Thursday, November 11, 2010

The magic fridge

As I mentioned earlier, LukeWarm and I have had some... speedbumps in our relationship. After realizing how much he was smoking, Mom suggested I help him quit. Mom's suggestion, as always, was right.

Smoking, as we all know, is bad for us and those around us. Especially (in my case) the people who I was trying to impress with my mad pie skills. Nothing gives your guests confidence in your culinary abilities like an surly oven billowing smoke. Even if you insist that it's *supposed* to do that.

This morning I put on my battle gear (cow print apron, gloves, headband), and LukeWarm and I spent some quality time working on getting him to quit smoking. As I started giving LukeWarm his spongebath (part of the terms of him quitting), I realized that I have never seen my mother scrub her oven.

Lest you think poorly of my mother (and her housekeeping), there are lots of things that just happened around the house. The oven and fridge magically cleaned themselves, and more than that, the fridge would magically fill itself.

I discovered that my parents had a magic fridge when Andrew and I first started dating. I would take a glance at my options, take something (or not), and that was that. Except that unlike my parents' fridge, nothing good magically appeared after a couple of days. 

I have known for years that the recipe for a magic fridge involves a responsible adult going to the store and filling it, but there is nothing more disappointing than realizing that you're a terrible fridge fairy.

Like any skill, earning your fridge fairy wings takes practice, effort, and knowing the needs of the people in the house. A good fridge fairy should have:

- Components to cook with
- Nutritious snacks (premade, like string cheese, applesauce, or delicious fruit)
- Yogurt/cottage cheese
- Milk
- Sandwich stuff
- Ice cream, vanilla plus another flavor
- Pot stickers (in the freezer)

(Why yes, despite my attempts at being an adult, those are staples in our house. If we don't have dessert, the terrorists win.)

So, in any case, today's lesson was that a pot scraper, Dawn dishwashing detergent, a new sponge, a few paper towels, and a heavy dose of determination will get the job done.

It also helps to have a Mom who shows you how to avoid all the work next time, by lining the oven with aluminum foil. Which explains why I never saw her scrubbing out the oven.


  1. You may want to reconsider lining your oven with foil. I had some issues with my oven and the repair guy sad that was a no no.
    Googling "lining oven with aluminum foil" I found the first item was from Reynold and they don't recommend it either...
    Good Luck on the oven cleaning!

  2. There are other non-stick liners as well that go on the bottom of your oven. I don't have one, but will when I get my new oven!

  3. Pot stickers makes me a good Fridge Fairy? Woot! In that case I will continue in my quest to continually keep the pot stickers handy.

    If foil is a no no, you can just place a second cookie sheet/large pan/foil tray on the rack below the one holding your delicious pies and goodies. Has worked for me for nearly 5 years now.

  4. I've put foil on the floor of my oven for decades and neither the oven nor I have ever suffered ill effects from it. I'm absolutely fine...totally normal..I swear....

  5. I work part time in a kitchen supplies store in Philly and we sell an ovenliner ( It's great because there's no waste like there can be with aluminum foil,it cleans easier than the battle you had with your oven (key phrase is "dishwasher safe"), and it's made right here in the States!
    Just an FYI so maybe you avoid the full on cleaning war next time!

  6. 1) My mum gave me a tough kevlar-like silicon sheet for the bottom of the oven last christmas. It rocks.
    2) At the age of approximately 40 (bazillion), our parents drank, smoked and lined the electric burners and ovens with aluminium knowingly with children present and we did not die of cancer yet. If we do, it's probably our own damn fault by now.
    3) I was not, repeat, NOT OFFERED ICE CREAM at your house. Yesterday OR today. Have you had the Terrorist Inspector in lately?

  7. I thought you were going to say that your mother showed you how to use the "self-cleaning oven" feature. Shows what I know.

    After I moved to California, I learned that I have to be my own Car Fairy, or bad things happen. Strangely, the inside of the windshield does not clean itself. Bummer.


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