For the past 20 years, my job has been to develop recipes
for magazines, newspapers, blogs, television, a host of restaurant chains and
cookbooks. I do this from my modest home kitchen.
Working from home is great, because I am also mama to four
children. While my workload can be intense at times, it is usually flexible. Last week, I was up at 6 a.m. developing a recipe for Clams Casino so that I could
volunteer in my 9-year-old’s class by 8 o'clock.
But our fridge is a bizarre mix of odd, scary ingredients and
ordinary, family foods. My children never know what they will find when they
open the refrigerator door in their search for a benign cup of yogurt or an innocent
Ingredients have included:
duck, (feathers off, head and webbed feet on).
octopus (dead, but unmanageably rolling and squiring about in the
brown paper wrapping).
cheese (the stench of which could be detected from outside of the
Silkworm pupa (um, little, boiled worms).
Pork brains in milk gravy (no explanation needed).
Two days ago, my daughters and I detected an obnoxious odor in
the fridge that grew stronger with alarming speed over the course of one
night. Yesterday, I gave the refrigerator a seriously deep cleaning (more like
a culinary exorcism).
The discovered inventory, surprised even me:
Four bottles Maraschino cherries. (Our family doesn’t eat ice cream.
Where did these come from and why so many?)
Seven different cheeses (including one blue, except that it
started out as cheddar).
One dozen free-range duck eggs.
Four pickle jars (one void of pickles entirely, only the brine remaining).
Two pounds of French butter.
bottles of Prosecco. (How did I miss these?)
An entire ham!
Eleven bottles of salad dressings. (Considering I make my own dressing,
I have no idea how these collected.)
Twelve individually wrapped samosas
Karasumi (Japanese dried mullet roe)
Piri Piri sauce
Three open — and half-consumed — juice boxes (one spilled, on its side, stuck to