Cooking, Everyday Epiphany, humor, Travel

The Perishable Plan That Perished

“The milk is sour, Anita,” said Mike as he spooned Nestle’s Original Coffee Mate into his coffee.

Crying Over Spilt Milk

The dairy members of our refrigerator community had become passive aggressive. We abandoned them during our eight-day Florida vacation and they had turned on us. The bottom third of the 2% Prairie Farms Milk glugged out of its gallon container as I emptied it into the sink. It flowed like lethargic mud. 

The Kemps Select Cultured Low-fat Buttermilk formed stubborn globules that clogged the bottle neck like the Three Stooges entered a doorway. (YouTube it if the comparison didn’t elicit a smile.) I tapped the jug against the sink and commanded “Spread out” in my best Moe Howard impression. The blobs complied.

The dairy products became passive aggressive.

I held high hopes for the Horizon Organic Heavy Whipping Cream that sported a “Best By” date of March 7th, but they faded as the cream behaved as if it had already been whipped. I flushed out the contents with the sink sprayer.

The Greek yogurt threatened.

Although the Fage 0% fat Greek Yogurt looked and smelled unspoiled, the “Once opened use within five days” warning spooked me. Following the “If in doubt, throw it out” adage, I did just that.


With the high cost of groceries, it pained me (and my wallet) to waste food. I strove to time the demise of our perishables with our departure date. I imagined before our morning ride to O’Hare arrived, Mike would float his Kellogg’s Corn Flakes in the last of the 2% Prairie Farms Milk while I scooped the remaining Fage Yogurt into my bowl with a flourish, satisfied that I had reached my goal.

I didn’t reach my goal. The dairy products were spoilsports.

Salad Days

The week preceding our getaway, I served huge salads. By doing so I worked through the romaine, spinach, and mixed spring greens. Laced with scallions, radishes, and cucumbers the vegetable drawer occupants thinned.

Three avocadoes and a batch of tomatoes, the result of a mistimed Mariano’s jaunt to use their almost expired coupons, would prove to be more difficult to incorporate into our menus. The avocadoes due to me being the only avocado aficionado. Tomatoes due to the sheer number.

Huge salads were the keystone of my “Perishable Plan.”
Photo by Chan Walrus on

“That’s a lot of fiber,” Mike commented as he peered over the heaped romaine.

While I sliced a half avocado onto my baby spinach, I explained the “Perishable Plan” to him. I needed his support to eat through to my goal. 

“So, what if we finish all the veggies and fruit a day or two before we leave?” he asked.

“Then we eat out of cans.”

I passed him the Ranch Dressing which held enough dribs for his salad. I combined the Zesty Italian drops with the Balsamic remains. Together we polished off three bottles of almost expired dressing.

Mushrooms Mushrooming

Although the salads depleted the greens, the baby portabellas threatened to disagreeably spot before becoming an ingredient. The cheese and cold cut container held expiration threshold items as well. 

“We’re having pizza tonight, Mike,” I said.

“What kind?” he asked warily.

“Good question. Mushroom with something else.”

“I have Lou Malnati’s on speed dial.”

The leftovers increased instead of decreased.

While the homemade pizza dough thawed, I sliced mushrooms and drained black olives from a storage container hidden in the “way back.”

A lucky find of sliced prosciutto and a slab of Fontina created an almost normal pizza. 

‘I’ll cook tomorrow,” offered Mike.

“Great! Use the rest of the mushrooms.”

Which he did, when he doubled his Mushroom Risotto recipe.

“You said to use all the mushrooms,” he said when I sighed at the amount of risotto.

Now we had leftover pizza and leftover risotto. Our “finish this before we leave” inventory increased instead of decreased.

The Perishable Plan Perishes

“Pasta? Why did you take out frozen pasta sauce when we have pizza and risotto?” 

Clearly, he wasn’t on board with the “Perishable Plan.”

“Because I had a taste for Bolognese,” said Mike.

I couldn’t face another morning avocado toast, but maybe my neighbor would like them.

I considered tossing the risotto in with the Bolognese, but thought better of it. We’d still have leftovers to finish, but in a different form.

The next day Mike suggested we go out for pizza.

“But we have pizza here.”

“I need to get out of the house,” he said.

“I think you want NORMAL pizza,” I answered.

Not only was Mike not on board with the “Perishable Plan.” He had completely jumped ship . . . and I followed.

I couldn’t face another avocado toast morning or avocado salad evening. 

Everyday Epiphany

A goal may be reached using a different path than first imagined.

Although I tossed the pizza into the garbage, I couldn’t bring myself to do the same with the perfectly ripe avocado and tomato. At dawn of our departure day, I texted my neighbor who is an early riser.

Should I ever need a “Perishable Plan” again, my tactic will be to freeze veggies for stock and fruit for flavored water, or bag it and distribute to the neighbors.

4 thoughts on “The Perishable Plan That Perished”

  1. I can totally understand where you are coming from! Of course Terry and I do the food juggle quite often between the mtns and the front range. I know it is not easy ! I tend to make casseroles, soups etc and freeze the leftovers OR bring to friends . Thanks for another clever slice of life!


  2. After a few days of leftovers still in the frig, we just do the “let’s freeze the leftovers “ thing👍😉. Sometimes it’s a good thing we have them in the freezer, and other times it gets to the point where there’s no more room in the freezer in the kitchen 😜and then they get moved to the freezer downstairs. We try to NOT let that happen though😉😜


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