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The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections is pleased as Punch to see recent entries have received comments and dialogue. Nothing makes them happier. *  This puts me under pressure to ‘put out’ as it were. Unfortunately, The Muses, The Norns, and The Fates scrammed town to beat the heat, leaving me bereft of clever amusing ideas upon which to compose.  Happily, Pipistrello, (the dear!) was the substitute inspiring deity. She provided me the notion to write about the kitchen pantry. This was written on the fly, an exercise in writing. I hope you like it. Just think of a truculent TBDHSR coming after Urs Truly with pincers and Anta Bryant CDs.

La Casa de Spo has a modest food pantry, consisting of a closet in the corner of the kitchen. In it, are white painted shelves, on the left and on the right as you enter. There is just enough space to stand inside although I would not feel comfortable to close the door behind me.

On the top shelves sit my cookbook collection. The books are slightly out of reach so a step-stool is required to get to them. From below I look up at them to read their titles. They are more admired than used. Indeed, seeing them evokes pangs of guilt from their disuse. It’s easier to look on line than to get out the stepstool and pull down a few books and rummage through them for a recipe. Space on the shelves is limited.  Periodically I purge them and donate a few to the book store, particularly the ones I cannot remember when they were last consulted.  Most of the tomes have paper post-its sticking out of their tops, marking the pages of those recipes I vowed someday to make.

Below the Cookbook shelf, on the right, is The Shelf of the Ingredients: sugar, baking soda, and bags of flour clamped shut with large red clips to keep them from spilling open. On the far right, against the panty wall, stand Someone’s boxes of cereal.** These are kept from falling over onto the baking ingredients by a rather disagreeable-looking statue of a gnome. He has an evil leer and he stands with his waistcoat wide open, on a pedestal that says ‘Say hello to my little friend!”  I don’t know where Someone got this monstrosity. I put the nasty thing in the pantry closet, hopefully out of sight and out of mind. If guests want cereal, I fetch it myself.

Let’s drop down to the lowest shelves, the ones above the floor. These house the booze bottles. On the left (for I am left-handed) lies my whisky collection; on the right is the other stuff.  They are on the two lower shelves as the have a bit more space between them and the upper berths for bigger bottles, If they should fall there is a less chance of breaking. Oh the horror.

Going up now, 2nd floor: Doggie things. Above the whisky is a cardboard box containing Harper’s treats and dental sticks, along with her medications and a toothbrush.  She knows this. When she senses I am going toward the pantry she is there, quick as a quarter-note, waiting to see if I will ‘put out’, as it were.***

On the floor is a large bag of dried dog food and whatever boxes of soda pop Someone bought that week. He buys what is on sale and these oblong boxes with their shiny aluminum cans stand upright like the towers of the World Trade center, which is apt, as they fall over. If there are a lot of these, there is not much room to walk into the pantry.

The middle shelves of this culinary Yggdrasil hold the foodstuffs, the pasta boxes, glass bottles of pasta sauce, and the tins of this, that, and the other.  My scientific training and Swiss/German genetics combine to be in a forever war with the foodstuffs, trying to put them into taxonomic order label out, but to no avail.  I have a hunch there are a genus of goblins (related to the Car Key Gnomes and Cup Sprites) who come out at night and rearrange things so that I can’t find anything and (worse!) push products to the back so they are forgotten causing me I run out and buy more only to discover I already got one. Oh the embarrassment.

On an upper corner on the left are The Cook Illustrated magazines; in the lower corner on the right are two plastic bins: one for the onions and potatoes, and the other for grocery bags. The one with the spuds is beginning to sprout and the onions are looking a wee withered. The white bags full up are ballooning outwards, looking like sails conceived with the wonton wind.  Someone is out of soda pop towers, so it is off to Uncle Albertsons tomorrow with the white plastic bags in tow. Presently the canned goods all turned to face out, lest I buy more tins of tuna, which we don’t need. 

Does anyone want some cookbooks? I have heaps. The gnome is gratis.

*Other than setting fires to public buildings and alcohol.

**I do not care for cereal unless it is Frosted Flakes, which I don’t eat anymore, as they are nasty.

***I often do.

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