Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Jan 25, 2008 04:16 PM

your fridge and pantry-anything to eat in there!?

Depending on when i get my groceries (I live alone)....I can have a blocked pantry, spice cupboard and at least a half full fridge...and not one damn thing to actually eat !! lol.

I seem to be a condiment, spice, ingredient etc...hoarder.....Not one shelf in my fridge is empty right now...but it's filled with several different mustards, pickles,olives, dressings, curry pastes, minced things, interesting relishes and chutneys, antipasto's, sauces , jars of artichokes, pestos, etc etc etc. Many are unopened. I tend to find something "interesting", buy it, and stick in the fridge or pantry....just in case....which does work, when i need it !! I can hardly see into my pantry. I have a double door spice/seasoning blends/rubs etc cupboard that is blocked with those as well as soy sauces, oils etc.... Varying specialty sea salts, veggie rubs, peppers etc...line the top of my stove.

I do however, use these all. And i'll mention that i live in an area where many of these things are not easily found.

Most of my space seems to be taken up with stuff that is not actual food !! I just need someone to show up with some pasta or something, lol.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Hmmmm...
    I used to have the same problem. I tended to buy the "value sized "jar/box/bag, and I never used the whole thing. I recently changed my shopping habits (Not easily done)
    I now buy the smaller or individually packaged size. It has turned out to be a much better and more ecnomically intelligent way to go and I always have good stuff to eat!I've also noticed that if I "magic marker" the expiration date on multiple use refrigerated items, like condiments,I tend to actually use them. When it comes to leftovers, unless it's from the night before, on Trash Day, I also will now throw out pretty much everything that's still hanging out. If you stock your freezer with individual use microwavable items, I promise you'll always have something good to eat. :-}
    PS" Toss those 2 yr old bay leaves... You're never going to use them!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tay

      sadly....with the exception of the olive oil, or when i can get them, the artichokes....none of the above are usually "value sized" anything....just a very wide variety!

      some go very my red and green curry garlic and ginger etc etc..........some tend to hang around a bit longer...unopened of course.....and as for leftovers...i freeze stuff...but i'm a veggie, so day old, would never be thrown out in my world.

      again, thing is with me, i can't change my shopping practices to have these things on hand only when i need them. Alot of stuff is about two hours away from me.

      1. re: im_nomad

        Hmmm... I see
        You have all sorts of interesting things in terms of spice/condiments. Maybe you just need to find stuff that you can have on hand in the freezer for those, "There's nothing in here to eat!" moments. EG: Pictsweet brand has Deluxe Steamers: Many varieties of veggie combinations that you just toss in the the self venting bag. In 6 minutes, you have a very satisfying portion of tasty steamed veggies. Poured over mac 'n cheese, rice or over any sauced pasta... Delish!

    2. I have the same problem with an added mental block about canned beans. I seem to buy canned beans of all types all the time. I get to the store and think I need [insert type of canned beans here] which is kind of random anyway since I have an actual store list but then I come home with 2 more cans of beans to add to the 26 that's already on my pantry shelves. So, all that to say, at least I have beans to go with all of my hoarded spices/ingredients/condiments.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Boudleaux

        Open a can of beans, dump them in a strainer and rinse them, dump them in the food processor (or in a bowl) add whatever seasonings--salt, hot sauce, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, whatever--pulse/mash, scoop out and presto! you have a dip or spread, you can even eat it for breakfast.

      2. I have the same problem! Every now and then I'll go to a recipe search engine and choose a few ingredients I have that peak my interest..then I'll make a point to try something new!

        1. oh man the same is happening to me right now . all you need is some rice/pasta/couscous and just mix it all together and eventually something amazing will happen

          1. Hello Kindred Spirit!

            I almost posted something just like this, I was going to title it "Do I need two refrigerators or more self control?".

            I counted how many condiments, pickles, olives (3 different jars!), jams and jellies, and other interesting goodies were in the fridge - there are 47, every one is open. The pantry is in the same condition, I have to be careful when searching or I'll knock over another jar of olives, an interesting vinegar or the truffle oils.

            Apparently, I'm prepared for any eventuality - bring it on! :-)

            7 Replies
            1. re: Cookiefiend

              a common thought when visiting various cities , markets and such "ooooh,...i've never seen THAT before...must buy !" And then sometimes i'm afraid to use it, because then i won't have any more until i visit said city or market again, haha. I have similar issues with candles, lol.

              haha, reading this post i went out to the fridge, had a quick poke, and found several items that factor under the "oooh i forgot i had that!!" category. I am now wondering how to use the horseradish jelly i just found out there.

              1. re: im_nomad

                When we travel, business-wise, while Mr CF is in meetings I am driving around checking out grocery stores, farmers markets, wine stores and book stores.

                Last year in Minneapolis, at their FABULOUS farmers market downtown, I nearly cried because there was a man selling amazing cantaloupes. They smelled so goood!! But I knew I couldn't get it on the plane... damn, damn, damn!

                hummmm horseradish jelly.... I'm thinking appetizers...
                I should eat lunch - maybe I'll have a few olives...

                1. re: Cookiefiend

                  Why couldn't you get it on the plane? You mean it wouldn't fit in your bag? Because there's no reason not to carry on fruit, and I've often done so. Last time I flew home from the East Coast it was October and I bought about five pounds of Macoun apples at the farmers market on the way to the airport -- they were a pain to carry, but no problem otherwise.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I didn't think airport security would let me carry it on... since I can't even take a bottle of water though security - I figured a large, ripe cantaloupe wasn't going to make it either.

                    I would have loved to have taken it home! Maybe next time we get to Minneapolis that guy will be there!

                    1. re: Cookiefiend

                      The rule is no liquids. Water is a liquid, cantaloupe is not. Although the rules are stupid (IMHO), they aren't a mystery.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler

                          Ahhh, but the rules are subject to interpretation of the individual TSA agents at the different airports. What is acceptable at one airport is not at the next. And, I've found that when unsure of the rules, the TSA agents will err on the side of caution and can become belligerent if questioned. (cause you know, there is some liquid in that cantaloupe and you'd never see that needle mark from where you injected that explosive gel)

                          sign me "followed the rules but got screwed anyway by TSA"