Four hours later …

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.



20 thoughts on “Four hours later …

  1. Funny I was thinking about the herbs and spices that spelt CHRISTMAS that I won in the raffle in 2017. I haven’t opened any of them as I have so many already open. The best way to dispose of stuff like this is the best before date.
    Mind you, disposal is not as simple as just chucking it in the bin now!
    It’s the same with everything though, and whilst we try to do our bit, I’m getting just a little fed up of reading ‘check with local authority’ on packaging to ascertain whether it can be recycled or not. Then of course you have the multi-personality packaging where the bottle is recycled, the label isn’t and the top has to be confirmed. Glad we burn a lot of our paper type rubbish.

  2. Hi Fransi! Your entry really spoke to me. In fact, this year Peter and the kids (and I) agreed to ask not for things but for experiences with each other. I asked for someone to please clean out and organize the spice cabinet! Like you, I have an inordinate amount of spices. They all have little stories and it’s like an old box of photos, some mean more than others, some have lost their flavour… anyhow, I know I couldn’t face it. Thankfully Peter gave me the gift of a tidier spice cabinet. Who knew I had 5 different brands of curry?! Here’s to fresh spices in the new year! Thank you for all your words. xo mm

    • What a brilliant idea you had — I love the “experiences” instead of gifts idea. I had 3 different kinds of curry, never mind brands. And 2 unopened — yes unopened — bottles of cloves. “Why?” You might ask. Hmmmm … I think you and I are overdue for another lunch Miss Maxwell …

  3. Your subjects make me feel in such good conpany. Moving into much smaller qyarters soon, will take my already tiny kitchen further down the rabbit hole. My assortment of spices and condiments has grown disproportionaly with the size of my space.I will remember your accomplshement on the subject and hope it will serve me well. Thank you Fransi!

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