For a long time, I figured most foods should probably be stuck in the refrigerator, and non-food things shouldn’t go there. It was just how I was raised. Recently, I found out that there are things you shouldn’t put in the refrigerator, and some weird things you should.
Five Things You Shouldn’t Stick in the Fridge
1.) Tomatoes: Tomatoes get soft and squishy when you stick them in the refrigerator, and they also get this weird mealy texture that is not a good mouth feel. Avoid putting tomatoes in the refrigerator as often as you can- keep them away from sunlight too unless you like one side of your tomato weirdly ripe.
2.) Onions: Ever open up your fridge and get a whiff of all the strongly scented awfulness floating around in there? Blame that open can of tuna and the onions you stuck in the crisper drawer. Not only do onions impart that strong flavor to everything in your chill chest (like butter, milk, and cheese), but a stint in the refrigerator also makes them incredibly mushy, which just isn’t good in sandwiches or tacos. Ew.
3.) Potatoes: These starchy wonders do great in almost every meal, but shouldn’t have a place in your refrigerator at all. When you put them in the cold, the starches convert to sugar… and that tastes bad. Keep your potatoes in a cool, dark place (like a potato bin, a wire basket under a counter, or in a mesh bag) instead of your fridge.
4.) Garlic: Another one of those “this will completely stink up your refrigerator” items, garlic will also impart flavors on your milk, eggs, butter and cheese- and not a good one. Store them in a cool dark place (away from the potatoes), and use the head within 10 days of cracking it open to avoid yicky, mushy garlic.
5.) Honey: For some reason, all my friends seem to stick honey in the refrigerator, and I can’t figure out why. Honey is the only food item with zero expiration date. None. Nada. Zip. Honey from ancient Egypt has been revived from its crystalline state and was still completely edible (and I know I’m not the only person who would love to have a sample of that). It does not need the refrigerator, and in fact just makes it thicker and harder to work with. Keep your honey in a nice jar or squeeze bottle in the cupboard, and when it’s time to use it, run the bottle under hot water to loosen it up.
Five Items You Should Put in the Refrigerator
1.) Maple Syrup: If you are using real, legit maple syrup (and not that high fructose maple and butter flavored monstrosity you find in the condiment aisle), you should refrigerate it after the original seal is broken. If you don’t, it’ll get all yeasty and moldy and not very good on pancakes. Stick it in the chill chest to keep it fresher, longer.
2.) Lipstick: Every woman has their lipstick, even if they don’t wear it often. Me, the usually makeup-less girl that I am have a whole plethora of funky colors stored away for the days I feel like going all out (and considering I’m a bit of a pretty color junkie, I just like collecting things that will give me a pop of color when I feel like it). Now, lipstick will eventually go rancid, so it’s best to find a way to decrease their breakdown- and cool temperatures help slow this down. Stick your lipsticks in a ziplock that’s been rolled tight (so there’s no extra air) and poke it in the butter tray (if you don’t already have butter there, that is). Your less-used colors will be usable for much longer, and you won’t have to worry about your limited-edition blueberry-bash lip color going sour on you.
3.) Eye creams, moisturizer, eyeliner and foundation: Yes, all of these things can go in the fridge, and for good reason- all four will last longer in the refrigerator, and they all feel really good when they’re applied fresh from the fridge. Chilly eyeliner and eye creams can also reduce morning puffiness, and a spoon stuck in the freezer can do the same (if you’re into pressing spoons under your eyes in the morning, that is.)
4.) Perfumes: If you’re a perfume person (and I am kind of a perfume junkie. I love discovering new scents, though right now I’m in a bit of a Celebrity Perfume rut (I’m hooked on Katy Perry’s Meow, Britney Spear’s Circus, and Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck). Since I tend to rotate scents based on mood, I stick the rest of the perfumes in the fridge, where they can stay cool and stable (fragrances tend to break down over time, and the stable temperature in the chill chest helps keep that at bay). It also feels awesome to have cool perfume hit your skin.
5.) Lesser used spices: Regularly used spices that you’ll run out of in less than 6 months can stay right next to the stove, or in the spice cupboard, but spices you use rarely (clove, pickling spice, that weird Texan-spice-blend you bought but are a little scared of), can go in your refrigerator so they’ll last longer. Just remember that you put them in there, or when next Yule rolls around and you need to make spiced cider you’ll have no clue where you put the clove and end up with two bottles you never use.