Awkward Meals: Lime Chutney

Excerpt from mail sent in 2000:

I like lime. I like chutney. But, really, I shouldn't have bought that big jar of lime chutney. Even though it's a very pretty bottle. Or rather, it has a cute label.

Nevertheless, lime chutney tastes about like what you'd expect, and I don't much care for it. And I've got (most of) an awfully big jar of it.

And it's not like some bland something that I can just stir into something else to get rid of it. It's strongly sweet chunky lime chutney, and will not be concealed, dissipated, dissolved, or camoflaged. It is a noble condiment, and does not easily mix with other flavors.

So now there's this jar.

I have long considered myself part of the disappearing middle class in the United States of America. I'm talking about the middle class of refrigerator users.

[Photo: lime chutney and more]

Two years later, stuff was growing inside the jar.

On the Empty side are those people who have almost nothing in their fridges. Each of these Empty people have anywhere from three of the following items in their fridge: a box of Chinese take-out, vermouth, two cans of coke, an egg, beer, half a head of lettuce, olives, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, or half a bagel (stale).

On the Full side of the spectrum are people whose fridges are full, yet who never have anything to eat. They have all of the items listed above. They also have five jars of mustard--four flavors they don't like, and one that's mostly empty. They have leftovers in tupperware--leftovers they will never eat. They have seven kinds of cheese. They cannot fit anything else into their fridges. Their fridges are full. They don't have all the ingredients for any meal--but they have half the ingredients for it, and twice as many condiments for it as you might guess existed.

My fridge has been one of a dwindling number that fall between these extremes. It's usually about one-third full. I can generally assemble a meal from its contents. It has no permanent residents.

Permanent residents in a fridge are dangerous. They can start a fridge heading towards the Fullness horizon. Once a fridge is full, it will never be useful again. You try to assemble a meal--but there is an ingredient missing. You would acquire the ingredient--but there is nowhere to keep it until it is ready. Meanwhile, since you cannot assemble a meal, all the food that's in the fridge stays in the fridge.

Maybe I can arrange to have the lime chutney transported to the salt mines of New Mexico and buried.

[2002 Postscript:

Strange things started to grow inside the lime chutney jar. Were they animal? vegetable? mineral? I don't know. I discarded it.]

Tough Bug[>>]

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