Omg! For months now, every time I’ve ventured into my spice cupboard I’d say to myself, “Fransi, you really have to go through this stuff.” Well, I finally chose last weekend to do it. I’m thrilled with the outcome, but what a time-consuming chore that turned out to be! Omg.
I know, I know, you’re probably sitting there saying, “spice cupboard???? How many spices could she (meaning me) possibly have?????” Well, how about an entire standard kitchen cabinet (3 fairly wide shelves)?
What can I say, I like to cook and I like to try different things. The problem is, as I’ve recently discovered, “different things” require different spices, sauces, marinades, seasonings, oils, vinegars, grains, condiments etc. — and except for those dishes you cook time after time after time you rarely use most of the ingredients after that one occasion — or at least not until you’re bored and remember a recipe you tried and liked once — which in my case can take months or even years. And these things don’t last forever.
Some items, like oils, can turn rancid and others lose their potency and flavour. I’ve been shamefully wasteful, I’m ashamed to admit. Anyway, they had to go. They were taking up space, which is at a premium around here; and what’s the point of having stuff you can no longer use cluttering your cupboards?
But it’s not as easy as just tossing it all in garbage bags.
Grains and dried herbs had to go into the organics bin. Any liquids in jars and bottles had to be dumped down the drain. Said bottles and jars then had to be washed, dried and taken to the recycling bins. Food cartons and boxes had to be flattened and taken to the recycling bins. Liner bags, plastic pouches and foil wrappers put in the garbage. And, once emptied, my own plastic or glass food storage containers had to be washed, dried and put back in the pantry to wait for their next outing.
Not exactly fun, but then, I brought it upon myself. In the future, I’m going to try to exhaust my repertoire of recipes for any given cuisine before embarking on a new one, so I give myself a chance to use up all or at least most of the necessary ingredients. Grocery stores and markets in the Toronto area are re-adjusting their revenue forecasts accordingly.