Fridgin' Out: The Ramen Shaman + Roommates
Ah, the joy of roommates. The Ramen Shaman lives with three other dudes in a house in Los Angeles, meaning our fridge is war zone of groceries for four people each cooking for one.
But to be honest there’s not a whole lot of cooking going on in this household. I actually enjoy making food, I really do, but a lack of time and inclination leaves me heating up lots of soups, leftovers and frozen foods (although I love throwing stuff from my garden onto an otherwise drab frozen pizza). And soon it will be cold enough to start crock-potting, which I count as ‘cooking’. Just set it and forget it!
Our nondescript off-white Maytag Plus refrigerator features some bills and lots of Simpsons magnets on the front. And let's not forget the lovely watercolor art of a man and dog that’s been up there for at least five years.
A good chunk of what you see in this photo are leftover burger fixings from a barbecue I threw yesterday.
There’s a bunch of buns and random bags of half-chopped tomatoes and onions. You can see our omnipresent Brita filter and a curious box of diet Hansen’s lemon lime soda. I bought that for the party as a non-alcohol option and for the potential to make Radlers -- half lager, half lemon/lime soda -- a popular drink in Germany (according to my German buddy). But I didn't realize I bought the diet version until I got home.
The fridge door is a standard assortment of myriad sauces and condiments. There are at least three bottles of ketchup and plenty of hot sauce, including the obligatory Sriracha.
I’d wager only 60% of the items in the door are in active use, the rest are probably remnants of some long-forgotten party that literally haven’t been touched in years.
However, in the middle right is the very last bottle of the porter beer I brewed a few months ago. Not to brag… but it’s pretty much the best beer I’ve ever tasted. It turned out incredibly well.
Let’s move to close-ups. This is our butter drawer or whatever it’s called.
We do have some butter! And we have some cream cheese… which I’m pretty sure is mine. I didn’t know I had any. I wonder if it’s still good.
Apparently one of my roommates bought this four pack of Pillsbury biscuits three weeks ago in order to make monkey bread. Yes, monkey bread, the manna of the 6-12 demographic.
This is turning out to be a fun assignment because I’m just as surprised to see what we have in our fridge as anyone reading this.
A quick peek at the rear reveals a sidelong bottle of sparkling wine.
No one knows who this belongs to. It’s hiding behind some tandoori naan that my buddy brought over yesterday to use in lieu of hot dog buns (a fantastic idea).
One of my roommates is vegan and does actually cook a lot. Here we see one of his strange concoctions, in this case a jar of homemade pickles. Or at least the pickling juice (I think that’s dill in there).
Beer in our fridge is as omnipresent as our Brita filter.
Here we see a massive benefit to having a vegan roommate – homemade hummus:
This stuff is great! You can’t accurately judge the size of this container in the photo but it’s a three-canner (of garbanzo beans) with a giant roasted eggplant that I grew in my garden. I provided the ingredients and my roommate made the hummus which is as close as we get to cooking for each other.
Here’s my bread. Every so often I get into sandwich-making mode and right now I’m in the midst of reliving my middle school years by making loads of pb+js (I was given two jars of homemade jelly a few weeks ago).
I usually buy higher quality breads (you know, the ones with crushed nuts on top), but I don’t like how wide the slices are so this time I went back to the old school stuff. Turns out ‘old school’ is just another way to say ‘terrible’. My memory of simple sliced bread was apparently way, way off; it’s too soft for pb+j; the bread turns to mush pretty much immediately. And yes, I am an adult.
Cheese drawer. Those slices are from the bbq, the other cheese container, who knows.
And here are the contents of the cheese drawer:
I don’t know where the beef franks came from but the other items are all strange vegan meatsicles. Tofurky, tempeh (I don’t understand this), soyrizo, and some vegetarian sausages made out of potatoes, apples and ‘rubbed’ sage. ‘Fondled’ sage wasn’t selling too well.
These 9 volts hang out with the cheese too. I use them in guitar pedals and electric-acoustic guitars and they keep better when cold. And to be honest I made an impulse buy at Costco so I have way more than I will possibly use in, say, the next three years.
Here’s a big bag of beets from my garden. Kind of forgot about them.
I stashed these in the fridge like six months ago thinking I would boil them someday… and then use them in… something. I always seem to set my future self up to fail. Needless to say they never even got boiled so I threw them away after snapping this photo.
Moving on to the freezer which is basically just an odd assortment of ready to eat frozen foods, from taquitos to dino nuggets (that’s the monkey bread roommate) to various Trader Joe’s bites.
I’m disappointed that one of my trademark Culinary Circle pizzas weren’t available for the photo. I also used to eat two or three bowls of ice cream a day (it gets hot in LA, ok?), usually mint chip or cookie dough, but I gave that up a few months ago because it’s an incredibly stupid thing to do.
I think I bought these flautas when I had some avocados hanging around but those have been gone for a while. Now they will be prisoners of the freezer until I happen to notice them on the same day that I’m heading to the supermarket. It’s going to be a while.
Here are the burgers from the bbq.
We only went through half of them so if anyone in LA wants a burger, hit me up! Otherwise it’s all burgers right up until Christmas for me.
What’s hiding out in the back of your fridge? To feature your coldbox on Fridgin’ Out, email firstname.lastname@example.org.