13 September 2007

What's for dinner?

While reading fellow blogger Maureen's recent post about Tupperware, I was reminded of my own fondness for containers. When I was growing up, I actually wanted to be a Tupperware Lady. In fact, my parents worried I'd leave college to pursue it. Maureen's story triggered this recent memory:

One day awhile back when Mom was at our house, I needed to locate something in one of our kitchen cupboards. I had to remove several plastic containers to reach the desired item.

"What do you have stored in all those containers?" Mom asked.

"Beats me," I responded.

You see, I routinely pour package contents into Tupperware, Gladware plastic containers, and glass jars. Left to my own devices, I would have no commercial packaging whatsoever in my kitchen. I just love the look of items stacked neatly in my cupboards. I especially like to be able to see through the containers.

The problem (and this is a fairly big one) is that I never think to label them. I recycle the original packaging, so what's in the containers is really anybody's guess. I probably don't need to tell you that this drives my daughter and spouse completely nuts.

When Mom opened the containers that day, she noticed right away that they were all filled with white powdery substances. Of course, I never have a clue what's what: Any given container could hold powdered sugar, baking soda, flour (or was that cake flour? or self-rising flour?), cornstarch, or something else I've purchased and forgotten. Since there are no labels and all the white stuff looks basically the same, the only way you can distinguish one batch from the other is by tasting it. And even that is difficult: I don't know about you, but I can't really tell the difference between flour and corn starch by taste.

(I know what you're thinking and to answer your question: Yes, this sometimes creates issues for me in the kitchen.)

To me, having unidentified (yet neatly containerized) substances in my cupboards is perfectly normal, but Mom could barely take it all in. By this point, she was laughing so hard that tears ran down her face. Had she been able to speak, I'm sure she would have asked how I can possibly function in the kitchen. (Or get through the day, for that matter.)

Once Mom recovered from that incident, I thought I'd show her my newly organized pantry cupboards. Awhile back, I decided to figure out why the shelves were always full but there was never anything to eat in the house. I spent an afternoon taking everything out of the pantry and discovered that, in fact, there were hardly any edible items in there. Most of the space was occupied by jar after jar of attractively displayed dried seeds, pine cones, acorns, and rocks I've collected and stored, conveniently, on the shelves. One peek into our pantry and a person might have thought a family of squirrels lived here.

In retrospect, I'm not sure if Mom felt better or worse after seeing my newly organized pantry. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't show her my freezer full of candle jars.


Maureen said...

Hah!!! That's PRICELESS!!! I have to say though, I am happy you haven't had me over for dinner... I guess your family should all be happy cat food isn't white and powdery too.

Well, as long as they LOOK good, that's the most important thing now, isn't it?

;) Thanks for the link.

Rising Rainbow said...

I can tell the difference between corn starch and flour. Really! Cornstarch is whiter and "slicker" than flour. If you rub it between your fingers to test for slickness that is.

So how silly does this make me!! lol

Sofia said...

LOL! Your story cracked me up! Labels are a good thing!

toners said...

Great post!! Hmm....now you're making me think I need to go and check out my pantry....