Sunday, 24 August 2008

A Peek inside My Fridge

Good morning everyone. It sounds like a beautiful day out there this morning. The birds are singing happily away, even though it's a little bit dark out still. My goodness, but the days seem to be drawing in now, and getting shorter, and it seems to be happening very quickly! It feelslike just a few days ago it was still light outside when Todd and I were going to bed, but now, it's dark . . . and it's dark now when I get up as well . . . soon we will start noticing that the leaves are changing colour I am sure.

You have probably wondered why I have a picture of two children peeking into a refrigerator at the top of my post this morning???? I thought I'd do something quite different today and give you all a peek into . . . my refrigerator! Not only will it be fun, but it's a darn good excuse to clean out the fridge!

One of the first things I wanted after I moved over here, was a decent sized refrigerator. The one Todd had was very small, about the size of a bar fridge, and a good portion of that was the freezing compartment. For a person who loves to cook as much as I do, it really wasn't adequate enough. I longed to have something that held at least half of the ingredients that I wanted to use, if not all! It took me about six months, but I did finally convince him that we really needed one, and we went to Iceland (which is a shop over here that sells frozen goods etc.) and bought a lovely Bosch Refrigerator/Freezer, with the freezer on the bottom, which is something I had always wanted. Oh what a difference!

Todd said, "You'll never fill it, it's so large!"

I said, "Watch me!" and then I filled it.

I won't bother to show you the freezing compartment. It is only three deep drawers behind a door on the bottom, and it is filled with a variety of meats, fish and leftovers, ice cream, vegetables and of course frozen oven chips . . . McCains Rustic ones, that are chunky and less than 5% fat and still have the skins on! They are the closest thing to homemade oven chips that you can buy, and let's face it, sometimes you just don't have the time or inclination to do it from scratch! (let's be honest here!)

This is the inside of the door. It's nice and large and holds quite a bit. I have maple syrup (you can't be a Canadian and not have that!) and salad cream, mayonnaises, shortening, cream cheese, Sweet chili sauce (A MUST!), tomato paste (two kinds . . . regular and sun-dried with garlic and herbs) . . . juice, butter (soft and regular) grainy Dijon mustard, Hoisin Sauce (another must) and a delicious bar of Green and Black's Organic Milk Chocolate for . . . I am a woman after all . . .

Shame of all shame, I see a can of squirty cream . . . I can't think of what that's for . . . probably a leftover from Christmas and it's about time I got rid of it! (being honest here!)

Now in the fridge proper, you see two lovely vegetable bins on the bottom, one of which is cracked, alas. I was pulling it out once and it was overfilled and I actually pulled a piece out of the plastic! (I was so annoyed with myself!) There's lots of salad stuff in there . . . a few different lettuces, cucumber, radish, spring onions . . . and some lovely un-waxed lemons. There's also a few fresh herbs like flat leaf parsley and coriander. I love, Love, LOVE using fresh herbs. There's just no comparison!

On the next shelf up, you will see a lovely variety of cheeses. I don't know how anyone can live without cheese. I always have several different kinds around . . . usually a cheddar or two, strong and mild, feta, a blue (stilton or Danish, or both!) a good emmental and of course Parmesan! (and not the pre-grated stuff either, a nice big block that I can grate myself, with my micro-plane grater of course!) There's some celery that didn't fit into the bottom and some fruit, which is good for you, and, shame of all shames, a packet of puff pastry. (I am blushing here.) Let's not forget the packet of fresh bread crumbs, invaluable for making stuffings of any kind . . .

Next shelf up, there are an assortment of olives . . . green and black, and those lovely little black Spanish salted and dried ones, that have so much flavour. I just adore them! They are just wonderful on pizza's! There's more butter (for baking of course) a jug of cheese sauce . . . or is it custard . . . some more veg that didn't fit in the bottom drawer, (broccoli, I think) and my prized can of A & W rootbeer, that I am saving for a rainy day and nobody better touch upon pain of death!! Rootbeer is not all that common over here and I have been saving it to make myself a rootbeer float when I can't stand to be without one any more, and yes . . . I will probably share it with Todd! . . . . maybe . . . . if he's really, really good.

Top shelf . . . mind your step as you alight . . . cream, buttermilk, pickle (Branston's, a must have in a ploughman's lunch), relish ( a much coveted jar of American sweet relish!) and in behind more of the same . . . sour cream, gherkins from France, capers . . .

There is also a compartment under that first inside shelf that I showed you, that contains meat. Right now it's some lovely fresh filet steak and diced shoulder of lamb that is destined for a stew pot soon. There's also some dry cured streaky smoked bacon, a few sandwich meats (turkey and Todd's favourite Corned Beef) and a nice smoked sausage, which I don't have any plans for yet, but was craving last time I was at the shops.

And there you have it, my fridge . . . well the big one at least. I also have a smaller bar sized one that is stogged full of milk and eggs and other essentials and a smaller bar sized freezer and yes . . . a medium sized chest freezer. Not to mention a larder full of a cooks essentials and potatoes, onions, shallots and squash . . . butternut, not the kind you drink, although there are drink mixes and water in there as well. I have three wheelie trollies, with several drawers in each, that contain in one, all my baking goodies (chocolate, flavourings, etc.) another, all of my nuts, dried fruits, etc. and the last one all my extra spice mixes etc that won't fit on my spice rack!

I guess one could say, I'm rather a serious cook!

Speaking of serious, I made the most awesome Guacamole yesterday!! I just love a good Guacamole. It's the that stuff dreams are made of . . .

*Marie's Guacamole*
Makes about 1 cup

You just can't beat a good quacamole. This recipe is a combination of my favorite versions all rolled up into one. It's so easy to make your own and wait til you see what I did with it after I made it . . .

3 ripe Haas Avocado's
1 to 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (it all depends on how much garlic you like)
1/2 a lime, cut in half again
1/2 of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
salt to taste
chopped fresh coriander to taste (cilantro)
1 small green chili, seeded and finely diced (optional but gives it a nice bite)

Cut the Avocado's in half. Remove the pit and then using a spoon remove the flesh and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic and the juice of one piece of the lime. Mash it all together to your desired consistency, using the back of a spoon. I prefer mine to be a bit chunky.

Stir in the diced tomato and onion, a good pinch of salt and the juice from the remaining piece of lime. Stir in the coriander and chili, if using. Taste and adjust as needed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 to 45 minutes before using, in order to allow the flavours to meld.

This is great on tacos, enchiladas, burritos and of course with lovely homemade Tortilla chips! Or, you can do what I did and use it in a delicious Turkey Club sandwich bun . . . no recipe, just plenty of sliced turkey, crispy fried bacon, some lettuce and sliced tomato . . . . ahhh . . . . bliss!

PS - I'm giving a talk in church today, wish me luck!


  1. good luck Marie... I always
    feel so nervous when I give a
    talk in Sacrament Meeting, but
    you'll do a great job !!!!
    Another great post.. I wish I had
    your way with words with my blog :)

  2. Good luck with your talk my friend. I thought it was last week that you gave it. I was wishing you well then but I will do it again this week.

    However, I really don't think you need good wishes.... I know that you will do a great job. I'm sure that anyone that has your insight and writing style would give a great talk.

    I wish that I could be there to hear it.Our block is from 9 to 12. When is yours?

    After our flood in 2005, while everything was a torn up mess, we put in granite counter tops. Our old dishwasher was broken so we got a new stainless steel one. The new counters and dishwasher made our refrig look out of place and old but it still worked just fine. I couldn't believe it when John said we could get a new stainless refrigerator. (Usually any appliance or furniture we get lasts until "death do us part".

    So buying a new frig when our old one still worked was a major splurg for us. I've always wanted 2 refrigerators so we put the old one in the garage. So here we are, just the two of us most of the time and I have both refrigerators full.... and both need to be cleaned out.... so no, you will not get a picture.

    By the way, I always have a can of squirty cream handy.(sometimes I even put a squirt on my cereal with fruit but don't tell anyone.) My grandkids love a whip cream sucker. (whip cream on a spoon...again don't tell anyone.)

    Happy Sunday morning... I'd better get to bed so I won't fall asleep in Sac. meeting.

    I send love and best wishes. Love, Lura

  3. Marie your fridge is just like mine - packed to the brim! LOL
    A great post. Also agree about the maple syrup - it HAS to come from Canada!

  4. Marie, good luck with your talk.
    I can't believe you posted about your fridge today. I'm in the middle of drawing a plan of the inside of mine for an artist book project I'm involved with. I made quite sure that it wasn't packed on the day I did my inventory for the plan though (less work)!
    I went to Chinatown in Manchester on Tuesday and I'm pretty sure I saw some root beer in their fridge. It was right next to the Mountain Dew and it might have even been the brand you emntioned. So, if ever you get desperate let me know and I'll post you a few cans. Or even better if we ever manage to meet up one of these days I'll bring some along, together with skinless fish and chips! ;)

  5. Best wishes for today's talk, Marie! Will be thinking of you and cheering you on! :o) Such fun to see inside your fridge!! You have lots in there, but so tidy. And I'm getting hungry just looking it all, and hearing your desriptions of things--LOL! I love sweet chili sauce...we used it instead of catcup for chips, etc. Your guacamole looks de-lish!! I've been adding cumin to guacamole this summer--adds a hint of warmth and twist on flavors. I miss a big American-style fridge. The fridges here are so small...*SIGH* Love avocados!! Hope we get to chat today or during the week...Happy weekend to you & dear Todd ((HUGS))

  6. Good luck! You'll do wonderful! Who could not want to listen to you?

  7. Oh, Good Luck Marie! You will do fine, I am sure. It was great fun seeing your fridge this morning! I will have to do mine some time. Much love, Raquel XO

  8. Hi Marie your fridge looks a little like mine pretty full.You can guarantee though whenever I want something out I have to remove alsorts first to get to it.The part of having a full fridge I do not like.LOL!!Thers only one of me too.I usually end up giving half of it away by the weekend before my next shop,but being an old Motherhen I do like to have plenty in just in case LOL!!Have aBlessed Sunday.Take Care God Bless Kath

  9. Good morning dear Marie, Really nice guacamole I love it!!Heey your frideg is how mine, but yours have things more interesting I think, When I arrive to live here (countryside) our antique fridge day and Gerardo buy a mor bigger by the same you say.In the summer is terrible when you dont have to put things.
    Yours pictures reminder me I have to clean it aunch!!!! Dear I whish you a lovely and good luck in your talk, ohh Im sure you will do so well.Hugs!!!! Gloria

  10. How ironic that you desperately wanted a large North American style fridge. One of my favorite things about my new kitchen is the tiny cupboard-size fridge. It's too small to lose ingredients! It was fun to take a peak in your very tidy fridge.

  11. My fridge is full to the brim as well and yes, it's annoying how those plastic parts break off.
    Our next fridge will be full size with no freezer compartment and a full size upright freezer in the utility room. There is not enough space for fresh foods for four people in ours. I've heard you can order a vegetarian fridge, with lots of compartments for veg that won't freeze them(like when you put veg into the meat compartments.)
    Oh and there is nothing wrong with squirty cream!

  12. Avocado is one of my favourite foods! Haas avocado, especially!

    When we moved into this house, I finally got a fridge with water and ice in the door. Oh, happy day.

  13. i'm sure your talk with be AWESOME, you are amazing with your words! i loved seeing inside your fridge-mine is always packed too! also thanks for that guacamole recipe-sounds yum!

  14. Wow, Marie....I'm impressed by how tidy your fridge is....and so well stocked. Mine is always full, but definitely not tidy!!

  15. Thanks for your guacamole recipe Marie. I have saved it under my 'must try' file. I have a side by side freezer and fridge and although I try to keep it stocked and tidy...Yours far outweights mine.

  16. Hi Marie
    I hope you post your Sacrament meeting talk on the blog....we would all love to read it and I am sure it will be so uplifting and inspirational. As an ex-pat I loved looking in your fridge especially seeing Salad Cream and Branson's pickles .... there are so many food items that I miss....oh well......

  17. Hi, marie< Thanks so much fior your visit to my blog. I told Amanda that you'd love to have her recipe and she was honored to send it to me for you.

    Spicy Grilled Chicken with Tangy Peaches

    - Chicken breasts (I had plenty of sauce for 6)
    - Several Peaches, halved (We grilled 4 total, so 8 halves)
    - 1 jar of peach preserves (about a cup)
    - 2 cloves fresh garlic
    - 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    - 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    - 1 tablespoon dry mustard
    - salt & fresh pepper to taste
    - Optional: Red pepper flakes = spicier. A little brown sugar = sweeter

    - To make the glaze, mix together all of the above ingredients (except
    peaches and chicken).
    - Wash & cut peaches in half, remove pit
    - Grill chicken a few minutes on each side with only a salt & pepper coat
    - Baste chicken with glaze & grill until cooked through
    - Place peaches on grill (cut side facing down) and cook, basting with
    the same glaze for about 5 minutes
    - Serve chicken & peaches together!

    Serves 6 with some extra grilled peaches for seconds! I bet this recipe
    would also taste great using pork in place of chicken!

  18. You guys are all making me hungry. I just love reading not only your posts but your recipes I feel like I need to carry my computer downstairs to make the recipe for the day. Hope you enjoyed your talk. I know it was great~you are inspirational.

  19. How was your talk in church today? If I was anywhere near I'd come to your ward to hear. I hope you'll write about it this week. You sure are taking advantage of every inch in your fridge. I assume that salad cream is salad dressing? Salad cream sounds so much better. I love your guac and even moreso on that sandwich.

  20. Just the way I like my guacamole, nice and simple and full of fresh ingredients.

  21. You are much braver than I am...showing us the inside of your fridge. :)

    Your guac recipe is pretty similar to mine. I use a but more lime but the ingredients are the same. I made it ALOT this summer. Almost every other day! I think I made my last batch of the season on Saturday. :)


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!