Home economics is not my mother’s strong suit. Technically she knows how to sew and cook, although I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw her do either. I’ve seen her water house plants and shuffle piles of papers and other junk from one surface to the next, but that’s about it.
When she’s home, which isn’t often, my mom’s preferred position is sitting on the couch as pictured below, in various mismatched flowing house garments, “finishing one little work thing” or “working on a talk” or “responding to emails because I’m leaving for Rwanda on Monday.”
But the one realm in which my mom retains a stereotypical Jewish mom vibe is by informing me in excruciating detail of every single item that’s in the refrigerator and available for consumption.
Some of this inventory, she typically warns, “might not be good anymore,” and indeed this week I discovered a hunk of strawberry cheesecake that was here the last time I visited from Alaska and had now developed a thick layer of penicillin on top of it. I am told to discard such things as I find them in the green compost baggies that are now “the law in New York City, if you can believe that!”
But not before I am made to know the identity and origin of each item of food and drink, catalogued in excruciating detail:
There’s a fruit salad from the farmer’s market with little cut up apricots and currants, and also heirloom tomatoes that are too delicate to sell in a regular store because they can’t survive a ride in a truck. There’s a chicken cutlet procured on a “foraging” mission to a deli in Washington Heights. There is “delicious mozzarella” from Arthur Avenue. And spicy hummus from the farmer’s market too. There are also gluten free brownies and M&Ms in the freezer. Also Coffee Mate. Also Diet Peach Snapple. Also cheddar cheese from the farmer’s market. Do you know about farmer’s markets? They’re “all the rage.” But you can’t get strawberries there anymore. They’re out of season. It’s very interesting and old-fashioned! You can’t just get strawberries at the farmer’s market whenever you want! When you get older you need far fewer calories anyway.
And I’m just like, MOM. You actually don’t have to line-item every single thing that’s in this refrigerator and freezer. I’m perfectly capable of just looking inside of it and seeing what’s there. Can I make fun of you on my blog for this?
And she says “of course, you’re adorable.” No, you are. No you. No you. No you. Oh, there’s also this pepper jack cheese but it’s very spicy. I think I’m going to put out a few nuts.
Want some nuts?