My Pantry

Supermarket-Goods-Shelf-1-800pxI had high hopes for lunch and figured a bowl of soup and a grill cheese sandwich would do quite nicely.

So I strolled into the pantry…

We had oodles of soup – but nothing I would recognize as such.

Note: I do not consider anything called asparagus cheesy potato as soup.

The closest I could find to eatable was Fat Free Creamy Chicken Chili.  So much for that.   (I shuddered to think how they reconciled creamy with fat free)

So I gave up on soup and settled for a grilled cheese sandwich.

We had bread but it appeared that once the wheat was separated from the chaff, they baked the chaff.  And as for the cheese – all I can say is that I intend to alert the proper authorities to whatever was done to make goats produce something that nasty.

So we had a full pantry and not a thing to eat.

At first blush, I could blame no one but myself.  I do most of the cooking, thus most of the shopping and I buy only what we eat and make sure we eat what I buy.

But there is another factor: occasionally someone comes with me to the store and while I dutifully stock up on the essentials, she ranges far and wide for whimsy. 

Here is how she rationalizes her purchases:

It is good for us

Most of what is good for us, rarely is – because we rarely eat it.  When our mothers served things that were good for us, it only made the dog sick because we tossed them under the table.

We have to try this

What else would explain asparagus cheesy potato soup?  Once we buy something like this we become trapped between the shame of throwing food away and the embarrassment of tossing it into the food drive box.

I’ve been looking for this forever, let’s stock up

We have nine gallons of Green Tea With Orange Ginseng Root lining the floor of our pantry and several cases of Grapefruit Lemonade Juice in the garage. These things will never be consumed because as was explained to me, “why then we would be out of them – and we can’t have that”.

I know you don’t like it but I do.

My wife knows I loathe peanut butter, she then makes sure there is plenty of it in everything she does not want to share.

Corn meal (a metaphor)

Corn meal is an excellent nontoxic method of controlling ants. We sprinkle it along the baseboards and under the sink: areas where the little creatures roam.  The ants love us for it and they munch on corn meal all day and into night, merrily filling their little gullets until they starve to death because they cannot digest it. 

Corn meal perfectly describes all the food in our pantry for its abundance and lack of sustenance.  It also describes all the things that fill our lives but lack substance.  Corn meal is the perfect metaphor for the 300 channels on our cable television.

But then I ask myself, what if it is not a metaphor? What if my wife is slowly starving me to death by filling the pantry with things I will not eat?  Have I become an ant she is trying to get rid of?

So I grab my keys off the counter and announce, “I’m going out for a beer and a burger.”

She stops me with a look of concern.

“You need to eat better,” she says, “we have a pantry full of good food.”

“Like what?” I ask.

“Well,” she says, “why don’t you cook up some delicious corn bread?”

A burger and a beer never tasted better.

Author: Almost Iowa

www.almostiowa.com

50 thoughts on “My Pantry”

  1. Gosh that soup sounds delicious to me! Not kidding at all.

    This was a terrific post. Really well-constructed and entertaining. These are some lines that stood out in themselves, or as markers of what would come just after:
    “they baked the chaff”, “she ranges far and wide for whimsy”, “merrily filling their little gullets”, “what if it is not a metaphor?”

  2. Emergency man card committee meeting this weekend, we are going to have potentially suspend yours. Asparagus cheesy potato soup? Grapefruit Lemonade juice? Just kidding I was married once I know punting is easier than arguing!

  3. I am not quite sure how you manage to write posts that are both very funny and yet deeply philosophical at the same time, but you do! I was struck by the metaphor of corn meal as all the things that fill our lives but completely lack substance…we all have too much of that. One the other hand, I doubt your wife is trying to kill you, but sneaking off for a burger and beer now and then is probably a good idea.

    1. Scooter has taught me to not be too philosophical, whenever I start thinking deep thoughts, he appears holding a tennis ball in his mouth. Whenever he gets too philosophical, I return the favor. 🙂

  4. I never knew that about corn meal. Now I’m excited to not only use that metaphor, but also to literally throw corn meal all over every inch of our apartment. (We’ve had an ongoing problem with the most stubborn, resilient ant colony I’ve ever dealt with. Save us, corn meal!)

      1. Btw, I’m kicking myself for using “literally” in a figurative sense (I hate when people do that!) but I was trying to call out the difference between using it for the ants and using it as the great metaphor you created, hehe.

  5. I feel your pain. My wife is 15 years younger than me and makes it her mission to supervise all things diet. She doesn’t do the strange diet stuff just a lot of unfun diet stuff. So maybe I won’t live longer but it will seem that way.

  6. I assume you are aware that SPOIF (the Society for Protection of Our Invertebrate Friends) has deemed the assassination of ants by corn meal to be a cruel and inhumane act. Shame on you. You better make sure your pantry is indeed full, because we will be arriving on mass to picket your house, and call attention to this barbarous practice.

  7. I never knew that about ants and corn meal. However, could I make a suggestion? Buy some of that ant bait stuff and put it in the peanut butter. That way you will save on messy corn meal, have no ants, and never have to put up again with unnecessary stuff in the pantry.

    1. Hmmmmm… You got me thinking.

      Actually, we use peanut butter in our mouse traps. If that don’t beat all, we have two cats and still have to trap mice – that is country living and useless cats.

      1. Over here we are invaded by “Argentinian ants”. They are not attracted to sugar but to meat and so on… My local pharmacy sells peanut butter laced with ant poison. You can get it only “under the counter”. And it’s the only way to control these confounded pests.

  8. I shudder to think how much money I’ve wasted buying that asparagus potato concoction (metaphor for many grocery items) and tossing it three years after its expiration date when I finally realize I should have left it on the store shelf because I would never take it from my own shelf for consumption.

    1. That’s my view. 🙂

      The problem with me is that I used to run 10 miles every lunch hour, weather be damned (which is saying something in Minnesota) but now I just walk Scooter 4 miles a day – and still eat like I am running 10. 🙂

        1. They must be. When our family gathers in Colorado from the corners of the country, my sister in Minnesota always brings a few bags of Old Dutch Dill Pickle potato chips – you can’t get them in the rest of the country.

  9. I liked this line: “occasionally someone comes with me to the store and while I dutifully stock up on the essentials, she ranges far and wide for whimsy.”

  10. Your comment about your wife putting peanut butter in anything she doesn’t want you to eat reminded me of our houseboy in Liberia. He would eat naturally green foods, like collards, but anything else? No go. So, to keep him out of things like chocolate cake and brownies, I’d add green frosting. Not mint, necessarily — just green. He was so repulsed he never figured out he could scrape the frosting off an chow down on the cake.

  11. Sorry to hear about your luncheon problems…for my part I’ve just scoffed a diced, old fashioned style large pickled onion, added it to a good wedge of mature cheddar cheese all encased within a warm French baguette and I got tons more in the fridge…my breath may now stink a bit but I’m happy…thought you’d like to know!

    1. You know…. people around here can’t understand how the rest of the world gets by without guns for home defense and resolving traffic disputes. I tell them, “pickled onions”.

      1. I had quite forgotten them until just the other day. When spotting a jar it reminded me of the old London fish & chip shops where no meal was complete without at least a couple…they need to be in a malt vinegar to be at their best. ‘Pickled onions for world peace’ I say

  12. What’s the point of living longer if you have to eat crunchy wheat bread dipped in fat-free creamy chicken chili. I’m actually trying to count the things that are wrong with that…I need more fingers.

    1. Thank God for mass storage disk drives, I’ve been keeping track of everything “that is wrong with that” and have come to the conclusion that I need to hire an assistant…

  13. They ate only organic, natural, grass fed meat. Drank only pure spring water. Got plenty of fresh, clean, unpolluted air and exercised vigorously every day. Slept all through the night and had a simple, uncomplicated life with family and friends. Yet early man only lived into their thirties. Sabre cats and tetanous aside, maybe there is a lesson here.

    1. I had a friend who lived to about 95, and who steadfastly refused all advice about his diet. As he put it, “I figgur I’m cuttin’ about 15 minutes off my life every time I eat a chicken-fried steak with mashed potatoes and cream gravy, and a little Texas toast to sop up the extra gravy. That means I can eat 90-some chicken frieds before I cut one day off the other end. It’s worth it.”

      1. I cannot remember where the quote came from, perhaps Mark Twain or Winston Churchill but it goes, “when the doctor said that cigars and whisky would take ten years off my life, I told him that ten years without cigars and whisky would not be worth it.”

      2. I’ve known people who smoked, drank and ran around with, shall we say, less than squeaky clean friends and lived ito their lte 70’s and 80’s. Makes you wonder how much longer they would have lived if they ate only organic, natural, grass fed…

    2. Mike, I totally agree. The life expectancy of humans increased in direct proportion to the amount of preservatives placed in food. The biggest increase in life expectancy coincided with the invention of beer. Alcohol is a preservative, I fully expect it to usher me into a ripe old age…. at least that is my plan.

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