Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's hard to artfully style boxes of pizza rolls

After three fun-filled Food Pornologist celebrations this weekend I can assure you that the Brussels sprouts did make me cream my sweat pants and my tummy and fridge are delightfully bursting at the seams.  For Marthia.  And America.

I figured this would be a perfect time to talk about this series of photographs about refrigerator portraits by Mark Menjivar called You Are What You Eat.  I'm really subtle with the segues, huh?  Almost as subtle as my lust for Thanksgiving food.
Community volunteer, completely blind and lives alone
Mark spent three years photographing the insides of people's refrigerators which sounds awesome and horrible.  He wanted people to think about "How we care for our bodies. How we care for others.  How we care for the land." 
Deli attendant, disowned by parents for marrying a black man
Each photograph has a little factual tidbit about the owner which I find infinitely fascinating.  But not as fascinating as Dr. Thunder - the best brand name of anything ever invented of all time ever.  It's like Dr. Feelgood but BETTER!

Retired train conductor, started Meals on Wheels in his community
I have spent an unhealthy amount of time going though every photo and recreating the meals and lives of each person.  What's under that paper towel?  What's he gonna do with the lettuce?  

Street advertiser, lives on $432 monthly fixed income
WHAT IS IN THE BLACK BAG?  How can this person afford to eat at all?

College student, drummer for death metal band

Midwife/middle school science teacher, 1st week after deciding to eat all local produce
The caption for this one is fantastic. 

So naturally I decided to participate so everyone can judge me by the contents of my fridge.  
Designer/blogger, Believes glitter holds magical powers
I took this picture three months ago but didn't post it because #1 - it feels really really personal sharing the contents of your fridge.  Easy to extrapolate someone's life based on their Dr. Thunder habit, but harder to share your food decisions with the world.  #2 - Although I'm fascinated by the larger themes by the photographs and being a voyeur is always super fun, does anyone really give a shit about what I have in my fridge?  

So it lingered in my drafts folder like that about that peach I forgot about in the back of the fridge.

I decided it was time to share after my blog daddy Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design sent me a link to a blogger who styles - yes STYLES - her fridge. 

She suggests placing a small vase of flowers in the fridge, keeping leftovers in French canning jars and tying up cheese and meats in parchment paper and string to make a prettier fridge.  

I eyerolled so hard my eyes literally popped out of my head and rolled across the floor and it sounds like Charlemagne is nibbling on them but I can't really tell because I HAVE NO EYES.

I applaud her attention to detail about things I could give a shit about but damn, y'all.  Is no place safe from the precious fingers of design bloggers?  If looking at cold flowers every time you open the fridge to grab a beer makes your heart soar with delight then happily I support your compulsion and future appearance on Strange Addiction.  

But in a culture where every one is Photoshopped and every thing is styled like Marthia, gawddess of hearth and French canning jars, is knocking on your door, can't I have one area where it's okay to be apathetic about pretty?  Possibly even *gasp* ugly?

I'm not really waffling on this issue - it's a rhetorical question.  I'm completely apathetic and ugly about many areas of my life including but not limited to the state of my fridge, my sock drawer, my pedicure in winter and my entire guest room.  

Call me a judgmental asshole because I have no problem making negative assumptions about the sanity motivations of someone who wants to style their produce but pretend I don't make negative assumptions about the type of person who leaves pots of food uncovered in a fridge like in the photos above.  That is so gross to me.  Maybe they're grossed out by the current state of my toenail cuticles so I guess we're even.

But I would happily be friends with someone who enjoys Dr. Thunder but if I saw they had gift-wrapped their raw chicken I might have to reevaluate our friendship.  

By reevaluate I mean get the hell out of their house as fast as I can.

But I'd totally steal some fancy butter as I self-righteously run away.

You can judge me for that too.


  1. FANTASTIC STUFF! Love the idea behind the photographs and yes, everyone loves to be a voyeur.

  2. I love to be a voyeur when it's "art" but apparently not for styled fridges!

  3. I've been waiting for this post my whole life. Thanks for the shout out!

  4. I would have delivered it sooner - wrapped in parchment paper and string of course - had I known. Thanks for sending me the good stuff!

  5. After the kids moved out, my fridge went back to looking like it did in college. Jar of pickles, eggs, milk and mustard... pretty much all that is ever in there....

  6. So I guess you're going for a minimalism feel in the fridge huh? Maybe a bit of pop art with the pickles...

  7. Your fridge looks eerily like ours. What's in the jar on the upper right shelf? If it's jalapeno jelly I'll be really creeped out since it may be exactly what we have right now.

  8. It's cinnamon honey jelly (SO DAMN GOOD) but I have 2-3 containers of pepper jelly in the door at all times. I lurve that stuff! We must be fridge twins!

  9. The black bag is haunting me too. I like my fridge organized, but who has time to *style* it? People without kids, surely?

  10. People with a Martha complex that burns with the intensity of a thousand suns I think. I don't have kids and I refuse to style my fridge so I guess I'm an extra bad blogger/human being.

  11. The number of half-empty cat-food cans in my fridge would disgust anyone. *shifty eyes*

  12. Cats eat raw vermin - they can handle a little crusty food from the fridge. Me on the other hand, well I'm a delicate lady who can't eat out of an opened can. *bats eyelashes*

  13. "I don't have kids and I refuse to style my fridge so I guess I'm an extra bad blogger/human being." Nope! Methinks you just might be more well adjusted than others!!

  14. Maybe you could have an open fridge posting day. You know, like some bloggers have DIY project days. Hmmmmmm, could be interesting.

    deb (aka - anonymous)

  15. ModFruGal - I would like the entire public to see that you called me well adjusted! Mwahahahaha!

    Deb (aka anonymous) - Actually, there was a link to someone else who did that on the fridge-styling blogger's post:

    But it could be fun if we did it saucy style. I would want people to put doll heads and weird shit in their fridges though!

  16. I'm all set then, I have a doll's head on my bathroom shelf. All I need to do is move it to the fridge.

  17. Between the doll's head and petrified poop, your bathroom seems like a really interesting place to hang out...

  18. An educated gentleman in the Renaissance kept a "cabinet of curiosities" we he displayed his collection of unusual and awe-inspiring objects. I keep a bathroom of curiosities.

  19. I have a cabinet in my dining room because I'm edumicated too. But doll heads scare the shit out of me (watched Poltergeist too early). I'd probably have a nervous breakdown if I had to pee in your bathroom of curiosities.