Will I Ever Eat This? A Tour of our Pantry

He paused, fork in hand,
then “om nom nom nom”, gulp. “ahhh.”
The well fed man smiled.


We recently went an abnormally long time between trips to the grocery.  One night, as we gazed into the pantry for inspiration, I was struck by the extraordinarily bad choices we’ve made in terms of food selection. Let’s take a closer look…

Water chestnuts. There is only one dish these are ever used in and they always seem an afterthought. I’m sure someone who knows how to cook with them will set me straight. In the meantime, I can’t imagine these will ever get used.

2 cans of asparagus. Whoever invented this hates vegetables a lot and the people who consume them even more. I like fresh asparagus. Eating canned ones is like eating a skinned, half alive snake.  No where in the history of canned vegetables are the canned versions so different from the fresh.

Artichoke hearts. I know I bought this in order to make a party dip.  But no one invites me to parties. And if I bring this, no one will ever ask again.

9 large cans of chicken.  I have to chaperone my husband when he goes to Costco from now on. Canned chicken is by far one of the most disgusting foods out there. It has a gelatinous covering and the springy feeling of something you step on in the lake (we called that graw-doo where I come from, don’t ask me why). Ick. He puts it in canned soup to get the protein count up. I put it in the trash when he isn’t looking.

Six cans of baked beans. We clearly hate each other, the children and the dog.

Four boxes of stir fry rice noodles.  Frank dreams of making the perfect Pad Thai recipe. It appears that the recipe starts with “Buy as many boxes of rice noodles as your spouse can tolerate.” Once day, he’ll actually make the damn stuff.

24 oz package of Wild Alaska Smoked Sockeye Salmon. Expiration date of December 2017. This isn’t a shelf life, it’s a half-life. And who eats that much smoked salmon (do the math – it’s nearly 2 pounds! the box is the size of a standard mud flap!). I am so dreading when he does open this in 2016, insisting we eat it before it goes bad (“It’s fish! How can you tell??”).  Exhibit two of why he shouldn’t go to Costco alone.

dinner fork shown to provide perspective

That’s it. Throw in some dry goods (flour, sugar), more pasta (a gross of boxed mac and cheese, also from Costco), some crackers (mega box of Goldfish, the official snack of single-digit kids) and several varieties of tomato based products, and you pretty much have our pantry scoped out.   I’m just going to pretend that we eat mainly from the perimeter of the grocery store, just like “they” tell you to do, and not worry how woefully bland and uninspired (and a wee bit frightening) our pantry is making you right now.

Oh no… It just occurred to me that he’s probably going to buy capers to go with the fish. Which we will forget we bought come 2016. So we’ll need to buy another jar of them. Because everyone needs 2 jars of capers and 2 damn pounds of smoked salmon…

Leave a comment


  1. Meltingmeandering

     /  February 7, 2012

    I LOVE your blogs!! If it makes you feel any better I have a box of Salmon cake mix and a box of Tabule Mix in my pantry that have out -lasted two husbands! 🙂

    • Eww. What is salmon cake…? 🙂

      • Meltingmeandering

         /  February 7, 2012

        Well if we took some of your salmon and mixed with my “salmon cake mix” we could make salmon cakes or patties. Next we would fry them in hot oil and serve them with Tabasco! It’s a southern thing….and when cooked by a native southerner they are yummy….I’m originally from Washington state….enough said.

      • Ah, yes, I know what this is now. Didn’t know there was an official mix. As a kid mom mixed canned salmon (yes, canned) with ritz crackers and onions (I think). Dad was the only one who would eat it. As an adult, I always remember the Salmon Mousse from one of the Monty Python movies and have struggled with it ever since…

  2. We have a can of hearts of palm that we bought accidentally when we really wanted artichoke hearts. It’s been there two years and counting. The person who throws it out loses, apparently.

  3. My pantry’s similar, but also stocked up with a bunch of knorr sidekicks.

  4. Laura Tanno Smith

     /  February 8, 2012

    My favorite post yet…thanks for the belly laugh!!

  5. I think we all have things in our cupboards that we look at and think “Why did I buy this again??” Every year when the schools have their canned food drive I clean out everything I don’t remember buying or why the hell I bought it in the first place. This last time we had canned fruit. Why would one buy canned fruit?? Pineapple I can see, it is easier to use than a whole pineapple but other than that…eeww is all I can say.

    And I like Salmon Cakes…but not with smoked salmon, they’ll taste really funny. :}

  6. I have canned fruit (because I like pears, but can never seem to tell when they’re ripe), the tomato products, some canned soup, and otherwise, a plethora of child-friendly (ie. sugary) snacks:
    miniature blueberry muffins (in a snack bag), Cheezits, lunch-box servings of Pringles, Tostitos, generic Fruit Loops, a Costco sized box of cherrios, single-serving apple/blueberry-sauce, single-serving cups of pickles, and a Costco tub of Twizzlers (that is almost empty).

    I don’t think there’s any actual food…

  7. Couldn’t agree more about the asparagus. Canned chicken is a new one for me, and I am revolted at the thought. I’m almost sorry I read this before I eat breakfast. 🙂

    Great post!


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