I’ve talked about my hoarding tendencies for pantry ingredients before. (If that sentences sounds cumbersome, I was initially going to write “pantry-hoarding tendencies,” but knew almost immediately that some of my readers would have visions of a garage/basement/storage container somehow filled with pantries! ) It comes down to a tendency to buy things as I see them, in case I need them, or because I remember I’d seen (somewhere though I can never remember where) a recipe requiring a specific ingredient. So I snap them up when I see them, rather than as part of a menu plan.
As the new year arrived, all that hoarding came to a head as I realised serious pantry rationalisation was required if I was to be able to store a new purchase (with Christmas money) of a cake mixer, and the accompanying bulky freezer bowl. I decided that I would take a gradual approach, and started with a small section of one shelf. But it turned out to be impossible to do just one small section, and so I got stuck in, pleased to see that over several hours, the pantry became transformed. I still have two pull-out drawers to finish, then I need to tackle the even larger “second” pantry, which is where I want to store the cake mixer. (Though that will be easier, I think, as much less food is stored in there.)
Bottles, jars, packets of obscure ingredients I’ve never used, all were turfed into the rubbish. The Husband complained over the number of rubbish bags he might need to put out this week, but not so loudly that I might stop this strangely unfamiliar activity! I commented that I was spring cleaning on 1st January, and he retorted that it was, in fact, decade cleaning. I wryly thought, “maybe he means millennium cleaning,” but didn’t say it, because it might be scarily accurate. The oldest item I found had a Use By date of 2002. <Mali hangs her head in shame.>
I’m hoping that in the future I will only buy the ingredients I specifically need for the next few days. The supermarket is just down the road, and there’s really never any need for two bottles of pomegranate molasses. I’ve taken real steps in the last year to shake off these hoarding tendencies, to buy only what I will use, but it is hard to shake the habits of a lifetime. It doesn’t help that the Husband, asked to buy items at the supermarket that we’ve run out of, comes back with two of everything.
Oh, and I still don’t know where I’m going to put the cake mixer. I have a terrible suspicion that maybe I’ll have to move the wine.