When I was in senior English, my teacher told us about a field of expertise called “garbology.” I have never heard of it since, so I think she may have made this up, but she said that a garbologist is a person who examines people’s garbage in order to find clues about who they are (professionally, not as an identity thief). She had us do a creative writing assignment based off of a bag of “garbage” that she brought into the classroom and dumped on the floor. The idea, which is true, is that you can learn a lot about a person based on what is in their trash.
I believe that the groceries in a person’s kitchen are similarly revealing. As I cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator today, I was reminded of my own recent (and, scarily, not-so-recent) history:
Canned Pumpkin: this has moved with me three times now. I bought several cans of pumpkin one Christmas with the intention of passing out mini-loaves of pumpkin bread as gifts. After one unsuccessful batch, I think I decided to go with candles instead.
Can of Chickpeas: this is a reminder of my South Beach Diet phase, not so long ago. The idea is that you roast chickpeas and eat them as a crunchy snack when you crave popcorn. Yeah, right.
Orzo: very expensive starchy pasta that I bought to go with the salmon dish I cooked for my in-laws the first time they came over for dinner. Haven’t made salmon or orzo since.
Four containers of sour cream (one unopened): Evidence that it is a good idea to inventory the current contents of the fridge before going shopping for recipe ingredients.
Blackberry Jelly (unopened): Neither Stephen nor I eat this. Neither Stephen nor I remember buying this. I think this jelly tells the story of a previous occupant of the house.
Rice cakes, Saltine crackers, Rice Chex: delicious snacks that I bought right before South Beach that went stale before I fell off the wagon and started eating carbs again.
Granola bars, assorted flavors: These are leftover from our honeymoon trip to San Diego last summer. We bought them to snack on as we sightsaw. I swear that I put about 10 in the cabinet, now there are at least 100. Can granola bars reproduce? More importantly, does anyone want any granola bars?
Various assorted spices, such as nutmeg, marjoram, and cumin: Each of these represent one recipe that I made once in my newlywed enthusiasm and never bothered with again. A complete waste of cabinet space, considering that basil and garlic are the only spices I am comfortable improvising with.
I have decided that even though these random food products do represent significant portions of my life and even though they hold such fond memories, I cannot allow them to continue to take up space in my cabinet. I also do not have room for them in the Memories Rubbermaid (I already have a hard enough time keeping the lid closed). Therefore, they’re gone! Let the purging continue!