Today, I was cleaning out my refrigerator and I was carefully checking all the expiration dates. As you may remember from reading the blog, Mary (my mother) was not too careful about food dates. Actually saying she wasn’t very careful is like saying Miss Piggy doesn’t pay too much attention to fashion. It’s quite an understatement.
Beatrice and Dad were another refrigerator story. First of all, they ate at restaurants as often as Beatrice could possibly arrange. She didn’t care whether it was the Steak and Shake or the Brown Jug as long as she wasn’t doing the cooking and the dishes. Dad loved hamburgers so the Steak and Shake was fine with him most of the time. Later on he claimed it was way too expensive which was just a sad part of the aging process for him. As for the Brown Jug, our whole family loved going to this special place. Dinner was prime rib or a well-cooked steak with our favorite twice-baked potato.
Anyway, the refrigerator at Dad and Beatrice’s home did not get much of a work-out most of the time. Sissy, Lindy, and I would go there for a visit and begin examining the items on the shelves. We would pull out a bottle of salad dressing that was dated four years before and start howling. “Look at the how old this is?” one of us would say as someone held open a large black garbage bag. We would yell out the expiration date and go into gales of laughter as we pitched the offending item.
What made it even funnier is that Beatrice would stand there saying, “You’re throwing out all our groceries!” That sent us into more gales of laughter since most of what we were throwing away were salad dressings, puddings. jello and bags of dried up brown lettuce. If we had time, we would also go through the cupboards throwing out cereal from five years before and jars of one could only guess what.
I don’t know why we found it so funny to throw out all this expired food, but we did. Today, while going through the exact same process, I was thinking of Sissy and her big laugh as she held up mayonnaise from 1975 and Lindy and her silly dance as she tried to avoid touching any of the old, moldy foods. They were the very best sisters and they made menial tasks fun. I wish they had been here to help me today.