After living awhile with my decluttered counters, I’ve decided to tackle the cupboard above my sink. It’s contents are roughly divided into “herbs and spices” and “baking supplies”.
I do not tend to buy recipe-specific ingredients, too much waste. I buy a huge container of dried minced garlic from Sam’s and small containers of individual spices from Wal-Mart for 50 cents.
HOWEVER – at some point, I’m not sure when or why, I bought almost all of the Mrs. Dash condiments that I found. I like one. DH likes one other. I need to give the rest to DD22, since she uses them.
The jars are all neatly contained in a large bin. I know what’s where and have little trouble finding what I need. The other side of the cupboard is a different story.
While flour, sugar and oatmeal canisters reside out of sight with the breakfast cereals and pancake syrup in a bottom cupboard, the baking supplies up above are both smaller and more complex. While I have the usual ground spices (cinnamon, cloves, apple pie spice, ginger), a nutmeg grater and nutmeg nibs, baking powder, baking soda, almond and vanilla extracts, I also have unusual suspects like the cardamom I use to make chai. Which I actually do make.
But – orange oil (for the chocolate-orange muffins I used to bake on Sundays), instant espresso powder (for the biscotti I wanted to make one Christmas) and powdered cocoa (for the cakes DD22 liked to bake) are still up there. Fortunately, none of these things have expired. I think I need to make my daughter a care package.
On the shelves above these things are more staples. Powdered sugar, barley, bulgur, cornstarch.
I threw out averything that had hardened (onion powder, cream of tartar and yes, the espresso powder). Let that be a lesson to me – if I do not come home and use it immediately, I need not buy it.
Any duplicates will also go to her. Why did I have two containers of paprika?
Now the only things on my “ambivalence shelf” are molasses, two kinds of pasta bought for use in soups, iodized salt (I use kosher) and ground pepper (we have a pepper mill).
Ahh. The joys of decluttering. Next stop, the pots, pans and bakeware.