Monday, July 26, 2021

Cellulite on a Celebrity's Thigh


By my count, there are nine bottles of ointments that are used to dress salads in the ERJ refrigerator
One of Mrs ERJ's fondest memories of her mother is when her father was traveling on business and Mrs ERJ and her mother were also traveling (but not with her father). Clerical errors were made regarding funding and Mrs ERJ's mother found herself with three children, almost no food and checks that were bouncing.

Surveying the ingredients, she had on hand: Pancake mix, a half stick of margarine, sugar and a dash of ground cinnamon, Mrs ERJ's mother made a coffee cake for the meal. It was memorable for the kids because coffee cake was reserved for grownups and Bridge Parties. It wasn't until years later that Mrs ERJ's mother shared the reasons for the bounty.

As we end the first month of our food experiment

It become obvious that much of the space in our refrigerator and cupboard are taken up by foods we don't eat.

It started innocently enough. A kid had a recipe and it required wing-of-bat, wart-of-armadillo or or dehydrated Okinawan shiikuwasha slices or some other such esoterica.

Like cellulite on a celebrity's thighs, once it shows up it never leaves.*

I get that we feel loved when we have three different bottles of our favorite salad dressings in the fridge. It shows that we are important.

Should things get spicy, I will also feel loved if I can go to bed with something in my belly.

Out of curiosity

  • How many different kinds of salad dressings are in YOUR refrigerator?
  • How many condiments for meat (Ketchup, 3 kinds of mustard, 3 kinds of BBQ, soy sauce, teriaki....)?
  • Jams and jellies?
I am not judging. I have plenty of room to improve. The issue is that the items or classes of food that we don't eat very much of don't cycle through and over time monopolize a disproportionate amount of valuable space.

Conversely, there are some heavy-lifters like rice, Bisquick, oatmeal, beans/lentils, cheese, sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper, onions, peanut butter, salami, bacon/sausage, shortening that punch well above their weight class. I will love to read any comments from readers nominating items they consider to be "indispensable items for the larder". 

This is an invitation to the more experienced to help those of us who are not as far along the learning curve.

*Begging forgiveness for the click-bait title. I could not resist.


  1. Be careful.
    I had a wonderful earthworm barrel.
    Thousands of worms.
    Fed them weeds, horse manure etc.
    We cleaned the condiments out of the refrigerator.
    I placed them in the compost bucket then into the barrel.
    It killed every earthworm in the barrel.
    I have no idea which one was toxic, but I cut condiments out of my life.

    1. It was the oils. hydrogenated or otherwise.

      Since you mention toxicity, it is the concentration of the stuff which is the culprit. Folks seem to conflate 'toxic' with 'poisonous'.

    2. I gave up water after I saw all the dead worms on the sidewalk after it rained. I have yet to see an earthworm drown in my beer.

  2. I'd say I was embarrassed about the flavor enhancers I have accumulated but I'm not. The fact is none of them goes to waste. Salad dressings usually are one flavor for the wife and one for me. Except I'm more likely to toss together some oil and vinegar but go figure now I'm on a kick of a bit of mayo mixed with med heat salsa. Don't tell my wife but I have more than a dozen bottles of Worcestershire sauce stashed for emergency use right beside the couple pounds of black peppercorns. I count 2 different kinds of bbq sauce, one that we love on most things, one cheap one that is used in a crock pot recipe.teriyaki, soy,Heinz 57,toasted sesame oil,(I kid you not) a one quart bottle of hot sauce, several different kinds of vinegar, a number of canned soups(cream of this and that) the large(club size) chicken and beef bouillon cubes. All things that can be mixed with and change the flavor of noodles rice and beans. We always keep grape jam and cherry preserves. I also always keep a couple jars of apricot or peach preserves to make "duck" sauce or put in the crock pot with either pork or chicken. Do you view peanut butter as a condiment? This disturbs the wife and kid but if you take peanut butter mixed with caramelized onion and a bit of hot sauce maybe some ginger use it as a base for sauce to make Thai pizza.There are at least a dozen jars of a canned spaghetti sauce we like for every thing from pizza to any Italian dish that takes a red sauce. There are jars of Alfredo sauce( yes I can make my own but sometimes there are time concerns). Those are just most of the wet bits.

  3. Eggs are a big part of your 7 cows story, and eggs are something I buy often and try never to run out of (and have powdered eggs to back them up). Versatile and cheap for the nutrition they provide.
    Fats are key as well. You can substitute butter, margarine, shortening, lard and oil in recipes with a fair degree of success (1.5x oil), we keep a variety of them around and use often.
    I'll agree with uninformed - bouillon and 'cream of' soups, soy, vinegar, hot sauce - these make pasta, rice and beans much more palatable.

  4. As far as condiments, we have a grandson who we adopted, who like experimenting in Japanese cooking. Every time he says he needs x condiment to try this recipie his grandmother looks it up on Amazon and orders it. We have at least a dozen!

  5. 9 dressings (3 of which get used regularly).
    13 meat condiments (most used regularly).
    8 jams/jellies/fruit butter, most of which have been in the fridge in excess of 9 months.
    Condiments tend to multiply when there are full-sugar versions for the kids, and sugar-substitute versions for the adults.

  6. We have three different flavors of Mustard, regular for the wife's sandwiches, Honey Mustard for dipping chicken and Spicy Mustard for me. Plus we have backups in the pantry.

    We also have a lot of peanut butter. We use it quite often. My wife on English muffins and me on waffles, french toast and pancakes, as well as an occasional peanut butter and banana sandwich. (Cue Elvis music.)

  7. We have a LOT of sauces but not in our refrigerator. Sauces of all kinds from salad dressing to barbecue sauce to salsa and hot sauce. They are there for the same reason that we have lots of canned soup and vegetables. We can always add some to our rice and make a good meal. Note- we have also got Spam and canned chicken. The chicken will mix with the rice and the Spam makes great breakfasts and sammiches. As for sauces, I also have 1000 little individual packets of ketchup and 200 of mustard and 300 of Del Taco hot sauce. Just in case.

  8. +1 on the little packets. We use them in our RV to save fridge space. Handy for reducing waste in the house as well. Great selection.

  9. OK, made me go look.

    3 types of salad dressings, 1 bottle each. Thousand Islands is almost gone and I may starve to death if I have to eat a salad without it.

    13 kinds of meat dressings including marinades.

    1 jam (strawberry) and one jelly (apple). Plus a jar of apple butter, which can identify as either depending on mood.

    Heavy lift items include ground beast, egg noodles, pasta, canned tomatoes, rice, cheese and refried beans.

  10. We just completed a move, and boy do I have a lot of spices. I'm not as big on purging them as they take up less space and are great force multipliers when it comes to food storage.

    Having a meal planned every week designed to use up leftovers helps keep the fridge from filling up. Stews, casseroles, and pizzas are all good for using up that last bit of whatever you got left over.