.

    neil potato neil petrified potato

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 14, 2013

    Topics: The Retired Firehouse Cook

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