Saturday, June 15, 2024

Eye on Life

Broad interest online magazine

My Kommetjie Kitchen

Clearing the kitchen cupboards

I have been rejuvenating my kitchen by sorting and repacking the cupboards and fridge. Maybe it’s just me, but I find that anything that is above eye level tends to never be used, as it is out of sight and therefore out of mind. This applies equally to crockery and foodstuffs. The items at the back of the shelves also don’t see the light of day too often.
Some of the more interesting things that were delved from the depths of the fridge were: a bottle of Amarula cream that has been in the fridge for maybe 10 years (I did know about that, but could never decide what to do with it – yes, I know, you’re supposed to drink it!), a piece of gorgonzola cheese so old that it had mould growing on the mould (it was an ingredient of a sauce that was never made), half a cup of drippings from last winter’s roast lamb, various jars of exotic ingredients from which only a teaspoon had been used and long expired, two dehydrated sticks of lemon grass (another recipe never made) and the dregs of salad dressings of days gone by.
On the top shelf of the pantry we found an opened tin of cocoa that expired in 2003. It was in perfect condition, and only a tablespoon or two had been used. Can cocoa go off? I asked this question on Facebook and was immediately told that an unfortunate expired cocoa event had occurred in a family in Italy, where they all became violently ill – one can only think that they must have stirred it with an oleander twig. What the discovery of the expired cocoa revealed is that the last time I made a chocolate cake was in 2003! Very little baking goes on in this house, so I suppose that’s not unreasonable.
My conclusion from this exercise is that cupboards should line the kitchen walls from floor to ceiling, with a maximum depth of, say, two tins. There will then be no excuse for not seeing what you have in stock. Similarly, a cupboard of crockery three plates deep is just asking for trouble, with chipped edges and cracked cups as you manhandle the back plates over the front plates. The centre of the kitchen can be an island with all the working space around the appliances to make up for the extra floor space not taken up by cupboards. Do you think I’ll start a kitchen revolution?

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