Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday ~ Cleaning Edition ~ Avoiding Meat Leaks While Thawing

Kristen (We Are THAT Family) is looking for cleaning tips for this week's Works For Me Wednesday carnival. Since I'm not always really on top of things in the cleaning department, I'm not sure I qualify for giving cleaning tips this week! But here goes......

I'm not real good at keeping myself on a household schedule. You know, baking on Monday, laundry on Tuesday, clean floors on Wednesday....... I just can't do it. I'm a procrastinator. Truly, I am. I married a procrastinator, too. So, you can just imagine. (For those of you that know us in real life....quit laughing!)

Lately, I've been trying my best to at least be one step ahead of the actual mess. You know, the thing that causes cleaning!

One of my least favorite jobs (besides scrubbing the toilet, folding laundry, mopping the get the idea) is cleaning out the refrigerator. It's bad enough having to clean it out on a good day, let alone after something leaked while thawing on the bottom shelf. Ick!

Cleaning the fridge after a "meat leak" is the worst! The bottom shelf in my fridge doesn't have a smooth surface. It has a bunch of grooves in it making it difficult/annoying to clean. Then, if it was a really bad leak, there's the chance that it seeped into the veggie bins below not only making the chore more of an annoyance, it adds the possibility of cross contamination.

I've put one of dinner plates under the frozen items in the past, but somehow whatever corner of the package has a small pin sized hole in it, is the corner that doesn't fit onto the plate and leaks still occur.

After several "meat leaks" in my fridge, I thought of a solution. I put whatever item I am thawing into a clean dishpan and then place that on my bottom shelf of the fridge. It's deep enough to catch any messy leaks and it's much easier to clean the dish pan that it is to clean the fridge and veggie bins!

Walmart has a not too big, not too small sized dish pan in their housewares section. I think I paid less than $2 for the one I use.

A couple of weeks ago, I took a large pork loin out of the freezer. It was huge! Almost 7 lbs and the length of my arm! Needless to say, it wouldn't fit into my dish pan. I almost didn't worry about it leaking since it was vacuum packed and sealed. But then I decided that it wasn't worth the risk. I didn't not want to have to scrub the fridge out that night if it leaked.

I looked around the basement and garage in search of something I could slide under the pork loin, but that would also fit on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. I found a box that I brought my canned goods home in from Aldi. You know, the boxes that have the fronts cut out. Sam's, Costco and BJs have these boxes too. Anyway, I cut the sides of the box down and made a "tray" out of the box. About 3 inches deep. It was a long enough box to hold the pork loin perfectly and fit just right on the shelf.

I'm so glad that I didn't skip putting something under the pork loin, because it did leak, into the box. Not enough to seep all the way through, so clean up was simple...I just threw the box away!

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