Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thar She Blows!

Thar She Blows!

By Allison Adams 09-04-10 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 09-05-10

I am embarrassed to tell you that the other day when I went looking for something in my pantry I eventually found five boxes of pistachio flavored Jell-O pudding mix. You heard me – five.

The last time I made pistachio flavored Jell-O pudding, Jimmy Carter was President.

The Jell-O boxes were scattered in amongst a kaleidoscope of canned goods and bads, like three empty boxes of Pop-Tarts, which were in the same vicinity as a couple of boxes of Moon Pies – also empty.

I found several cereal boxes that contained nothing but their waxed paper bags with just a trace of cereal dust in their bottoms.

None of those decoys were my doing – but mixed them with general pantry dysfunction, and it means I rarely buy what we really need at the grocery store because I think we already have “it” at home on the shelf.

Bottom line: If my pantry had been organized I would never have needed to empty the sucker just to try to find one lousy can of Chicken of the Sea.

But it wasn’t; so I did.

It was high time, really. I mean I love Mexican food as much as the next guy, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use all 80 flour tortillas we own before they expire on Tuesday.

Out came a broken VCR, my sewing kit, and some other things that probably should never have been placed in the pantry to begin with … and also six cans of creamed corn.

As a matter of fact, I seem to have a penchant for purchasing any food item with the word “cream” on the label, which may explain my need to incorporate an array of elastic waist pants into my wardrobe in recent years.

I had an excessive inventory of cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, creamed corn, Cream of Wheat, cream cheese frosting mix, and cream of tartar.

I don’t even know what cream of tartar is, but if I ever find out at least I won’t have to go and borrow a cup from my neighbor.

Apparently at one time or another there was a big sale on gigantic jars of artichoke hearts because we own four of those.

And I must have had a coupon or else I’m sure I wouldn’t have come home with six cans of Comstock Blueberry pie filling.

It wasn’t until I moved the case of Ramen Noodle Soup (which I meant to send back to college with my financially-strapped daughter) that I finally spotted the object of my desire – the hunt for which precipitated an impromptu pantry makeover: one can of solid white albacore, packed in spring water.

I cannot even speak to the sheer volume of jars of pimentos, salsa, and cans of diced stewed tomatoes that I extracted from my pantry. I remember thinking that it was a good thing that red is one of my favorite colors.

And that’s when it hit me … everything could go back into the pantry according to the color of the item contained in the container!

So now all my red foods are together on one shelf. Cans of green things live on a shelf next to other cans of green things. And canned yellow fruits cohabitate with canned yellow corn, even if the latter happens to be creamed and a vegetable.

And when I’m fishing for a can of tuna, I go straight to the neutral tones section and shout, “Thar she blows!”

Yeah … I know …