Best if used by…

Somewhere around age 11 or 12, we got cable and the Local PBS channel, WQED in Pittsburgh.  From Frederick Node teaching classicguitar to Thalassa Caruso in garden, I became a do it yourself show fanatic. My favorite was “The French Chef”.

I wanted to learn to cook like Julia Child. Well, who didn’t?  She was quirky, funny, interesting and educational. Today, Julia probably would have a hard time getting a cooking show. Thank goodness she had one then, because I found an interest that has continued through the years.

I liked to collect cookbooks, cooking magazines, and cookware. (Fortunately, All-Clad cookware is made here and has two great factory sales a year.) Even though I am single, I cooked dinner for myself most nights. Often, I found my creations worthy of a photograph or two.

When the Food Channel first began, I became addicted.  From Paula Deen to Sara Molten, I watched the shows non-stop.  Over a two year period, I gained 25 pounds.

Fast forward to today, I like to start the week with some purging of the old clutter.  It makes me feel good.  One week it might be the drawers, the next week the cabinets, this week it is the cupboards/pantry/closets.  You know, straighten, use or toss the nearly empty items, find some clothes in the clothes closets  for the Goodwill or take them to a consignment shop.  Well, today I was shocked at what I found.

As I was cleaning out the nearly empty pantry, I started noticing the “Best if used by dates.” Most of my canned goods were way past due. Even the pasta! Worse yet, the Lipton Chicken(less) Noodle Soup, a great cure for a cold or hangover and which I was sure would survive an apocalypse, needed pitched.

Old Mother Hubbard would have starved to death here.  The cupboard is bare.

When did my cooking spark die?  Why?  From the dates on those boxes, it’s been a long time since any culinary masterpiece has been prepared.  What could you make with encillada sauce, she crab soup, and old noodles?  Who lives here?

I’m thinking that part of this was a reaction to my stress, some sort of depression. It’s been going on a long while now.  Longer than I thought.  I’ve noticed the same thing as I look back.  There were signs that I did not recognize until recently.

What I’m hoping now that I recognize it, am I getting over it?


Here are two related articles:

The Purpose of Change

Why am I here? Where am I Going?



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