Saturday, November 21, 2009

Potted Meat and Mysterious Pellets, It's Not You. It's Us.

As I stood in the pantry tonight looking for the last serving of Easy Mac, I realized that we have a lot of stuff in there that will never, no never be eaten. Not by us, anyway. I decided it's time to begin liberating that stuff. Cause, some of it, I honestly have no idea where it came from.

One reason for that may be because we have lots and lots of houseguests. A good amount of people are in and out of here, and some of them leave their food with us! Another reason is that we have a massive pantry. The kids play in there, it's so big. So there's room for alot of stuff we never use to sit there unnoticed for a long time. I am embarrassed to admit this, as it sounds so decadent. I know this is one of those "first world problems". But some of this stuff, I honestly can't see being much use to anyone.

Isn't the Internet a beautiful thing? Where else could I show you the contents of my pantry and assume that anyone would care? Here's few things I dug out:

Okay, so starting on the left. Marmite, which I told you about before. I opened it and smelled it just now, and wow. Let's just say it must be an acquired taste. But we have to keep this around for our friends that like it. So it stays. Then we have Cornflour. I bought this almost exactly four years ago, while preparing for our first Thanksgiving dinner here. I was searching in vain for corn meal. If you ever try to make cornbread in Australia, let me save you some time and tell you that you can't get corn meal here. The bewildered shelf stocker at the grocery store handed me the cornflour instead, saying maybe it was what I needed. It wasn't. Incidentally, that's where culture shock really gets you: the little moments. The times that you expect something to be there, or think it will just be a certain way and it just isn't. And no one seems to be bothered by that but you. I remember being disproportionately bothered by that little bag of cornflour. And don't even get me started on the time I was looking for plastic Easter eggs. I almost flew home.

Next, a can of Malaysian Laksa soup. No idea where this came from. Malaysia, I have no issue with you, but I will not eat your soup. I will not eat it in a boat. I will not eat it with a goat. I don't know how many laksas were killed to go into that can, but it is wasted on me. Then, we have a jar of Cranberry Sauce. I also bought this at Thanksgiving one year, thinking it would be analogous to, you know, cranberries. It really isn't. Carrying on with our fruit theme is a ginormous jar of Morello cherries. I bought this cause I was making an ill-fated pineapple upside down cake and they don't have maraschino cherries here. Go here to read that tragic tale. They kind of have a sharp taste and I don't really know what to do with them now.

Finally, a bottle of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Jason's mom bought this once when she was here, cause it's 'sposed to be really good for you. She even had a little book about it. I'm sure it is good for me, but I don't know what to do with it, and honestly, it will probably continue to sit on the shelf. I will add, though, that on the jar it says: "An important feature is that the 'MOTHER' has not been killed by pasteurization." No clue what this means. But I guess it's good that no mothers were killed. That is a cause I can get behind. Well done, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Keep fighting the good fight. But fight it somewhere else.

Okay, I'll come back to that first one. Cause it ain't yogurt, that much I do know. Next, this can of creamed corn will not get eaten. I have a recipe for creamed corn from Jason's mom that is to die for, but I can't abide the canned stuff. The best part of corn is it crunchiness! Why mess with that, I ask you? Also I noticed that we have two boxes of Turkish Delight. I'm not sure why we have this, someone must have given it to us. (If it was you, thanks! You are the sweetest.) I feel the need, though, to burst the bubble of anyone who has read "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". Edmund betrays Aslan and his siblings for Turkish Delight, right? So when I had the chance to have some I thought, Dang this stuff is gonna be so good. Um, not so much. It's this chewy gel type stuff covered in chocolate. But the taste of the two mixed together is not a happy taste. There was not a party in my mouth.

Now, the Spam. I have a pretty good idea who brought this. I'm looking at you, Mom. I know how you feel about Spam and other potted meat products. But to me, it just looks and smells like cat food. But if you like, I'll save it for when you come visit next year. We all know it will be in the exact condition it is now. This can of Light Coconut Cream is for folks who make curry, I think. I am just not a curry maker and not usually a curry eater, either. Rosemary, say the word and it's yours!

Finally, the mysterious Yoplait container that contains something that is Not Yogurt. Here's a picture of what's inside:

Mmmmm. As I always say, nothing says "Eat me" like little dusty gray pellets. Whoever left this at our house has graciously left the label from its original bag behind as well. I haven't googled it yet, but I think these are those little balls that people put in those tea-type drinks. Y'all know what I'm talking about? I think the balls are made of tapioca or something. I had one a few years ago and all I know is those little balls had the texture and consistency of snot. Sorry, there's just no delicate way to say that. I get the shivers just thinking about it. In Dallas, there were stores that sold all kinds of different flavored drinks with these ball thingys in them. People love 'em--I know that, but we do not. To me, it's like, "Hmmm, would I like my snot ball drink to have a lemony flavour or a hint of passionfruit?" It just ain't happening. So these dried-out phlegm pellets are getting chucked. (Do you think that sentence has ever been written before?)

Thus ends the first installment of Stuff We Have But Won't Eat. I feel so much lighter now. Hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have!


  1. I love the interesting things that can be found in pantries! This reminded me of when we cleaned out my grandparent's pantry after my grandpa died and we found (no lie) 17 bottles of Catalina salad dressing. My-oh-my!

    And no cornmeal?! That IS atrocious.

  2. It's called boba, and it's a foul abomination! They love it in California. I tried it once, hated it, then after months of hearing people go on about it, I thought I must have missed something. Tried it again. Bleh! On top of the general nastiness of it all, I'm convinced the little snot balls are a choking hazard.

  3. hahahahahahaha!!! That is me laughing at your description of the snot balls in the drinks. YOu are too funny!!

  4. Amy, I'm pretty sure corn flour and corn starch are the same thing, so don't you ever make gravy, cupcake?

    Speaking of cupcakes ... I have at least one chocolate cake recipe that involves morello cherries in the filling or something ... I don't know. They are quite luxey and good on vanilla ice cream.

    Apple cider vinegar is a-ok in salad dressing, if ever you make your own.

    That, again, is one big-ass jar of marmite. Wow. I have no opinion about boba. Goodbye, boba.

    Good for you to liberate unused food. I'm sure you can find some takers in yr congregation. Have a great Sunday!

  5. That is one huge bottle of apple cider vinegar! You can actually use it in any recipe that calls for vinegar. It also works really well for cleaning pots and pans (sorry Jason's mom if you are reading this!). If you have stuff stuck to the bottom of a pan, heat it up and pour in a little vinegar. All of that "stuff" comes right off!

  6. Thanks for the tips, guys! Y'all are a wealth of information.
    Meghan--17 bottles! That's quite amazing.
    Maggie--Thanks! The thought of it still makes me almost gag.:)
    David--Boba--yes! I couldn't remember the name. People rhapsodizing about it is why I first tried it, too. And I still don't get it.
    Elle--You clearly know your way around a pantry, girl! ;) You got me wondering, and I looked it up on Wiki--they say that Corn starch and corn flour can be the same depending on where you live. So maybe I'll give it a shot. It said that c-flour leaves an aftertaste in gravy, though. Will for SURE try the cherries on ice cream! And hey--you like Marmite, right? Want me to send you some?
    Emily--Thanks for that tip--since I have been known to burn things, it will come in handy. :)

  7. While I was laughing I kept thinking how good God has been to you to not send you to Asia as a missionary:) I just cannot imagine what you would do there! Now, if you ever need encouragement, just ponder that one!
    I also think that it's only a matter of time before you'll be loving curries:) how can you not when you live in Sydney!
    And yes please, can I have the light coconut cream, the apple cider vinegar (if Jan doesn't want it) - it is really good for you - you mix two tbsp with a tsp of honey and drink it, very good and gets rid of toxins from your body.
    I remember having the conversation with you about corn flour and helping you out with polenta but it didn't seem to work? and I do remember those easter plastic eggs too:)
    Any asian looking stuff you can throw my way - it will be put to good use - including the laksha soup (spelt as per miss r) who will devour it.

  8. The great thing about having only been in this house, in this country, for 4 months is that we haven't had a chance to accumulate all that kind of stuff. Give me 6 mths and I'm sure we'll have the same problem. I don't know where half the stuff in my house comes from.

  9. Rosemary--sold! It's yours...but I may have been convinced about the vinegar. :)

    M&C--I remember thinking the same thing when we moved here. It was like having a clean slate. Our "junk drawer" had no junk in it! Ah, those were the days!

  10. I was very impressed with your pantry. It is huge and was filled with mystery objects. Now, as for that spam, Little Missy, don't knock it till you've tried it. Do you remember when I followed a magazine ad and fixed you guys Spamburgers ? Alright, I'll admit they were a disaster. As I recall, you all laughed at them. But one thing I believe is that Spam is better than those little amorphous pellets !

  11. Amy, I think the green pellets may be wasabi snacks. Jeff Buczynski used eat something like that. I'm not sure if they were nuts coated in wasabi or what, but it definitely was dried and based around wasabi. Just a guess.

  12. ...or, if they aren't spicy, they could be those "bubbles" from "bubble tea" like they have in Vancouver.

  13. "I" gave you that Turkish Delight. My feelings are crushed.

    And the vinegar is really good to treat allergies. But must be refrigerated.

    (Oh and I'm lying about the Turkish D;).

  14. I think it's quite hilarious how most of the things in your pantry that are being cleared out are things we eat on a regular basis!

    Here's a tip for you - whenever you're adding Cornflour to a recipe to thicken it, first mix it with a little cold water, then it blends right into your gravy or casserole with no powdery lumps or after taste.

    Jason LOVES apple cider vinegar. He makes a salad dressing with it but also drinks 2 tbsp diluted in water cause it's so good for you.

    You're awesome Amy - I just LOVE reading your blog, you're one of the funniest people I know, keep it up!