Company’s coming, clean out the pantry!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFamily is coming to visit for a few days. I have learned it’s impossible to predict what they will want to eat. I no longer try. It’s a perfect time to visit all the favorite restaurants in the neighborhood.

It’s also a great time to revisit my pantry to toss out the outdated foods and meds. I do this regularly yet I found some antibiotic ointment that expired in 2011. How could that happen?

There are things we like but grow tired of fast. Like peanut butter. I can never finish a jar without it going out of the ‘best by’ date. I am not talking about a month either. This jar was a year out of date.

There were some foods that made me smile. I threw out a kit for making pad thai. What was I thinking? If I want pad thai I’ll go to a restaurant and have some with the girlfriends. I could have it with a nice cocktail, a little gossip, a lot of giggles and no clean up. How good is that?

There was oatmeal for the oatmeal cookies I never made and lasagna noodles for that project. I stopped eating artificial sweeteners like sorbitol which eliminated gum. Then there was pumpkin, coconut milk and few other things that I can’t remember why I purchased them.

I figured out the real problem is the beloved husband. He’s a basic meat and potatoes kind of guy. If I stick to that I’m good.

If I wonder too far into the exotic, it’s not so good. I’m not talking real exotic here. Brussel sprouts and butternut squash are exotic to him.

He’s not a fan of the cabbage family. You can’t disguise brussel sprouts and have him eat them. It won’t happen. Not so big on cauliflower either. Too bad! I just love cabbage!

What’s interesting is that I rarely donate cat food that my cats won’t eat. They eat most anything except chicken that is chopped fine. Even that they will eat, it if I disguise it with a can of chicken with gravy.

I wish it were that simple with the beloved husband.

28 thoughts on “Company’s coming, clean out the pantry!

    • The reality is that it took about an hour. I stopped buying outrageous amounts of stuff a while back. We’re two people so we don’t eat all that much and we have to have time to eat out with friends! I did keep a package of cookies that expired in October. I tested them and they were just fine! Obviously we don’t eat a lot of cookies but when you’re weathered in, they are good to dunk in that coffee! I love that you are strong willed and stick to your goods!


    • We will have some things because of the chance of getting snowed in but I don’t buy stuff that we don’t eat. When I buy things “they” like I end up throwing out lots of stuff after they leave.


  1. It is amazing what shows up in my pantry and I rarely cook. I’ve never lived with picky eaters tho. My kid ate everything from Gerbers to foie de gras as a tot and continues to love dining on whatever is served. Dearly departed Joe’s family loves to cook, and eats on gourmet side. Joe, hoping to encourage my cooking skills insisted he loved anything and everything I made. A peanut butter and jelly was cause for standing ovation. I was on to him tho. My kid usually asks if we are having dinner opposed to, “whats for dinner.” We eat takey outie a lot. My mother’s coming tho so the pantry can’t be to bear or she’ll worry about her grandson. She used to worry about me but that ended 17 years ago :-D.
    Aren’t guests a great way to motivate us to tidy up?


    • For me it’s the wrong time of the year to tidy up! I like to do that when the weather changes — winter to spring or summer to fall. I won’t do much but perhaps make sure there are no hairballs hanging around. It’s been a surprise but since I’ve retired we do the “eatey outie” thing more often. We enjoy dinner with friends.


  2. Your discovery of food that’s passed it’s sell date is one I’ve encountered a few times. Like you, I try to clean out the fridge and pantry when company (usually family) comes for a visit.

    I’m not a picky eater. As a kid, though, I did have one pet peeve: egg-and-olive sandwiches. Fine separately. Not together. One that was packed for my lunch mysteriously disappeared. 😉


      • It was tossed into a trash can on my way to school. Mom was sharper than I thought. She must have suspected what happened. From that day forward, I never had another egg and olive sandwich AND I was packing my own lunch. 😆


        • My Mom did that “if you don’t like what I pack, pack it yourself” thing on me too. I liked my packed lunches. No stinky bananas (I hated sandwiches that smelled like bananas) and 2 tastykakes with my sammich. What’s not to like! Fortunately, I transitioned to high school shortly after that and they had a cafeteria with a hot lunch.


  3. Thanks to you, i am now throwing everything out…I have a habit, when I’m a little low, to buy condiments…I don’t mean Heinz Ketchup or Smuckers jam either….we’re talking top of the line essentials that are really not very essential at all like mustard from the Rainforest. Monkeys eating hotdogs come to mind, am I right? Honey is another passion of mine…I never look at dates, till your Post that is…so tell me, do you need anymore storage space? I have plenty now that two Hefty trash bags are nice and full…ho hum…you’re very influential Madam Kate.

    By the way, there’s nothing sexier than a meat and potatoes man…with cats.


  4. Tracy asks what causes someone to be a picky eater. According to my grandson’s pediatrician, picky eaters are also super smellers. Maybe the smells are overpowering. One of my daughters was a picky eater. Over the years, she taught herself to eat almost everything, but she’s still very particular when she has a choice. Her husband also was a picky eater as a child. So I’m not surprised that their son is a picky eater–twice as picky as either of them. Oh dear!!


    • That is so funny. When I was a kid I didn’t really like beef. I thought it smelled like ground, specifically iron ore (don’t ask how I thought I knew what iron ore smelled like). My mother just thought it was a phase and eventually, I came to like beef.


  5. Funny how some people dive right into food, while others hang back afraid of new flavors & textures. Thanks to my parents being foodies [long before the term existed] I grew up eating just about everything that was set in front of me. Now as an adult, our pantry looks like the international aisle at Kroger! The sight of it would make your husband faint! 😉


  6. We were just having a conversation about picky eating. What causes it? What IS it, really?

    I was a notoriously picky eater as a child–the list of normal foods that literally gagged me was very long, and included, but wasn’t limited to potatoes, cheese, mayonnaise, beans, canned vegetables, hot dogs, chicken drumsticks (I couldn’t help picturing the actual chicken’s leg!), bread crust, and anything mixed in with anything else. When I was 16, I found it embarrassing and was determined to overcome it. These days, I happily enjoy eating anything and everything, as long as it’s really food and made from good, not spoiled or rancid ingredients.

    I can empathize with people who can’t eat certain foods, I remember what it was like. But I wonder, where does food revulsion come from? How was it possible, that I, by willpower, changed my taste buds?


    • I have no idea how you did it but my husband says he hasn’t eaten it for 70 years and he’s not eating it now! My tastes have changed over the years. I have less of a sweet tooth but crave chocolate more. I wasn’t big on chocolate as a child. Still love my fruits and veggies though.


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