Wednesday, April 1, 2009

don't let the pineapple talk you into anything

today i'm going to be sharing my deep philosophical thoughts about the vast abyss that exists in my kitchen. it's a wasteland filled with forgotten food items, so depressing that when you gaze into its lonely world you are almost compelled to shed a tear. yes friends, i'm talking about my pantry.

in restaurant lingo, it's known as dry storage, or more commonly, that place to go when you want to raid the pastry department's stash of jellybeans and imported chocolates. in kitchens near and far, large and small, this is the dead zone of food. this is where you will actually find dust bunnies gathering on top of canned goods and bags of rice that seem to sigh if you touch them, exhausted by the effort of attempting to look appealing.

i have ventured forth into this dismal realm in hopes of either a) using some of the miscellaneous crap i have accumulated or b) throwing out (i mean, donating) those innocuous food items i must have purchased while delirious in my immediately post-partum phase.

this mission has brought to mind a certain anecdote about canned pineapple. my husband's sister, bridget, was telling us about the time she was at their parents' house and heard a loud sudden, banging noise. after careful inspection, she discovered that a can of pineapple chunks had mysteriously exploded in the pantry, spraying everything within a five foot radius with it's sticky syrupy bits. at which point in the telling of this anecdote my husband's brother, conor, jumps in with 'it was so tired of living there it killed itself!'

while i laughed so hard i cried a little at this story, i found myself wondering if i too, was driving any of my neglected consumables to suicide. when my eyes landed on the bag of barley, long passed it's expiration date (um, wtf is there an expiration on barley for anyway? it's just a grain, and if you keep it in an airtight container, or in the original bag with a paper clip holding it shut, it should be good for a long, long time, right?), i cooked it up for dinner, mostly to ease my guilt. it helped a little, but i needed to go further.

so far it hasn't been as bad as i thought it would be. i actually made black bean soup * the other night using canned beans. not only did it look exactly like the picture, but it tasted pretty good too. score one for the wasteland.

this small step in the right direction is what i needed to revitalize my pantry. i will make the commitment to keep things current if you, pantry, will promise to take your prozac and not let any 'accidents' happen on your watch. working together i know we can build a solid relationship based on mutual respect. no more will i stuff you with soups i never intend to eat, or 9 out of the 10 ingredients needed to make a recipe, doomed to perpetually being 'almost' used.

pantry, i'm here for you. we'll get through this rough time. and then, just when you're starting to show vibrant signs of life, i'll revert back to my old ways until the next passing moment of introspection strikes.

*note: i did modify the recipe slightly. i added an extra can of beans to the pureed part to make the soup a little thinker, and i think it was for the better. the soup needed it, and i got to use one more can from the pantry, everybody wins.


Brian said...

Stuff in pantries is only really good in the case of a nuclear war, it's pretty much worthless otherwise.

Drizzle Kid said...

The neglected pineapple... Well just be thankful that it was pineapple or nothing that would have been more disgusting if it had exploded...

Bridget said...

Fun Times!