Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Undomestic Goddess

I am not a domestic Goddess.
I am an undomestic one.
Unlike Nigella Lawson, I am rarely found licking my fingers suggestively in the kitchen.
And unlike the authors of best-selling Aussie book Spotless, Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming, I guess I find far too many things much more interesting than cleaning, scrubbing, and polishing. Like eating, drinking, sleeping, watching telly, sex, hanging with the kids … and just about anything really.
But even an Undomestic Goddess such as myself finds time when she must break the rules.
And so it was, this week, when the Little Princess spotted something tiny and wriggly in the rice I was about to cook for her dinner, that I realised: I really had to do something about the pantry.
So, after work (truth to be told, during work – because I work from home), I spent many hours I will never get back, cleaning out our pantry.
Guess what I found?
Among a mountain of uneaten foods and condiments:
Two bottles of soy sauce, half-empty,
Two bottles of mirin, half-empty,
Two bottles of hoi sin sauce, unopened,
Two bottles of maple syrup, one fresh and one gross,
Several packs of unopened packets of brown and jasmine rice, teeming with weevils,
Unopened bottles of liqueur sauce, seeded mustard, and pickles, received in Christmas hampers two years ago,
Sour sweet lolly ropes, last used to make an ill-fated Dora the Explorer birthday cake in February 2007,
And a zillion bottles of barbecue sauce and gourmet sauce.
I gave away whatever we didn’t use but was still good to a local charity, and cooked up a huge batch of rice and veg for the dogs. But I was still overcome with guilt at the amount of waste that ended up in my garbage bin.
My husband and I watch our finances, so I felt sick at the amount of money we'd wasted. Literally.
Talk about an affluent society!
We’re both at fault. He loves buying gourmet sauces and cooking aids; I’m a sucker for buying up big on special (and today realised, it’s only a special if you actually use it!) I also can’t help buying up big on staples like pasta sauce and rice because I hate running out of it.
But from now on, I’m going to check the cupboards before making up our shopping list – and I’m not making any promises, mind – will try to do the pantry clean-out more often.
Anyone else guilty of this?
I guess it all goes to show that I really am an Undomestic Goddess. Although not exactly proud of it.

Pic: 'Spotfull' is a fab book by Aussie author, TV and radio personality James Valentine. It's a spoof of the Spotless series, and features loads of advice for the domestically-challenged.
Here's an example:
"Problem: Egg stains of pan.
What to use: Legs.
How to apply: Walk to bin. Throw pan in bin. Walk to cafe. Order eggs."
"The food cupboard is always packed. Old jars of jam and peanut butter get pushed to the back to make space for the new ones you've bought in anticipation of the old runs running out. You just never quite finish the old one, and you can't quite throw it out because that would be wasteful, so you start a new one and before too long you have two half-finished jars of peanut butter and you need to buy a new third one for when they run out. This process is repeated with everything from shortbread biscuits to chicken noodle soup. Things rarely leave the packet. People open the packet, use half to feed the kids and then stick the packet back in the cupboard. Stuff spills throughout the entire cupboard."
I tell you, it's a window into my world...


LindaN said...

WOO HOO BRONNIE.....loving your blog, will have to add this to mine. Thanks for the comments on my blog :)

Bronnie said...

Glad you like it. I'll visit yours again soon!