I just cleaned out my pantry… ah the reminiscing, ah the HORROR. It tells the story of my year. It lets you know all my secrets and inmost fears and phases.
Most noticeable was the gluten free phase, and my obvious desire to make as many loaves of gluten free bread as was humanly possible as well as eating large quantities of rice porridge. Gluten free pasta also was in great surplus.
The less noticeable Sushi phase, was only evident from some weathered, flea-bitten nori (seaweed paper), rice vinegar (next to the brown vinegar, white vinegar and applecider vinegar, balsamic vingegar and caremalised balsamic vinegar), and a small container of shari (special rice), which leads me to the rice section. I had no fewer than five different varieties of rice, depsite the fact that I pretty much only use Basmati, 99.9% of the time… there was brown rice (both long and short grain), white rice, aborio rice, shari rice, and Basmati rice. I do have a vague recollection of becoming excited about the idea of risotto after watching some random cooking show, but its clear from the unopened packet this never became a reality. Like so much else in my pantry.
I think the detox phase, shown by a mostly full bottle of a substance called Chlorophyll and a spare full one (you got two for the price of one, the reason for that is revealed as you read further), was the bravest of all stages. Strangely, despite the many other discarded items on my kitchen floor, I was unable to throw them out, as if just the action of keeping them there was somehow cleansing my system. Which is a whole lot nicer than the actuality of having one’s system cleansed. The reason the bottle was almost full (and the other untouched) was due to the fact that Chlorophyll, besides tasting worse than a cup of cold sick, travels through your system at lighting speed gathering along everything with it, meaning you have to have easy access to a toilet within 24 hours of taking it. I can only assume that I got two for the price of one, because they were trying to get rid of it.
This leads me to the dusty product next to the chlorophyll, a box containing 20 sachets of Optislim. The box advertising it was a box of 21. It was recommended on A Current Affair, (so it must be true) that if you had both substances together for a period of one week you could lose up to five kilos. Like any normal woman obsessed with weight loss gimmicks I rushed out and purchased all necessary products immediately. The chlorophyll lasted 4 days. The Optislim lasted one meal. It tasted horrible. It didn’t fill me up, and I craved to chew on real food. But it wasn’t cheap so I felt obligated to store it in my museum of foods I can’t bear to throw out because they cost me money.. and I might try it again some day.
There was a very small bit of evidence from the one disasterous Thai meal I ever cooked, which was a small jar of palm sugar. It stood more as a warning to never attempt Thai cooking again, rather than a hopeful sign of further experimentation. Over all, my pantry was testimony to my shopping style, which was to assume we were constantly out of tinned tomatoes, tinned corn, lentils, rolled oats, taco seasoning and spaghetti. I wondered what my pantry said about me. Did it say I was constantly living in fear of a famine involving the afore mentioned items, or that I am just so lazy and inept at shopping and creating constructive lists, that I’d rather spend the money purchasing multiple items that I already have in abundance at home? Either way, if I ever get barricaded in for some reason, I’m fairly certain I could survive at least 2 years.
The one reappearing item that really took me by surprise, was the plethora of patty pans. The fact that in various hidey holes, I discovered a whopping eight packets of them, conveys an almost feverish dread of ever running out. I think what happens, and I know this was the case with the taco seasonining, is, on a particularly busy day, with no room for inconveniences, when I have assumed I had all the ingredients/items needed for my planned meal, I’ve discovered I’m wrong, and this in turn creates a kind of mental conditioning, resulting in my need to purchase these items on every single occasion that I visit the shops (which is second daily), in case I run out. The trouble with this thinking is that I think I’ve run out anyway, because I cannot see what I do have without actually removing the top layer of canned goods with earth moving equipment.
In my pantry-purging I confronted frightening dates (not the kind with bad breath and poor dress sense) but rather, the expiry date kind. I also learned that icecream cones and taco shells go stale after a month, no matter how well you wrap them up and remove air, and there was also the realisation that I dont make lasagna anywhere near often enough to warrant the seven packets of lasagna sheets in the cupboard (as well as two boxes of gluten free sheets of course).
Last but not least I’ve learned that my hard earned money is completely wasted on buying wholegrain rice crackers, wholegrain vitawheat, wholegrain pasta and wholegrain flour. This is because it all tastes completely crap. But.. when I open my pantry and see these products there, I immediately feel healthier just for looking at them, so the psychological benefits must be enormous. (its a holistic approach, body, mind and spirit)
I feel so ridiculously pleased with my clean pantry (and full Otto bin), that I’ve vowed to keep it like this always. Which is a complete and utter fantasy but I’m allowed to dream.