small victories. . .

by mulberryshoots

You know how sometimes in the middle of the winter, you get a little stir-crazy and wonder what you’re going to do to be creative or productive? This week, I watched a show on “Anderson”–(the best daytime TV show on earth, in my humble opinion–and I’m not a daytime TV person at all.) Cooper manages to get issues before us with real life people and helpers who give advice that can be useful for a lot of people.

Take the fridge, for example. The show was about how to motivate yourself to eat more healthily. Turns out that one of the things you can do is to rearrange your fridge so that you put the most healthy, appetizing food in the most visible (eye level) places in your fridge. And to stash condiments that take up a lot of room (the clutter to end all clutter) in your fridge into the–yep, vegetable crisper bins! What the consultant on Anderson calls “RIP” (rest in peace) drawers. I had been thinking about the show and today, after breakfast, I took everything out of the fridge and gave it an extreme makeover.

Here’s what I learned:

1. YAY, it wasn’t as bad as I thought! Well, yes, the shelves and supports needed a thorough cleaning in the sink with soap and water, a going over with ammonia and so on. BUT, there wasn’t as much crappy stuff in it as I had dreaded, thank goodness!

2. Prioritizing what we reach for most often (bottles of spring water, ginger ale, etc.) in the top shelf of the door makes them more convenient to find, rather than rummaging around in the back or side shelves where they hide and take up so much space.

3. Putting the large cartons of almond milk, orange juice, tomato juice and pomegranate juice in the door also gets their volume-hogging-containers out of the main part of the refrigerator. I know,. . . I’m a slow learner.

4. I found clean, plastic containers that helped to group things together like a) garlic, cut onion halves, ginger root and shallots into one container making them easier to locate when I’m ready to cook dinner; b) oranges, meyer lemon, clementines in another; c) root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, carrots and daikon unwrapped from plastic bags make them more visible and more appetizing to cook with; d) A handful of condiments we use everyday are grouped together in the fridge door (Hellmann’s, mustard, ketchup, sweet relish, pickles) and that’s all! e) sweet condiments (jams) and baking things (golden raisins, nuts) are in the left hand side vegetable crisper and f) salty, savory condiments (hoisin sauce, chili sauce) are in the right hand side crisper. Sweet and Sour in the fridge–who would have guessed it?

5. Cleaning out my refrigerator was something akin to waking up from a session of meditation: my life feels improved from the inside out, from root to crown. Best of all, it’s visible everytime you open the refrigerator door: a cheap but real thrill!

So, thanks to Anderson Cooper and his show! To people who think outside the bin, and to my plucking up enough willpower to see it through! Oh, and I was done before 10 a.m.

Now, I’m really ready for the weekend!