Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Kitchen purge

I opened up a can of whup-ass on my kitchen last night. Tired of ducking and throwing my hands up self-defense when opening the cabinet above the toaster oven, I finally just dug it all out. It seems that cabinet has become the candy-stash zone for our home. We don't eat much candy, so it just piles up in there and, I think, multiplies. I threw it all away. Well, except for some good chocolate. And the Mo's bacon bar. And the M&Ms. But everything else went.

I also found some cake mixes that I'm pretty sure we brought with us when we moved from our first home. Nine years ago. Gross. Toss!

That freed up so much shelf space that I was able to move the pretzel/chip collection from the top of the fridge (where it's bugged both of us for a long time now, but when you have no pantry, you get creative with your use of horizontal space) into the cabinet. In the process of doing that, I discovered an open bag of Tostitos we've been saving since Fourth of July. Those were promptly moved into the growing trash bag.

By this time, I was on a roll. The cabinet to the right of the fridge came into my sights, and that got cleaned out. Tea from I don't know when? Questionable hot chocolate mix? Some sort of soy chai latte mix that my boss from four jobs ago gave me to try? Gone, gone, gone.

Once that was done, I remembered the cabinet below the toaster oven, and how simply opening the door usually results in a bruised toe from something falling out. Like the pasta machine we haven't used in 12 years. That thing is heavy. And seemed like a good idea at the time. I think we used it once. I tore into the cabinet with abandon and pulled everything out into two piles: we use all the time (waffle maker) and it's been so long I forgot we had it (donut maker). Then the cabinet was neatly organized with only the things we use on a regular basis and everything else was relegated to the kitchen cabinets in the downstairs laundry room, which is where I found we had stashed the ice cream maker and the air-pop popcorn machine.

Good grief. We could open up a damn Williams Sonoma in our house. Which is ironic given that we're the family who routinely gets excited about having frozen burritos and tamales for dinner.

The neighborhood is having a community garage sale in September. This is perfect because we have a pile of things that we need to get rid of. It's not enough to host our own garage sale, but it's too much to donate, so it's just been sitting there sticking its tongue out at me every time I walk by. Grrrr. I received the flyer and showed it to M, "Look! We can get rid of all that crap now!" He eyed me warily. "Can't do it. Zoe has swim lessons that morning." Yeah, because that's so hard to figure out given that there is one of her and two of us.

I know what he's thinking. He's thinking, "Please, dear Lord and God of all household items, keep her from putting everything we own in the driveway that day." Too late. I'm moving on this. I've started the process. I e-mailed the organizer and told her I'd pony up the two bucks for the ad in the local paper. I have established a Death Row of Obscure Kitchen Gadgets downstairs.

M will resist parting with his beloved donut maker and I will ask, again, when is the last time he's used it, and he will have to admit that he hasn't used it since he lived in Arkansas (15 years ago?) and will then say, "But I could start using it again!" which is the exact conversation we had about five years ago when I wanted to get rid of it. I'd just like to say that he and Zoe ate doughnuts twice in three days last weekend, and she took doughnuts to school yesterday for her birthday, and none of those times was the donut maker used. Or even considered. The Dunkin' Donuts franchises opening up all over St. Louis spell the demise of our little donut maker, as if the moon doughnuts from Clayton's Bakery up the street didn't do that years ago.

I'm on a mission. I have a little over three weeks to assemble the contents of our garage sale. I'm out of town one and a half of those weeks. It's do-able, as long as I stay focused, and as long as I can keep M from sorting through the pile and saying, "No! Not the juicer we've never used since we received it as a wedding present almost 13 years ago! We have to keep that!"


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