Vegetation Meditation

I’m afraid of my vegetable bin.

Everything has a breaking point. Everything has that fine line beyond which more cannot be taken.

I believe I am well past this point with the vegetable bin.

I swear by the holiest of holies (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups) that my intentions are good: healthy, nutritious meals. Side dishes of lean, fibery goodness. Fresh fruit to lead to rosy cheeked children ready to learn.

In my imagination I am also wearing pumps and I vacuum all day wearing pearls and dresses with full skirts.

And if you look down you’ll see my pavers that say “good intentions” on them leading right along the path to that fiery pit of hellfire over yonder.

What is in my vegetable bin starts off as innocent produce and is then alchemically transmogrified into something that rivals the deficit for sheer terror.

There are colors that do not exist outside of Industrial Light and Magic’s special effects offices.

There are materials of indeterminate states of matter that require a team of people from “Outbreak” to initiate proper disposal protocols.

And all because I meant to add zucchini to the pasta but then got too tired to slice it at the last minute and added extra butter instead.

Sanitation standards that wouldn’t be considered adequate for a developing nation that didn’t yet have the infrastructure for a sewage system are running rampant in the lower bin of my refrigerator.

Why? Because I was delusional and thought that I’d serve two vegetables with dinner one night which was a stupid thing for me to think when we had anything other than vegetables in the house. Here is my inner monologue: Hmmm…I can do chicken with broccoli and saute up some mushrooms, or…Oh, look! Kraft Mac and Cheese! Special super-hero shapes!

This is the slippery slope that ends up with a house having a red tag on its door and your children on the local news.

There are times when I have to think back through significant events to figure out when I might have purchased something and how long it’s been lurking in the produce drawer. The vegetation equivalent of carbon dating. What did we use this mint for? Oh, wait…I remember, for Christmas mint-cocoa. In 2003.

And at this very moment, a mass of horror and putrescence is growing in the refrigerator. Growing mass, growing intelligence and probably growing tentacles.

I’ll send the kids in first.


51 comments

  1. Whew! Glad I’m not the only one that sets out with good, healthy intentions and then gets distracted by the easy way out!

    And whenever I DO have the energy to cook some good fresh produce, that’s when the Healthy Intentions usually have mold growing on them.

  2. Whew! Glad to know that I’m not the only one that lets Good Healthy Intentions grow moldy in my fridge’s produce bin.

    And I always preferred the Scooby Doo mac and cheese. ; )

  3. Love it when the kids open the fridge and say, “Ewww. What’s that smell?” and then go, “oh, it’s the salad drawer,” and close the door and walk away — and they’ve reinforced for themselves two important Life Lessons:
    1) Veggies are nasty, smell horrific and look worse, and
    2) Someone Else will clean up the veggie nightmare

    I’m a teacher, that’s what I am.

    And you remind me I’ve got tomatoes AND zucchini rotting on my counter. Must go put it in the fridge to complete the cycle.

    1. You are teaching them well, oh wise one.

      I really can’t remember if this was learned behavior or if I just abandoned ship sometime back when I realized that I really didn’t like broccoli as much as I’ve always pretended to.

  4. Transmogrified…LOL Love it!! Don’t worry. Mine is the same. And I currently have fruit in various stages of decomposition on my counter. When the fruit flies arrive, I know it’s time to toss.

    1. I believe that is a housekeeping standard we can all rally behind: when the flies swarm, the food must go.

      I think read that in Good Housekeeping somewhere.

    1. I don’t even have compost yet.

      My garbage disposal is going to go on strike sometime in the near future and then I think we just have to move to a new house.

  5. I’m scared to go near that bottom drawer of my fridge. The bad thing is, now that it’s summer, we like to stop by the farmer’s market for fresh produce… which I always forget to use… and the nasty cycle repeats again…

  6. LOVE it! I can totally relate. This is pretty much me every night when I get home from work. What would I do without Tyson frozen chicken nuggets? I try not to think about how awful they are, because my intentions are pristine. (Sidenote – very cool mention of ILM!)

    1. ILM is a fixture for me because I live in the Bay Area. So is PIXAR (I actually got lost once going to Ikea and ended up in PIXAR’s driveway.)

      So you know, local business, gotta give ’em some airtime. They’d never make it otherwise. ;)

      And we will NOT discuss any merits, positive or negative, of Tyson Chicken Nuggets. My world view can only take so much rocking.

      1. Ah! One of my good friends does special effects work for ILM. I’d never heard of them before that, but I can see why you would have being from the area.

        No worries; no judgment here re: the nuggets. My lips are sealed!

  7. I often feel guilty when fruits and veggies go rotten and moldy; after all, I’ve been neglecting them. But yesterday I was downright irritable when I saw mold on some berries I’d bought only a day or two before. How dare they! As my mirror reminds me every day, we are locked into an endless battle with the forces of decay, and the odds are not in our favor.

    1. No, the forces of decay are large, numerous, well organized and relentless.

      The only thing that can fend them off: CHOCOLATE.

      This may not, in fact, be true but it allows me to live in a happy state of denial.

  8. Your horror is my horror. I know it well.

    Sometimes I’ll decide not to buy anymore veggies for a while, and then eggplant is on sale.

    I have a 3-week-old eggplant in my fridge. Can it come to your house?

    1. I’m trying to think of possible uses for a three week old eggplant.

      Planter? Modern art installation? Ashtray? (I suppose some day, some guest might need one…)

    1. And once they come to life the misery never ends. They hog the bathroom, borrow the car and never put gas in it…

      Your way is much better.

  9. I have vegetables overtaking my house, too. And I LOVE me some veggies…but when pressured by the “veggie grower” to use said veggies I draw a big ol’ fat blank at how to even saute a freaking zucchini. Do you even saute zucchini? See? I’m losing it. And everyone knows that the superhero shaped Mac ‘n Cheese is the best.
    :)
    Mindy
    http://www.thesuburbanlife.com

    1. Zucchini can in fact be sauteed. I even know how. Which makes me even MORE lame. Cause really, I’m just lazy.

      And I’m so glad someone gets the Superhero Mac and Cheese thing. I was so lonely.

      We can start a support group.

  10. Aha! I knew it ! I knew that if I just sat tight, and didn’t make waves that someday HALLELUJA CAN I GET A WITNESS! someday I’d be in the plus column for Martha points.

    Yeeha! and Huzza! cuz vegetables and fruits never go bad in this house.

    Cannot believe this.

    Thank you, sweet jesus.

    I’ m in the plus column. Gonna do my dance while it lasts cuz it’ll be gone by tonight, when I make the kids wait for dinner so I can check tweetdeck.

    1. WHAT? WHAT???

      That…that…that’s outrageous. How can vegetables not go bad at your house??

      I DEMAND A RECOUNT!

      Darnit.

      Okay, you win. You deserve them. +15 Martha Points for you.

      Use them wisely.

  11. Yes, Im familiar with the horrors of the vegetable bin.

    Want to know what makes it oh-so-much more fun?

    When your husband reaches his breaking point (long before you would, as you know that you can totally outlast him!) and with every item he throws into the trash, you hear him sing “cha ching!”

    Yes, I think we’ve wasted enough money on produce that just rots to put Katie through her first year of college.

    And on my grocery list right now? Lots of fresh fruit and veggies!

    1. Oh dear….at least Himself doesn’t mock.

      This is because Himself is equally bad at either using the veggies, or tossing them before they’re ready to launch a counterstrike against us when we open the refrigerator.

      He did get your blog moved though, so we probably have to spot him some attitude.

      Darnit.

  12. omg I thought I was the only one growing “science experiment in the fridge. I have gotten some really interesting orange and purple molds on some of my “science experiments” lol.

    Hubby’s idea of veggies are potatoes, corn, & peas. I love cauliflower, zucchini, other squash, etc. & I have great intentions, but two meals is sometimes too much.

    Of course, all the house cleaning in pearls, high heels, and poufy dresses takes up ALL my energy. Um yeah.

    1. Oh no…I believe there is an entire tribe of us, and guessing by the comments on the post, a large trube.

      And yes, the imaginary vacuuming in the imaginary heels is enough to wear the skin of just about anyone.

  13. You still vacuum? Seriously? We have our servant. Called Roomba. The Geek got him (must be a he) in a bag of crap.
    Now the crap is inside Roomba.
    And the veggies? Rot, rot, rot. At least some of them. Like organic green beans from Trader Joe’s that I forgot about.
    And I even grow my own veggies. Go figure.

    1. I don’t have a Roomba.

      Can you imagine Nimbus with a Roomba?

      Something would not survive that encounter. And my money would NOT be on the Roomba.

  14. I may have had to remove and unidentifiable veggie (or fruit? who knows) from the veggie bin with tongs and put it into another bag and THEN place it in the OUTSIDE trash.

    This MAY have happened.

    But no one can prove it.

  15. ROFLMAO!! I have to have my house ready and open for an entire week for someone to come in and inspect at any moment, including if they feel like opening the crisper drawers. I was sitting here browsing blogs in order to avoid going to the lower bits of my fridge. I wonder, if before they touch my fridge door, that I might look them in the eye and ask them what lives in their crisper drawers!

    1. Darnit – almost missed this one in the amazing BloggyBootcamp Hysteria!

      I don’t think they should get to look in the fridge. The fridge is not staying with the house! (Is it? I guess that happens sometimes. I’ve always moved my refrigerator with me.)

      If they go around snooping in a refrigerator that will not be theirs, they deserve what they get.

      In my humble opinion.

  16. Precisely why I have a 70-20-10 ration in my fridge:

    70% alcohol (and mixers, of course)
    20% food (argely consisting of various types of cheese and whipped cream. Obviously.)
    10% condiments and the occasional veg.

    Also, last week when my best friend came ove rand brought her 7 yr old, I got all sulky when she removed a bottle of champagne in favour of her daughter’s pre-packed lunch.

    Nevermind not wanting children. I shouldn’t be ALLOWED to reproduce.

    – B x

    1. Ok, I’ve commit that ratio to memory and plan on implementing it as soon as minors no longer live with me and I can do that without risk of CPS visits.

      But advise me please, do martini olives count as food or condiment/veg?

  17. I wish I could relate to this post…oh wait, I can. You took the words right out of my mouth but in a much clever, funnier way. Everything you mention including inner dialogue happens around here all the time…darn it.

  18. I don’t eat seafood, so correct me if I’m wrong here. But if something in your refrigerator is growing tentacles, I think that counts as a protein. And because it doesn’t come from the ocean, it probably has less mercury than the fish that you’d buy at the grocery store. As usual, you’re just looking out for your fam. One questionable spore at a time.

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