This afternoon we had some really drastic weather in the Midwest. During the lunch hour, a tornado warning was issued in the downtown area that I work. Having grown up in Ohio and also having lived in Miami, FL for several years, I am no stranger to tornadoes or hurricanes. In fact, Dayton, OH even had an earthquake for the first time in 200 years this summer. What I have learned in all those situations is that when you are without power, basic human necessities really come in handy. Batteries, toilet paper and non-perishables are a must. A generator is great too! But somehow, no matter how often I go to the grocery, I find my pantry is stocked with some of the stupidest stuff. It certainly wouldn’t save me or my family in a life or death situation.
Over the weekend, I had planned to write a post about dumb stuff in my pantry because I came across an excessive amount of paper towels. I had in bulk not one, not two but three jumbo sized packages of paper towels. There were probably 36 rolls. I think out of habit, I just buy a pack whether I need them or not. In the grand scheme of things, towels aren’t such a nonsensical purchase because I have a clumsy husband and two toddlers. Just last night, my husband spilled an entire half-gallon on milk all over the kitchen floor. The towels were put to good use in that instance.
But for some unexplainable reason, tomatoes continue to appear in my Lazy Susan in mass quantities.
The other excessive food supply I found was Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I had several of the five-pack family size packages on the shelf in the closet. In total, there were probably 15 individual boxes of Mac ‘n’ Cheese. If you believe that a box really serves four people that amounts to 60 servings of Mac ‘n’ Cheese! (Although, I think I could eat an entire box by myself if I was hungry.) Mac ‘n’ Cheese as a non-perishable is really not that helpful of a food. If a tornado hit and the power went out, I would have to just crunch on the hard little noodles because I wouldn’t be able to boil any water, the milk would be sour and the butter would be all melted. I could dip my finger in that little dry powdered cheese but that’s about it.
Discovering my food hoarding made me recall that in my childhood my dad was a food hoarder. He had a penchant for olives. I don’t know why but we always had an ample supply of olive jars. It was as if we may need to entertain at a moment’s notice and break out the olives and toothpicks. But, we never did. I can remember my mom looking for something in the kitchen cupboard and saying under her breath, “Here’s another damn jar of olives!” It really annoyed her. She’d have to move all those olive jars out of the way to get whatever ingredient she needed that had been pushed to the back.
I am curious to know what other people keep on hand in their houses—especially the things that are totally odd, like olives. Do you buy them because you really think you’ve run out? Does your partner buy them because they don’t inventory the supply before hitting the grocery? Or, do you just feel like an extra stash of [insert food item] will come in handy if a hurricane hits?