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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

This, that and the other thing


On Thursday, I did a little clean-out of the pantry. My am I ever a pack-rat. I save a lot of stuff. If someone brings a take-out container into the house, I wash and save it. If my husband brings an aluminum catering-size pan home, I save it. When we finish a can of coffee, I save the canister. So, on Thursday, I made myself cull through that stuff and toss or recycle as much as possible. I did save 2 catering pans, 1 oatmeal canister, and there's this 1 extra large canister from chili powder. My guess is it would hold about 3 quarts of liquid, it's that big. (I buy a couple of spices in super large sizes then store in the freezer.) I washed out the chili powder canister. It's a nice size, and see-through, so would be good for storing something. I just haven't figured out what yet. It just looks too good to toss. I know, I'm a pack-rat.

The pantry is a lot more organized, now, and I made room for autumn stock-ups.


Evidently, everyone else's appetites were off last week, too.  I didn't make nearly as much as I usually do for lunches and breakfasts to-go, but there was a lot leftover at the end of the week. This turned out to be a very good thing, for me, as I used all of this to make Friday night's dinner. We had refried bean, herbed rice and cheese tacos, and rhubarb sauce for dinner that night. Easy cooking night for me.

And that other thing

frugal spinster's blog post on Friday reminded me that this is the time of year that bread products go moldy. It's warm and humid right now, enough for those tiny mold spores to proliferate. I lost a pancake last week (I was looking forward to having the very last pancake with my breakfast on Friday, boo hoo), to mold. I realized that it's that time of year to keep all baked goods in either the fridge or freezer. So, I went into the kitchen and sliced up the last of the loaf of bread, and tossed it into the freezer. It was a good reminder, and at least I only had 1 pancake grow mold.


  1. We don't have a time here, except perhaps January and early February when baked goods don't mold. We always have to be careful to store things correctly or it is mold city.
    I remember reading about how long you are supposed to have when washing clothes, before a mildew odor sets in. The article said 2 days is the average time. It lied! In the summer I have about a 4 hour window between washing and drying, but even in the dead of winter if clothes are not dried the same day they are washed they have to be rewashed. I guess it comes with year round humidity.
    I am in the process of cleaning out the laundry room/studio. I have it packed to the gills with things like the containers you have, plus all my art and sewing materials. It is time to let a lot of it go. I actually think losing house weight might feel about as good as losing body weight

    1. Hi Anne,
      my mom always had to keep bread in the refrigerator or it would mold (we lived in coastal California, warm and humid). I guess I've been spoiled these years in Washington state, with such cool indoor temps. I can leave a loaf of homemade bread in the pantry for 5 or 6 days, with no mold, whatsoever, most of the year.

      But with the laundry, if I don't get it dried within a day, it really smells and has to be re-washed. I can't believe anyone could leave laundry 2 days in the washer!

      Oh, good luck with cleaning our your laundry room. Those containers just seem to multiply, don't they? I have such a hard time not saving them. Purging the pantry was difficult, but I knew it was necessary.

  2. I often wonder about where you and others that always have the right container or piece of something on hand for a project store everything. I save a lot, but not enough to always have what I want. I do more storing a representative of a thing that I don't use regularly. But when my storage place gets crowded, it's time for things to go. It's a good feeling to have what I need right on hand, but for me, it's an even better feeling to have things in order. Speaking of which--I have a basement that hasn't quite recovered from house remodeling last fall. That may be our next big project.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      pack rat! That's me! My mother would have said, "oh, Lili, that's just garbage. You need to throw that out!" I am always thinking, but I may just need these 7 or 8 coffee canisters, or catering trays. So far, I haven't catered any large affairs, so I think I'm safe to only keep 2 of those large pans. And I think I'm safe to not save coffee canisters, as it only takes a few weeks to empty another one.

      I don't envy you with your basement. Ours was our garage, when we re-did the kitchen. In fact, there are still two bins of stuff out there for me to go through, 5 years post the re-do. Good luck with the basement!

  3. Hi Lili,
    thank you for the timely comment about throwing things out. We rarely eat out, but yesterday we splurged and got Mexican take out. I commented on the sturdiness of the plastic containers they used, and made a mental note that they would be good at Christmas time for cookies, etc. But then I thought, hmm, as I'm currently in a major decluttering mode, is it really appropriate that I keep these plastic containers now. So, after reading your comment this morning, I threw them into the recycling bin. So thanks for the gentle nudge! Cleaning out is so much more a priority right now. (and it's not like I haven't found other ways to give baking to people year-round.).

    1. Hi Jayne,
      And hopefully, you'll come across just the right containers, when the time comes! After all, with over 4 months till Christmas, surely another one will come your way, right? That's what I'm having to tell myself, over and over!!!

  4. I became un-emotional about storage containers during our kitchen reno last fall. I kept a few odd-size containers, but I got rid of a lot.

    When we camp, I avoid homemade baked goods--that's one time when I see the preservatives in store-bought as being a good thing! Too hard to control the humidity levels.

    1. Good for you, Kris! I have no idea why I hang on to so many containers. Like I said to Jayne, above, it;s not like more containers won't come my way!!

      Good idea on using store-bought baked goods for camping! Moldy bread could ruin the meals for a family trip!

  5. Hi Lili,
    Driving through our town this evening, I discovered we have a newly opened shop called "This, That and the Other Thing" - just like your title : )
    I will have to check it out one of these days...
    Jo Ann

    1. Hi Jo Ann,
      how funny! Now I'm very curious as to what they sell!


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