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Apr 24, 2013 02:16 PM

Condiments anonymous

My name is splatgirl and I have a condiment problem. According to my fridge mfgr I have 18.2 cubic feet of fridge space. At any given time approximately 17.2 of those feet are consumed by condiments. Any ethnicity, any genre, you name it, I probably have it. Or three varieties of it.

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  1. Make (or cook) pasta and use the condiments as sauces? Or go crudite happy? I'm partial to radishes dipped in a mix of mayo and sriracha. Or mayo and chipotle tabasco. Or maybe just mayo....I understand your problem.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bumblecat

      Sour cream and sriracha is quite good too. I use it for chips, sometimes adding a squeeze of lemon or lime.

    2. Maybe it's time to lose some redundency, hoarding etc and heave most of them out.

      1 Reply
      1. re: treb


        I just did another survey.
        A. I can probably let go the last bit of moutarde chocolate from the Maille store but how can one possibly exist without at least four other kinds of mustard?
        B. I have WAY too many specimens of pickled/brined/oil packed stuff.
        C. Most people have 10 kinds of bottled dressing. I have no bottled dressing. Instead, I have two kinds of tonic concentrate, four kinds of rendered animal fat and some rennet and starter for cheesemaking.

        The problem with the "use it up" MO is that at least half my stash is staples, so a fresh bottle takes the place. For non-staples, I need to get over my anxiety about tossing stuff I know I will need again and that I had to travel far and wide to acquire vs. buying at the regular grocery store.

        You know how there's those websites where people trade once-used make up or paperback books? I need that to exist for condiments.

      2. I'm curious what you are doing with 1.0 cubic feet of non-condiment space.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          A little space is needed to shuffle things around to find what you need. It's like those little sliding square puzzles with one open square.

          1. re: GH1618

            Isn't that what slideable, pull-out trays are for?

        2. If you don't like it, throw some away. Look at the expiration dates, you might feel better about it.

          10 Replies
          1. re: wyogal

            Instead of throwing them away, I would put all the ones that were intended for the trash in a bag and give them to a homeless person.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              What would a homeless person do with them? If they aren't good enough for me, I wouldn't give them to a homeless person.

              1. re: wyogal

                What would a homeless person do with them? Oh, I dunno, use them perhaps?

                And I didn't say they weren't good enough, just that they were either superfluous or becoming an "issue" (psychological or otherwise) for the OP.

                And, as an aside, I give homeless people food that I don't want all the time -- even opened containers (like salsa, bread, crackers, etc.). They don't seem to mind, in fact, they are quite appreciative of the gesture.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yes, I'm sure a "homeless person" would love to have, and find a use for, tonic concentrate, rendered animal fat and rennet.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Those are among the items the OP listed as being in her fridge, which you suggested giving to a "homeless person".

                      1. re: carolinadawg

                        Right. But I still don't see your point.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          How useful would those esoteric ingredients be to someone with no capacity to cook?

                          1. re: carolinadawg

                            Don't be so sure someone who is homeless has no capacity to cook. I have seen camps where people have hot plates and what-not.

                            Have you ever been cold, hungry and homeless? I, fortunately, have not. But I have spoken to someone who truly is and has been all three at the same time. Y'know what they told me? They said never assume, or presume, what a person can and will do with edible foodstuffs when they are desperate. They also said, which I found sort of surprising myself, that if you are going to give someone edible foodstuffs, let them decide whether they will use it.

                            Like alot of people I always thought that giving a homeless person things that I either didn't want or weren't readily edible (e.g. bread or canned goods) was demeaning, but I was reassured (by this person at least) that the only demeaning thing would be to decide for someone else what is and what is not useful, or edible.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              If it makes you feel better, go for it.

          2. I have that same fridge problem. For a while, besides all the other bottles and jars, I had at least 8 or 10 different kinds of mustard in there.
            Until I figured out that I could leave all the mustard in the pantry. Along with the 6 balsamic vinegars, several oils, hot sauces and other bottled things, half a dozen other vinegars that take up an entire shelf. Well, there actually wasn't room on the pantry condiment shelf for mustard, so those all had to go next to the dozen cans of assorted beans on the next shelf up.