La Vache Parasseuse

Purchase two packs of cream cheese with intentions of making cheesecake. Decide that it sounds like too much work. Forget about cream cheese for six months, or until liquid. Serve with fruit.

Queso de Basura

Save half-eaten burrito from lunch. At dinnertime, feel too tired to reheat it, and eat cereal instead. Postpone disposing of burrito until you’re in a better place to deal with it mentally. Serve when individual burrito components macerate into indistinguishable mass. Goes well with sangria.

Folie à Deux

Refuse to throw out roommate’s leftovers because, damn it, you cleaned out the refrigerator the last six times and it’s her turn now. Allow hostilities to fester. Cheese is ripe when no one remembers whose leftovers they were in the first place. Serve with grapes and aged port.

La Vengeance de la Mer

Buy filet of sole in burst of enthusiasm for healthy living. Wait too long to cook it. Ignore smell. Ignore smell. Ignore smell. Realize that this is the smell of defeat. Purchase Styrofoam cooler to store food in from now on so you won’t be reminded every time you open the refrigerator that you can’t do anything right. Serve with capers.

Mystère Chinoise

Bring home leftovers from Chinese dinner. There are leftovers because you’d ordered for two, expecting on-again/off-again boyfriend to join you, but he never showed. Five days later, decide it may be unsafe to eat old shrimp. Hold for further evaluation. Shove to back of refrigerator. Serve when green fluid pools at bottom of takeout container. Goes well with chardonnay.

Code Rouge

Open can of tomato paste and use half for spaghetti sauce. Return uncovered can to refrigerator and resolve to do something interesting with leftovers tomorrow. Forget about can for several days, then start worrying about botulism. Decide can is too unstable to move. Too unstable to move—wow, that really resonates with you, sister, doesn’t it. Cheese is ready to eat when covered in braidable fur. Serve with oil-cured olives.


In unlabeled Tupperware, collect sputum sample for biology class you enrolled in last year in an attempt to better yourself. Drop class, forget about sample. Rediscover sample when roommate mistakes it for taramosalata. Don’t correct her, because you think she’s been stealing money from you. Serve with ouzo.

La Copine Onctueuse

Purchase block of tofu to make dinner for self-righteous vegan friend. Decide you’re just not up to the lecture and cancel, feigning illness. And you really must be sick, to lie to your friends like that. Feel too guilty to throw tofu out. Cheese is ripe when furry orange hide resembles that of cosmetic-lab test rabbit. Serve with veal pâté.


Get stood up again by boyfriend. Instead of confronting him, consume all but sliver of family-size frozen pizza. Become seized with self-disgust, wrap pizza wedge in foil and place in refrigerator. Refuse to dispose of pizza even when it becomes dry and hard because just looking at it reminds you of your spinelessness. Cheese is ripe when boyfriend suffers karmic retribution through violent G.I. flu. Serve grated over pasta.

Ste. Souffrante

Invite parents for dinner. Endure passive-aggressive comments about haircut, failure to finish college, and self-destructive predilection for unreliable mates. Storm out, leaving mother to carefully return leftovers to refrigerator where they will languish, undiscovered, until parents’ next visit. Serve with scotch.