I’ve made a vow. No trips to the grocery store until the pantry, refrigerator and freezer are completely cleaned out. Yes, the refrigerator in the garage counts.
OK, so milk, bread, and eggs are excluded, but everything else must go or be used up. I recently had to toss some staples that were well past their “use by” date. Can I help it if my teenagers grew up, and I forgot to buy smaller quantities? Because my thrifty nature cringes at throwing away good food, this has to stop.
One of my problems, besides a slight hoarder’s mentality, is that I love to try new things. I’ll be perusing the grocery aisle, minding my own business as I look for something on my list, when my attention is captured by something that just sounds wonderful. A new pesto, or a lemony vinaigrette, or whatever—I buy it, thinking that it would be fun to marinate chicken, or come up with a new appetizer.
Except that I don’t. With just two of us in the house these days, and one of us on the road way too many of those days, we don’t eat at home much. When we do, we rely on the tried and true rather than new adventures.
There are additional problems, of course. Product samples come in all the time, we receive food gifts, and sometimes we simply overbuy. And when we do entertain, I’ll shop on the fly, forgetting that I already had a can of this or a bag or that tucked away.
And, so, the amount of sheer ingredients have piled up. I bought extra shelving, but even that has reached its limits. Yes, it’s time to use things up.
Yesterday for dinner we had chicken strips with the lemon sauce, that didn’t quite taste the way it did in my imagination. And the chicken had been in the freezer so long it needed more help than the sauce could give. My husband is gamely eating up the bag of tilapia filets, and I’m bound and determined to figure out what is in the plastic containers in the freezer (how long ago did I make that freezer jam, anyway?).
We even opened a jar of chocolate sauce that we’d been saving for a special occasion. Since 1999. Yeah, it went in the trash.
There’s a lot more in the shelves that will probably cause some unusual meal combinations over the days to come. But when we’re done, perhaps we’ll be able to find that bag of pasta I know I brought home from New York.
Here’s to spring cleaning. For now, it’s the future of meal planning.
I was part of abusiness that faltered after 9-11.
Ok it failed. It was an Internet company, and while there were lots of reasons for it to work, the distrust of technology that arose after 9-11 made the reasons for it not to seem much stronger to our clients.
To the credit of the people who believed it in, that business has since picked up the remnants and reinvented itself. In the process, though, investors and employees lost a lot, and a lot of time was spend in building anew.
But they did build. So did I, in another business, and another since then.
It’s perhaps the most fitting tribute to 911. The events of that day were designed to bring America down. And at its core, America is about the ability to create our lives and our businesses as we wish.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 memorial in Pennsylvania. It was a beautiful tribute to heroism, now commemorated in a national park. The plane was left as the final resting place of the heroes on board. They are the people who took a vote and decided to do what needed to be done to save others and send a message back to the terrorists. You haven’t won this one. And I love that they took a vote. It just says something about democracy.
While I was sitting there contemplating their decisions and their sacrifice, looking out over afield now planted with wildflowers, I took a business call.
Because I wanted to be reverent, I stepped away. But I also thought that just maybe the people of Flight 93 might be OK with business being rebuilt. Because it’s at least part of what their sacrifice was about. It was so that America and the businesses of America could go on.
The same week, we stopped by a veteran’s park in New Jersey, where my father-in-law has a brick with his name on it, a small thank you for his service during WWII. One area of the new park is hosting a ceremony today, on September 11, 2012, to dedicate a piece of the twin tower that is now a feature of that park. Apparently theycommissioned the government for the remnant as part of the memorial tribute to those who have served our country. We saw the piece before it was landscaped, in all its stark beauty. Rough edges, demonstrating quite clearly what was ripped away from family, friends, and America.
It reminded me again that we are still picking up the pieces. We are finding new places for them, and not only rebuilding, but building from scratch again.
Even while we fight our current economic conditions, America hasn’t lost her ability to create and recreate. It hasn’t lost her ability to do business.
For me, who lost something important on 9-11, it’s another reminder that life goes on. For those who lost their lives in 911, and those who lost their loves, it’s not that clear and not that easy; I know that.
So we pause andremember and say thanks to those who made a deliberate decision to sacrifice on that day. We say prayers for those who were hit without warning.
And we continue to build and rebuild. It’s what America does.
Here’s to picking up the beautiful pieces of America.