You may not know this but the contents of a fridge has a profound effect on a person's mood. A fridge stocked with lovely things = happy mood (unless you're trying to lose weight, in which case it has the opposite effect).
A soulless, empty fridge with nothing more than a wrinkling cucumber and a hardening piece of cheese might in fact be a direct cause of depression (note: scientific results pending). At Christmas time, given the volume of fridge traffic, it can result in quite alarming mood swings.
I'm willing to share with you the secret diary I keep with my fridge to provide greater insight into the dynamics of a fridge/owner relationship.
Date: 20 Dec
Mood: Depression coupled with anxiety and high stress levels
Fridge contents: Scrag ends of scrag ends as the fridge owner is NOT doing a shop until the BIG Christmas shop is done. This is also psychologically the pre-Christmas famine in preparation for the forthcoming gluttony.
Date: 21 Dec
Mood: Upbeat, social, happy
Fridge contents: Party nibbles, olives, dips, champagne. Decided to have a last minute drinks party for neighbours so popped out for some yummy looking canapes. Still no regular food and the kids are now living on fish fingers out of the freezer.
Date: 22 Dec
Mood: Satisfaction, Expectant, relief, annoyance
Fridge contents: First all scrag ends, half jars and things beyond sell by date are removed and binned leaving a starkly empty and cavernous space. This is exceptionally satisfying. As the old goes out, in comes the new. The fridge is packed to the gills with a veritable bounty of food waiting expectantly to be turned into sumptuous Christmas dishes. The relief at shutting the door on the well stocked shelves is profound, knowing that the mad dash through pre-Christmas supermarket hell is over for another year. Then realising that you're hungry but have nothing to eat for the next 3 days. Annoyance sets in as you realise you might have to make another trip to the supermarket after all.
Date: 23 Dec
Mood: Satisfaction and expectation
Fridge contents: Well stocked shelves only now with a few less ingredients and a few more prepared meals waiting in eager anticipation of the big day. The warm glow of domestic godessness pervades, despite still having nothing to actually eat anytime soon.
Date: 24 Dec
Fridge contents: Many of the ingredients have now found their way into stock pots, pre-made casseroles, cranberry sauces and stuffings. This makes stacking and packing a far more precarious occupation but it's only a matter of hours before some of the goodies are actually consumed. Hooray. Finally we can eat AND make room in the fridge.
Date: 25 Dec - morning
Mood: Ecstasy (with an inkling of nervous trepidation)
Fridge contents: Drastically reduced fridge stock as breakfast is consumed and most of the Christmas lunch goodies make their way out. Although there is a rather alarming number of tupperware boxes containing leftovers from the Christmas Eve meal. We're not happy with this. This means even more leftovers to turn into a follow up meal.
Date: 25 Dec - evening
Fridge contents: Even more tupperware boxes. All the promise of the raw ingredients and all the excitement of the prepared meals, have been replaced with LEFTOVERS. Sigh. The only good thing is that we're making room in the cheese compartment as we're about to get stuck into a cheese platter.
Date: 26 Dec - am
Mood: Surly, depressed with a hint of hope and glimpses of satisfying finality.
Fridge contents: Even more not quite finished things, now with the addition of half eaten cheeses, which never look quite as inviting as whole cheeses. However, at least we have Boxing day to eat up all those leftovers. During the course of the day, there are moments of hope and satisfaction as certain leftovers are used up and the tupperware mountain is whittled down.
Date: 26 Dec - pm
Mood: Despair, resilience
Fridge contents: Despite having eaten leftovers for breakfast, lunch and soon to be supper, there is still a worrying number of tupperware boxes loitering in the fridge. Left over leftovers. Mmmhmm. What's more, no-one can possibly manage another piece of turkey or stuffing. All everyone really wants is some light salad only you ran out of that days ago. You're not really too sure how to turn the now scruffy remains into something that looks appetising, but you refuse to dig into the freezer. It's make do and mend around here now. We will eat the sodding leftovers, we will, we will, we will.
Date: 27 Dec
Fridge contents: Half a bag of browning parsnips, a few carrots, several half eaten tubs of dip that have gone a bit runny and 'orrible, cranberry sauce (lots of), stuffing (lots of although it's now been reheated several times and might well not be edible anymore), a few pieces of dry turkey, the rind of a Brie, a wilted celery stick. It's time to go back to the shops.
Soon the 'out with the old, in with the new' will start again. This will continue until 1 Jan. At which point the entire fridge will be emptied and restocked with low fat everything and bags of air which we will live on in place of food.
It's a love/hate relationship I have with our fridge. The sheer volume of traffic over the last week has left me feeling like I've got a bad bout of pmt. I'm sure someone could write a thesis on this you know. Perhaps someone already has. Must explore further.
What's in your fridge?
This post was written by Home Office Mum. Take one tired mum. Add two small boys. Mix in one manic home business and one long suffering husband. A simple recipe for chaos.
Photo credit: Russell J Smith