What's all that juice for? For drinking of course.

Name of food writer : Sonja Groset

Position : Voracious blogger/ Cooking the Books columnist



Secrets of a Food Writer's Fridge: In Case of Emergency, Make Bloody Marys

What's all that juice for? For drinking of course.

Name of food writer: Sonja Groset

Position: Voracious blogger/Cooking the Books columnist

Shame factor: Moderately low, but that's probably because shameful items like Miracle Whip and tubes of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls are hidden from view.

Contents of note: The big tub with the red lid is pizza dough. It's from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. It's basically a variation of the "No-Knead" bread recipe. It makes perfectly serviceable pizza crust and the best part is that the dough lasts in the fridge for up to two weeks. Just tear off a hunk and bake up some foccacia or pizza.

There is also a bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough. It's from a recipe in The Essential New York Times Cookbook. You need to "age" it for 1-3 days. Which, oddly enough, is a time saver ...unless you eat all the dough. There is also a big-ass jug of Best Foods mayonnaise, which I scored at the Grocery outlet for about $2. We will go through that entire 1/2 gallon in about a month.

Despite my baking prowess, the mister has an insatiable appetite for cinnamon rolls that I cannot manage to fulfill. Hence the tube of Pillsbury dough. It's his dessert mistress.

Lurking in the back of the fridge is a bottle of Kraft French dressing and a jar of Miracle Whip. These were essential ingredients in a recipe for McDonald's "secret sauce," that we had on burgers all summer. Don't knock it 'til you try it.

Top shelf: There's whole milk - for baking, but also for drinking, because anything with less fat tastes like water to me. Inside the takeout boxes is some leftover Thai. There are bottles of V8 and OJ, plus some eggs. Also a bottle of Prosecco. I'd like to say the OJ is for my daily dose of vitamin C, but really it's for mimosas. Oh and the V8? Yeah, that's for Bloody Marys.

Second shelf: Lots of yogurt, various homemade jams and jellies, heavy cream, a bottle of our "house" vinaigrette, a little bottle of homemade Bourbon caramel sauce, Daisy sour cream, pickled herring (breakfast of champions, or at least of Vikings), homemade pickled green beans (for those Bloody Marys), some leftover chopped onions, and some cream cheese.

Cheese drawer: This my friends, is where the magic happens. I love cheese and generally have 4 or 5 kinds on hand. There is always Parmigiano Reggiano - procured in big wedges at Costco; regularly bricks of Tillamook cheddar; and often hunks of goat cheese. There is also some Gruyere, which is great for melting. After a recent trip to IKEA, there is a slab of Gjetost, a goat's milk cheese from Norway that is made by slowing boiling the milk until it caramelizes, which gives it a distinct sweet flavor and brown color. An acquired taste for sure. There's also a sizable piece of Soppressata salami, which gets thrown on pizzas.

Bottom shelf: There is the monster jar of mayo I already mentioned. Also a big jar of peperoncinis (you guessed it - for the Bloody Mary's). Jars of almond meal, flax meal and leaf lard are refrigerated for future baking projects. Plus peanut butter. Also some cans of sparkling water and tonic water for making cocktails. And some cans of Izzy soda.

Drawers: There really should be more veggies and fruit in these, but our neighborhood farmer's market just shut down for the winter and I cancelled my produce delivery since it sometimes overwhelms me. In one drawer are a few stalks of celery, half a head of cauliflower and a head of lettuce. The other drawer has beer and sandwich bread. That's the carb-drawer.

Door shelves: Hoo-boy, there is lots of butter, mustard, hot sauces, and probably the biggest bottle of Worstershire ever (for Bloody Marys). There are some random bottles of marinades and barbecue sauces that were gifted to me. What else - some Tahini, sauerkraut, Maggi seasoning, horseradish, anchovy paste, Sriracha, Franks, Tabasco and Tapatio hot sauces; Edmund Fallot, Frenchs, Gulden, and Beaver mustards, Tamarind paste, cocktail cherries, olives, and capers. Also sweet & dry Dolin vermouth, Lillet blanc, various syrups for making cocktails, and a little bottle of homemade Falernum from one of my LUPEC ladies, for making Mai Tais.

Other items not shown: The freezer is pretty teeny and we try to keep it from getting too packed. There are refugees from the produce basket that overwhelmed me and other perishables I just couldn't use on time: Limes and lemons were squeezed and the juice frozen into ice cube trays. Egg whites were frozen in little cups. There are some little bags of blanched kale and beet greens. There's a quart of so of huckleberries, from a trip to Mt Adams at the end of summer, and some disks of pie dough at the ready for making huckleberry galettes. There are a couple bags of edamame leftover from an edamame infatuation I had over the summer. There is bacon, some pancetta ends, salmon fillets, smoked salmon, more butter, and chilled beer mugs. Oh, and an ass-ton of pesto from DeLaurenti. Have you had the stuff? It's fucking delicious. And CHEAP! Seriously, dinner in minutes with that stuff.

What my fridge says about me: I cook a lot, bake even more and have complete disregard for my cholesterol and BMI. My husband has an insatiable appetite and (thankfully) the metabolism to match. I believe that the only thing better than cheese is hot cheese, and that juice is best when mixed with alcohol.

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