There are certain chores one must do around the house that do not require much effort. But then there are those household tasks which require some planning – like cleaning out the refrigerator. Now, I am not talking about wiping down the shelves and throwing away science experiments. I am talking about serious, take everything out of the refrigerator and freezer, clean the shelves with soapy water and wipe down all the condiments.
We decided several weeks ago this had to be done so, because we are between holidays and visitors, we planned all our meals around emptying out the refrigerator. We ate the last frozen meal of beef stew, along with the remainder of a loaf of Italian bread, and we had just enough vegetables to make each of us a small salad. The refrigerator was officially bare except for absolute essentials.
I started the process by getting out rubber gloves, soap detergent, and dishcloths. Then I opened the refrigerator and began removing the top shelf, which had pickles, olives, relish, and ketchup. As I peered into the fridge, I saw something I did not want to see. It was a plastic bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup with the top undone, lying on its side. My heart stopped. I followed the chocolate syrup trail as I pulled shelf after shelf out all the way down to the bottom of the refrigerator, where a pool of old chocolate had gathered. It was everywhere.
I turned to my spouse, who had heard my groan, and his only response was, “Maybe I will go do the grocery store now since we need everything.”
This is when I started to get suspicious. Had the decision to eat all the food out of the refrigerator been our idea or his idea. I do not remember, but I am not the one in the household that normally eats Hershey’s syrup.
Needless to say, the job took much longer than expected as I scrubbed the congealed syrup off the shelves and the floor of the refrigerator. But looking back, the whole process was much easier than the hassle my mother used to go through before self-defrosting freezers. The freezer had to be thawed because there would be so much ice around the freezer box. That meant everything had to come out and a pot of boiling water was placed on a shelf in the refrigerator section to help melt the ice. What a mess!
The good news now is that the refrigerator and freezer are both sparkling clean and there is an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits in the crisper drawer. Oh, and, there is also a large bouquet of flowers sitting on the kitchen table, leading me to believe my suspicions about the chocolate culprit might have been accurate.