So I’m housesitting for some good friends of ours this week. Since I believe in giving the home back to the homeowner in much the same way I found it (that is to say, un-burgled) I won’t even tell you initials. (But, I know they are reading this, and please note that none of this is meant in any way to be critical or anything!) (Really. We love y’all.)
Anyway, so I was getting oriented to their house yesterday (I’ve been over there tons, but it’s different being a dinner guest and then the house sitter. So I needed to learn where the spoons and the dishwasher detergent were and whatnot.) and my friend showed me some snacks she had picked up for me. (When you live out in the middle of nowhere, people bring each other interesting food finds from The Big City when they go into town. Because otherwise, we’d live on Cheezits or Ho-Hos. It’s TOTALLY NORMAL, people.) And I happened to mention that I’d just leave them at her house so I’d have something to munch on in the evenings.
Side note: Tell me other people have an insatiable need for something crunchy and salty before bedtime.
And she laughed and said, “You must have talked to [our other house sitter] because he maintains we don’t have [anything] to eat here!” And I laughed and said that I had not. But of course my curiosity was piqued. I mean, I’ve shared lots of meals with these friends. Trust me, they are fans of eating. Good food, even.
So anyway after an evening consisting of a cat lovingly sharpening his claws on me and biting me from time to time (I think they know that I’m a dog person. That’s the only explanation.) I got up this morning to get their breakfast together and let everybody outside to take care of morning business, I could stand it no longer and I had to peek.
I looked in their pantry, and had to laugh because I knew instantly what the other house sitter meant. They have plenty of food, but they don’t have a wide array of snacks. And then I started thinking. (Which explains that large mushroom cloud you saw this morning in the southern direction.) I started thinking about their pantry and what I could tell about them if I didn’t know them and saw their pantry. The wife is a recovering vegan (inasmuch as a chicken fried steak is a part of a balanced vegan diet) and the husband likes to cook pizza. Which bears out in their pantry because there aren’t a lot of “side dishes for meat” type ingredients (canned veggies, potatoes, noodle dishes, etc.) and there are a LOT of different varieties of canned tomatoes (several of which he canned himself!). Plus, there seem to be more types of grains than I ever knew existed. See? It all makes sense, right?
And then I started to think about what some random house sitter would think about our pantry. Observe:
I think we’ve identified where all the snack foods are. And the pastas. And the cereal. And bread.
Anyway-I know that guests like to look through bathroom cabinets at parties and whatnot. I’ve never done this (for real, I promise…never held any interest for me…) but I will say that I LOVE to see other people’s pantries. I think it’s just as revealing, if not more so.
Think about it-we’re all pretty much the same, medically. I mean, the list of weird stuff that most of us have vis a vis our bodies is kind of small and remarkably consistent amongst us (for the most part, I mean). Not to say we all want to talk openly about our various lumps and ailments and whatnots. So to look through and see what kind of medicine someone is taking? Pssht.
Our food hangups? THOSE are myriad and really interesting. Not to mention more socially acceptable to talk about. For instance, I am a proud member of the “foods cannot be touching one another” tribe. Unless gravy is involved. Gravy gives food a unifying factor, and therefore the touching is okay (thus making Thanksgiving survivable with just one plate instead of twelve, just for me…).
See? Way more interesting and illuminating than hearing about the fact that I’m on a blood-pressure medicine to help with my screaming nightmares. (Really-they figured it out on soldiers with PTSD. So my pressure is nice and low and I don’t wake the house up all night anymore!)
Also-Mama is one of those people who take food out of its original (factory provided) box and puts it in ANOTHER BOX. (WHY??????!!!?!) It literally drives me so crazy I can’t even think about it too hard anymore otherwise I’d go insane. (Too late.) I think our pantry is a nice compromise of these two competing aesthetics. She has pasta melangee, I have Saltines in their original packaging.
Anyway-if you are still here reading this, well, I salute your fortitude. Tonight we’re having a get together and I’m about to leave for my first water aerobics class, so between both of those, you should have better content to read next week.
In the meantime, what does your pantry look like? Inquiring minds and all that.