Our family's journey to the heart of a handmade life

The Great Cupboard Cleanout of 2009

Beef bouillon cubes, cans of tuna fish, cherry Jell-o, half empty salad dressings, mint jelly, stale Cheerios: the infamous cupboard stowaways. They lurk in the dark corners, snickering, and smug in their cleverness as they continue to escape the cook’s grasp. They hold secret meetings on the top shelf, strategizing and drawing maps. The non-fat dried milk is their leader, as he has managed to avoid the oven for over a year now. This legion of renegade foodstuffs has become too strong, and must be defeated.

Enter ‘The Great Cupboard Cleanout of 2009‘. Armed with a battalion of cookbooks, a subscription to Bon Appetit, and a sexy new blender, I will conquer these outlaws. They will tremble as I reach behind the bread flour, around the basket of onions, and firmly tear a can of tuna fish from its vacuum-sealed cocoon. Apron-clad and spatula-wielding, I will stir-fry, sauté, and casserole-ize them into oblivion. Starting this weekend, I am on a mission to rid my kitchen of all useless and underused goods. All the things bought for that one specific recipe, or that you don’t even remember buying. This is it.

Join me, fellow foodies. It may take weeks, even months, but I will be victorious. The only items I am allowing myself to buy are perishables and vital necessities such as toilet paper and milk. It is a treacherous, uneasy path on which I am about to tread, but, so help me God, I will rid myself of that darned dried milk. I can hear him laughing now, maniacally, mocking me with his irrelevance. He’s going down.

“Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats.” Mahatma Ghandi