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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Throw It Out Thursday: Getting Tough With The Cooking Cabinet And Saying Goodbye To The Baker I Used To Be


Well, this one is embarrassing yet quite liberating. And I'm here to tell you that it took me all of maybe fifteen minutes, truly. These Thursdays are invigorating me! I'm starting to Look Forward To Them.

My Cooking Cabinet is what I call the tall, narrow cabinet where I store all my spices, seasonings, flavourings, and such that I cook and bake with. In there are stored my peppercorns, garam masala, cinnamon, cocoa powder, baking powder, star anise, vanilla (extract and beans), Adobo seasoning, Old Bay, curry, and cayenne, to name a random sampling. Dried herbs I use most often are stored in a rack of jars on my counter, along with my kosher salt and some other cooking accoutrements. Also in the Cabinet are birthday candles, muffin papers, and all sorts of decorating sprinkles and sugars left from when I used to make fancy cakes for birthdays, and the boys and I used to make and decorate sugar cookies at Christmas, both baked goods I haven't made in about a hundred years.  Hence, the decorating stuff is way up on the top shelf, so I started there, and I was honestly alarmed at what had ended up there, out of sight and mind for so long.

After that Slough Of Personal Despair, the remaining two shelves were easy. It was merely a matter of taking it all out, tossing a couple of items that had been pushed to the rear, and then putting it all back in, this time taking advantage of newfound space and having the luxury of  a better organization method than Cramming Stuff In After I Use It.

Because I am a Keep It Real kind of woman, here is my Shame, in full color and all of its Disgustingness. This is every single thing that I Threw Out:


I can hear your first response:  Who in the hell needs that much chicken bouillon?  Obviously, no one.  That container was two-thirds full.  I don't even remember buying it.  Those ancient bottles of food colouring and flavourings came over with a bunch of kitchen stuff when Rick's dear grandparents went into a nursing home.   That one piping tip hid out up there and survived The Great Cake Decorating Equipment Purge several years ago.  And I never did make that maple cooky recipe again after trying it once--too worky.

It's all gone now.  Out to the garbage it went, and I feel fantastic about it.  Oh, one thing I did not feel too terribly fantastic about:  there was one little Tupperware of mixed sprinkles that I came across, and being the frugal girl that I am, I decided to save the container.  It was a handy little size, and why throw away something that was still useful?

I'm sure you can already guess what happened.  After years of covering a wee tub full of sugar, the lid was tough to wrench off.  It did, though, unexpectedly, and a great deal of the mixed sprinkles and sugars scattered onto my hardwood kitchen floor, settling into its irregular cracks and spaces.  Thankfully, the broom and dustpan were right at hand, and the vacuum was employed soon after for anything it missed.  One little mishap like that was not going to mar my Joy.

How about all of you?  Are you Throwing Out On Thursdays yet?  If not, can you relate to my Shame?

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18 comments:

  1. I love the idea of it! When Ted and Maya were visiting his family in England this summer (with a side trip for the two of them to Paris), I stayed home, and to keep from feeling sorry for myself, I set a list of projects for myself. I cleared out the kitchen cupboards, I cleaned out the broom closet/storage area, I cleaned out the linen closet. I cleaned out my closet, and then I cleaned Maya's room, top to bottom. It felt GREAT. I loved it. What a relief.

    My Aunt Flo has a little container of root beer extract that I believe is older than my mother would now be. It's crazy. She keeps it, just in case she decides she wants to make root beer some time. Which has not been an urge once for the last 75 years, but one never knows.

    When the time comes to clean out that house, I am sure it will be a nightmare of TOO MUCH CRAP.

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    1. J@jj--There really is such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment during and after, isn't there? I often wonder if there is some Symbolism at work there, so great is the Catharsis at times. I know that, in the case of these latest purges, I am just feeling so much strength and energy and power from finally being able to do things again after being ill and listless for so very long.

      It's renewing.

      Maybe you should take a bottle of plain seltzer water over the next time you visit your Aunt Flo and just whip up that root beer for her. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a couple of pretty straws and see what happens!

      Delete
  2. I did a purge like this one a few years ago and the feeling of liberation was amazing. I tried to not think about how much money I spent on these now useless jars of stuff, so I didn't have to hear my mother's voice in my head saying: "waste not, want not." I also gave lots of baking pans to Goodwill so that the ones that we now have are ones that I use. Less and less frequently, but still...

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    1. Ally Bean--Oh, I hear that! I am so loathe to waste anything. My niece bakes lots of fancy things now for my grand-niece and grand-nephew, and I fleetingly thought of asking her if she wanted any of the decorating stuff. But despite the fact that those things really don't spoil, they were SO SO old that it would have been embarrassing to even offer them. They needed To Go.

      Good for you for donating the baking pans. They will be bought and used, I'm sure. Isn't it wonderful to Let Go Of Things?

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  3. Although we’ve only been in this house for 8 months, I’m sure there are still things that need to be purged. We have to unpack them first though. Also, we might actually still have spices that were given to us as wedding gifts 27 years ago. Yikes!

    P.S. I am even now eating some of those midget sweet pickles like you tossed out last week. Yum!

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    1. Bug--Up in our crawl space (we NEO folks call it a "knee wall") we still have ONE BOX from when we first moved in over 32 years ago. We now call it our Time Capsule. We opened it one time about 15 years ago, didn't need anything in it, and shoved it back in. Now we forget what's in there.

      So glad you're enjoying your sweet midget pickles. If only I could have tossed my half jar your way.

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  4. Um. I have a whole drawer of cookie sprinkles, cake decorating tips and assorted pie making accesories. Plus a cupboard in which reside all the colouring components. PLUS a drawer with candles, decorations and many more tips. My one excuse is that the grandkid has a nut allergy and so I have made a lot of birthday cakes over the years. And still do, which is why I am keeping all of it.
    What I am ditching are the clothes two sizes too big.
    And maybe the ones one size too big. At least some of them.
    😜
    Maniacal laugh.

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    1. Mary G--If you use all those things, then by all means keep them! No one should ditch anything they still use or feel at all guilty about keeping it.

      Bravo for losing all that weight (if you meant to/could afford to lose it). It's sometimes sad to get rid of some favourite wardrobe pieces--I still miss some of my bigger clothes--but you can always look for some new favourites!

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  5. I have not heard of Throw out Thursday. I really do need to go through my pantry though. I'm behind schedule to purge and restock for getting ready for winter. This will be the year I'm actually snowed in for a week, because I've been so lax and I'll have to eat old sprinkles and chicken bullion. By the way, I do use bullion. Often.

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    1. Jean--I made it up last Thursday and tossed out some stuff in my fridge to make some room. Who knows what I'll get rid of next Thursday?

      I use bullion once in a while, but NO ONE can use that much bullion before it goes bad. That was a godawful bunch of bullion.

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  6. Can I throw everything in my house away? I am seriously at that point. My daughter has so many toys that she does not play with, yet refuses to give up. And her books. We have so many "baby" books that she will not part with, either. I need to convince her that they will be read by a child with no books. She is very kind, so maybe that will help. I will probably keep a couple of her favorites, though.

    And since we moved into this house with hardly any kitchen counter space or storage, I don't cook or bake as much as I used to in the other house. I mean, I literally have about two feet of counter space, it's ridiculous.

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    1. Gina--Yes, you can. But you probably shouldn't. I will tell you this, however, that since I retired six years ago, I have probably tossed or donated or garage-saled at least a third of the contents of this house. Sometimes you simply have to do it, period. Especially if you're feeling cluttered and closed-in by your stuff.

      With regard to your daughter's books, maybe this is the answer. If there is not a Little Free Library near your community, then perhaps making one is a project you, your husband, and your daughter would enjoy. Once you make the initial little library structure, that part is over forever. Then you fill it with your books and...well, you can go to the website and read for yourself.

      I didn't know your family had moved. Was it recently? Kitchen counter space is a big deal, especially if you cook/bake. I hope you find a solution.

      Delete
  7. One of the best things about moving so frequently is that one tends to hold onto a little less clutter, (although whenever we get to the next place and unpack I find myself wondering what the hell I was thinking during the packing frenzy that always precedes a move. Sometimes I think I'm temporarily insane in those last few weeks.) In any case, the size of houses in England being what they are, our clutter tends to be naturally limited here, which is a good thing. But what really haunts me is the storage locker full of about 5000 lbs of our stuff that we packed up back in 2011 when we thought we were moving to Korea for a mere 2 years before returning to our Ordinary Lives (rueful smile, shake of head.) There's furniture in there, of course, but there are also tons of boxes, and I have no idea what is in them. I'm pretty sure that, if the company weren't paying the storage fees, we'd have long ago jettisoned 95% of the stuff.

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    1. MsCaroline--I want to be invited to the Box Opening Day Party. Where is it, Arizona? Have it in the dead of winter then, please. We can all sit upon your abandoned furniture, set our champagne glasses on various yet-to-be-opened boxes, and await the signal. And then, each couple or single person can open a box! Once that has occurred, you can call for silence and each team can then announce the contents of its box with Great Ceremony, and your reaction can be recorded for posterity as you decide if that box is A Keeper or A Donation.

      Actually, I think we have a great television show premise right there.

      Delete
  8. I don't do Throw Out Thursday because I'm too lazy when I get home from work, but your post is inspiring me to clean out my baking and cooking stuff this weekend. Sometimes it's really sad what you find ...

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    1. Bridget--I doubt that you're "lazy" when you get home from work. Tired, certainly; exhausted, maybe; but you don't strike me as the sort of person who is often lazy.

      Instead, you can have Sack It Saturday or Send It Packing Sunday or ... well, you can obviously call it whatever you want to, or nothing at all. And yes, I'm still a bit redfaced over some of that crap that was allowed to lounge around in there for so long.

      Delete
  9. Throw Out Thursday sounds like a good idea I need to adopt.

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    1. joared--It's funny how having a gimmick as an impetus really gets you going. I look forward to Throw It Out Thursdays now. Small project, nice reward.

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