Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What is it and why do I own it?

In case I haven’t whined here excessively about it, I move on Saturday.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m excited about the new house. It’s a lot bigger than the one we are currently in and I’ll have a bigger kitchen, my very own office, and a hot tub on the back porch. It’s in a great neighborhood, with a lovely yard, and did I mention I’ll have my own office?

I’m just not loving the whole moving thing. Right now, it’s the packing I hate, but next week I’ll be cursing the unpacking.

Of course, the sheer amount of stuff we seem to own is quite surprising. I’ve made multiple trips to the local thrift shop, dropping off everything from baby stuff (um, AC is 8 now, I think it’s safe to get rid of it) to books and clothes I haven’t worn in a decade. (And now that I’ve gotten rid of those clothes, they’ll be back in style in six months…)

But the kitchen cabinets have been the worst. I found boxes and cans in the very back of the very top shelf that expired during Bush’s first term. And when canned goods are expired, you know they’ve been up there a while... And then I’m forced to ask myself why I bought a can of olives in the first place when no one in this house likes olives.

But my most amusing discovery in the cupboards was a small blue box that I didn’t recognize the name brand. So I read the box and discover it’s something called “pectin” and that it expired in 2006. Further reading of the box provided the info that pectin is used in the canning process.

Now, how many problems do you see in that paragraph? ~grin~ First off, pectin is used to keep things from going bad. Dear dog, how long has that been up there if the thing that keeps stuff from expiring has expired?

The even bigger question you should be asking is what is such a thing doing in my cupboard to begin with? Y’all know me. Would “Avid Canner and Jelly-Maker” be the first adjective you’d use to describe me? Or even the 45th? Honestly, I think I helped my aunts and grandmother make jam once, back when I was AC’s age. Why the hell do I even own pectin? Does it have another purpose that would explain the purchase?

So, the comment tail is open for the purpose of speculating why I had a box of pectin in my cupboard. Alternatively, you can make me feel better by telling me what’s the strangest thing you’ve found in your cupboards…



Christine said...

Good luck with the move. Having been there and done that I can say I've found, and purged, an astounding collection of Hurricane Glasses from New Orleans circa 1987 after we moved here a little over a year ago. I got rid of them

My only advice to you after you move is to wear wrist guards and use a box cutter when you are unpacking. I always had one box for garbage, one for giveaway (because you'll get rid of more junk after you move), and then I unloaded.

On a personal note, if you need any of the said equipment including a trolley to move cr**, give me a call. I have it all.

Angel said...

Yep, moving is a pain in the rear. 3 years later, we still have boxes in this house. Last winter, I finally bought bookshelves and unboxed all my books. We ended up donating over 20 boxes to the local rescue mission to sale. Yikes!!!


Playground Monitor said...

Are you sure that box of pectin wasn't in the cupboard when you bought the house?

I agree with Christine that you'll give away even more after you move. Even with as little as I moved (and y'all know how much it was because you helped move it) I had a huge load that went to the thrift store 2-3 weeks later. And I have stuff in my trunk now for the thrift store.

Strangest thing in my cupboards? Well, I had an expired can of escargots. Too bad because I love escargots when fixed with garlic butter. :-(

Good luck with the move! Can't wait to see the new place (and have a soak in the hot tub). ~whistles innocently~

Smarty Pants said...

As a kid, we moved a lot so we didn't have much stuff. My mom had a six month rule and she'd toss anything that she deemed unnecessary (which is why she's bought and discarded about four melon ballers - always need one after you get rid of it.)

After buying a house and settling down, things start to expand. Bigger house? More stuff. My cabinets that were empty when I moved in 3 years ago are now stuffed. With what? I have no earthly idea.

And my pantry... well, nothing immediately comes to mind, but on more than one occasion, I've grabbed an item, exciting to have it, then been discouraged to find it expired in 2005. Why do I still have it?? I have no idea.

PM - canned escargot sounds even more icky than fresh. Can't even wrap my brain around that.

PM's Mother said...

If you live along the south Georgia coast you could possibly find a dead roach in your cabinet...ugh!

EllenToo said...

To PM's mother--better dead than live...we have those creature's along the south Texas coast also. I have several bottles of spices that moved from my mother's cabinets to mine when I was cleaning out her house in 1996 after she passed away and I think some of them were expired when I moved them and I don't even know why she had them because they were unopened.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I think at one time there was a bit of wisdom that sprinkling pectin on your cut fruit would help it last longer. Maybe you intended to sprinkle those apple slices before you stored them? But I can truly say I've never bought pectin. That is an odd thing to find!

When we moved from Hawaii, I finally got rid of some spices I'd been carrying around over the years. There were some that had been given to me more than a decade ago. In containers you can't even find in stores anymore. No idea why I kept hauling them around the world.

I hate moving. Even with the military to pack it up and ship it for me, it was a pain in the butt. Now, I can't imagine doing it myself. And I do still have some things in boxes from Hawaii that I need to go through. :/

Sherry Werth said...

Congrats on the new house PC!
I do have pectin and olives in my cabinets but I'm pretty sure there is no escargot in there. :)

Jean said...

Uh...pectin isn't a preservative though it is used in preserves. It's a natural thickening agent found in fruit. Some has more than others. For instance, apples have a lot so if you make apple butter, you don't need to add pectin because it thickens on its own. Same with cranberry conserve. Blueberries and pears, however, have very little pectin so unless you want it very loose, you need to add pectin to your jam.

This boring moment was brought to you by someone who used to preserve the bounty of summer before she starting writing.

As to why you have it, I couldn't guess unless you want to thicken a book.

Jennifer Mathis said...

jean lol

...This boring moment was brought to you by....

Are getting sponsership like Seasame St.. Actually I found what you said interesting- Smart People will take over the world ;)

Weirdest thing in my cabinet is an ancient glue gun? I think you heat the chamber up over a fire and then drop glue in to heat it.It was there when I moved in.
Now I know alot of you are saying if you know its there and it not even yours why is it still there and the simple answer is
I can't reach it :(
our cabinets run from ceiling to floor and I can never remember its there when I have the ladder out lol

Maven Linda said...

I can honestly say I've lived my entire life without needing a melon baller.

Problem Child said...

Y'all are funny. I do not own a melon baller, but if I need one, I know who to call.

And it doesn't surprise me that Jean knows all the info on pectin.

Spices seem to be a common theme. I've started writing the date I open them on the top of the container, just so I don't end up in a pectin situation in the future.

Jennifer -- as a short person, I fully understand your situation.

And while I have found some big (dead) spiders behind the furniture, I haven't found anything else to torture me. ~crosses fingers~

Smarty Pants said...

The Pampered Chef lady said that you're supposed to throw spices away after 6 months. 6 months! What do you do with things like pumpkin pie spice that you use once a year? Use a teaspoon and throw it away. Not me (apparently, as I blow dust off the jars). I don't use any of that stuff enough, really, but when you don't have cumin or something else random, you're stuck.

And I do have a melon baller, but it is Pampered Chef and is dual utility as a strawberry corer.

Maven Linda said...

The Universe is divided into two camps: the people who ball melons (maybe that should be re-phrased to "the people who own melon ballers"), and the people who see no need to own such a weird instrument, even if it also doubles as a strawberry abuser.

PM's Mother said...

...and then there is the other camp -- those who own a citrus zester! (I do and I have used it.)

Playground Monitor said...

raises hand and admits to owning a citrus zester (guess who gave it to me?) as well as a garlic press

Smarty Pants said...

I'll see your citrus zester and garlic press and raise you a microplaner and an avocado peeler.

Playground Monitor said...

But do you have wooden "bear claw" salad servers from Alaska?

Maven Linda said...

I have a citrus zester, a microplaner, and THREE crank sifters. And I have an avocado peeler, except I call it "Knife." The term may catch on.

PM's Mother said...

She who dies with the most kitchen gadgets wins! I have a grapefruit knife (it has a curved blade on one end and a twin blade for slicing between segments on the other.)

Problem Child said...

Look what you've done SP!

Angel said...


Angel (who owns neither a mellon ballers, citrus zester. microplaner...)