Night time noshing is my downfall. Between 9-11PM I often go to the pantry looking for something to eat, preferably something that can be consumed immediately while I stand there. One of my ‘health projects’ for the new year is to go through the pantry and throw out anything I shouldn’t be eating. My Midwest mentality abhors throwing out food, but this guilt prompts me to consume things I ought not. **  So, a pantry purge may help viz. if nothing is there, I can’t eat it.

Our pantry is a modest closet, square-shaped with a corner cut off for the door.  In it, we store the recipe books, the booze, the dog food, and the foodstuffs.  I suffer from something I call “Mother’s Pasta Sauce Syndrome”. If you go to Mother’s cupboard you will find several jars of pasta sauce. When I question her why she keeps purchasing them when she should use what she already has, she explains she never remembers she has some when grocery shopping. She will buy a few ‘just in case’ only to realize returning home she had plenty.  I do this so often myself  I’ve learned to listen to Someone – “No, we don’t need that!”

Although Someone does a good job keeping it all organized, we nevertheless continually find things in the pantry we can’t remember when purchased (though the ‘best used by….” is a good tip off the answer is “ages ago”).  I tend to be more bold and consume things ‘past expiration date”.  Another pantry challenge is to forget about ‘Why was this purchased?” and focus on ‘What can we do with this?”.  Example: Currently we have a jar of roasted red pepper strips that wants attention. The Spo-fan who comes up with the winning suggestion is free to have it.

More challenging is what to do with the various containers of spices and bottles of liquor.  They have the common history they were needed for some recipe. But we only needed 1 ounce or 1/4 teaspoon, and the rest sits. Unlike the herbs and spices, the bottles of alcohol ‘keep’. However, they clutter up the shelves and make us look like a couple of boozers.

Harper has figured out the doggie treats are located in the pantry. She comes a-running at the mere sound of the pantry door. “No harm is asking” is her motto.
By the way she has a bacon/cheese flavored treat that drives me to distraction. There is nothing more delicious than the smell of bacon. Many a night in one of my ‘raids’ the aroma of these ‘beggin-strips” tempts me to try one myself.   I haven’t tried one – yet.

** For example: at medical conferences I will consume the leftover bagels destined for the trash. 

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