Details

The other day on the radio I heard a snippet of the Seattle gardening show inviting people to post photos of the inside of their refrigerators on the radio station’s web site.

“Hmm…” I thought, and then began (I was driving) a whole reverie about the inside of the fridge. My painter friend once said when I asked if she liked her new refrigerator: “Yes, it makes my food look so stylish.” I often think of that response when I open my fridge door. I knew what she meant, but in front of my fridge “stylish” is not the first adjective coming to mind – crowded, confusing, disorganized ring more true.

William Morris said “A true source of human happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life and elevating them by art.” I turn to that when avoiding chores, particularly ones that might improve the visual quality of life.

So on another rainy Saturday, I cleaned out the refrigerator, wishing it had more crisper drawers. Too many plastic bags, no matter how I might try to avoid them, camouflage contents. So does reusing yogurt containers.

Among other things, I found carrots, the lovely ones with tinges of beet coloring, with a fine crop of thread-like roots (easily removed for pre-dinner snacking). Pac choi from the CSA, which our farmer said she liked best in soup, had slipped my mind.

A quick stock seems a good way to use the “last ofs.” Following Deborah’s advice, I sautéed in a little olive oil a couple of roughly chopped slightly wibbly carrots and celery and an onion – adding a few sprigs of thyme, some branches of parsley and crushed garlic cloves. I poured in eight cups of water and two teaspoons of salt, and let it simmer for 30 minutes or so while I finished cleaning out the fridge.

So OK, cleaning the fridge can seem utterly trivial and unimportant. I certainly avoid it for as long as possible. But on a day-to-day experience level, maybe it does matter. How many times in the course of a day do I open the door to the fridge?

Pleasures are in the little things, details of daily life. I’ll enjoy clean shelves and order – at least for a while!

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