Fridge Feng Shui

I have to give a shout out to Jane from Boyne City for inspiring this. If you’re in our #bluestemcooks group on Facebook, you’ve already seen Jane Burger’s intensely beautiful fridge. We also know that not everyone wants to be on Facebook, so here’s a continuation of that great conversation. If you’re not in the group and would like to be, please join us!

Now, my fridge hasn’t got anything on Jane’s. But she did inspire me and many other people to think about the art of managing what comes into and out of that modern hearth of any home, the refrigerator.

Thank you, Jane, for starting all this!

Fridge Feng Shui

My style isn’t going to work for everyone, but my hope is this can help spark ideas and provide a real example from a household that eats 95% whole ingredients from Bluestem. From the looks of our fridge, the Brower family is putting down about 2 large veggie shares per week, plus a large pork share, medium egg share, and medium chicken share. This stuff takes time to prepare, and like you, dear reader, I am a busy person.

When my family and I are hungry, I have no time to stop and prepare food. If I have to do that, we’re just going to eat quesadillas.

So it has become important to our way of life to do a bunch of food prep over the weekend. When I get raw food into our kitchen, my preference is to prep everything right then, so it is ready to go. There are two reasons for this.

  1. It all fits into the fridge. At my house, we have a modest 12.9 cu foot area to work with.

  2. When we are hungry, there’s something good to eat.

I think the best way to show you what we do is to open up the fridge door and see what we’re actually going to eat this week. Shall we?

There it is. What we’re eating for lunch.

There it is. What we’re eating for lunch.


Brower Family Fridge, Top Shelf

Lemon balm iced herbal tea - I took the rubber band off a whole bunch of lemon balm, crammed it into a quart jar, dumped boiling water over it, and put it in the fridge for later.

Sauteed chard with crumbled chorizo - for quick breakfast burritos (Turquoise lid)

Cabbage slaw with garlic scape aioli (Red lid, a little bit back)

Shauna’s pickled leeks - pride of the fridge!

Garlic scape pesto - (White lid, half pint jar)


Purple kraut, carrot kraut + kimchi - for easy side dishes (back row, can’t see ‘em)

Brower Family Fridge, Second Shelf

Grilled zucchini salad - dressed with EVOO + torn up basil + chopped garlic scapes (Glass bowl with a plate for a lid)

Shredded carrots + cucumbers - prepped + ready to go for easy salads (Blue lids)

Roasted, quartered beets - dressed with EVOO + ume plum vinegar. These go into salads cold, instead of tomatoes. Mary needs 2 bunches per week for personal consumption. (Red lid)

Tossed red lettuce and arugula - covered with plastic wrap for freshness. Sometimes I also use a dinner plate for a lid. (Big glass bowl)

Cooked red kidney beans for salad protein (White lid, quart Mason jar)

Brower Family Fridge, Third Shelf

Coq au vin - made with a stewing hen (Steel soup pan)

Green smoothies for a week - Made with 2 bunches chard, 1 bunch purple shiso, 2” whole ginger, strawberries, whole yogurt, tart cherry juice, and flax seeds. I make 5 at a time, 2 are pictured (White lids, stacked pint jars)

Pork carnitas - goes well with the cabbage slaw above (Red lid)

Chicken grilled under a brick We dip it in garlic scape pesto or garlic scape aioli this time of year (Low white bowl)

Brower Family Fridge, Left Drawer

Any uncooked greens go in mostly closed ziploc bags in the bottom drawer.

We take the greens off carrots + radishes, rinse them off, and store them in partly closed plastic bags in the drawer, also plain whole cucumbers, which sub in for apples this time of year. This easy snacking drawer is in reach of our kids.

Brower Family Fridge, Right Drawer

Bread-type things and processed meats like hot dogs.

Shopping List

3 bunches chard

1 bunch lemon balm

2 bags of basil

2 bunches garlic scapes

1 bunch purple shiso

1 baby cabbage

1 bunch purple scallions

5 lbs zucchini

2 bunches garlic scapes

1 bag arugula

1 head red lettuce

1 bunch carrots

3 lbs cucumbers

2 bunches red beets

2 dozen eggs

1 bunch broccoli

1 lb chorizo

1 stewing hen

1 pork shoulder

1 whole chicken

1 lb cooked kidney beans

Bread + tortillas + hot dogs! Ice cream + popsicles!