Bottom Shelf & Crisper Drawers

The fridge project saga reaches its epic conclusion! It was a long, hard struggle to get here, one requiring culinary ingenuity and a superhuman tolerance for sniffing the mysterious contents of plastic containters, but 2009 can begin now in earnest with acres of shelf space and systems in place that should keep things tidy for at least, oh, one or two weeks.

Suit up team, we're going in! If I'm not back in one hour...

Suit up team, I'm going in! If I'm not back in one hour...

The bottom shelf was without doubt the scariest part of this whole ordeal. Cut off from light by the shelves above, the bottom shelf was a dark and crowded place crammed end-to-end with leftovers and whatever is left after leftovers move on to the next world. Almost the entire bottom shelf went straight into the compost. It was a much-needed mercy-composting for these containers, a good half of which were Thanksgiving leftovers. (I know, right? YUCK! I swear there’s a black hole back there that things disappear into, only to reemerge weeks later.)

Won't you put us out of our misery?

Won't you put us out of our misery?

The crisper drawers were more fruitful, offering up a Ziploc full of spiced wine syrup to freeze for some future ice-cream-topping extravaganza as well as non-rotten produce in the form of oranges, apples, carrots, fennel, parsley, and a daikon radish. The bounty from the drawers kept us in side dishes all week with Balsamic Roasted Fennel, Roasted Carrots with Parsley, Homemade Applesauce, and Carrot-Daikon Salad with Sesame Seeds (recipe follows). Still more carrots, parsley, and the orange zest and juice went into an unfortunately hideous crock pot carrot soup that I will write more about later.

Roasted carrots, balsamic roasted fennel, carrot and daikon salad, baked beets and onion with horseradish sauce, lentil-spinach crock pot curry, and quinoa

Roasted carrots, balsamic roasted fennel, carrot and daikon salad, baked beets and onion with horseradish sauce, lentil-spinach crock pot curry, and quinoa

And with that, the fridge was complete. Emptied, reshuffled, reorganized, and ready to go. Let’s make 2009 the Best Fridge Year Ever! YAY!

New Year's Project complete!

New Year's Project complete!

Top Shelf
Middle Shelf & Door

Carrot and Daikon Salad with Sesame Seeds

1 large daikon radish (about 4-5 inches), peeled and grated
2-3 large carrots, peeled and grated
4 T. rice vinegar
1 t. salt
2-3 t. sugar or to taste
1 t. dark toasted sesame oil
Black and white toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Place the grated vegetables in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, mix well, and let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze veggie mixture to drain it well. Dissolve the sugar into the rice vinegar and stir in the sesame oil. Top veggie mixture with the dressing, toss well to coat. Refrigerate overnight. Before serving, sprinkle each serving with a mixture of black and white toasted sesame seeds.

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