Monday, August 31, 2009

Condiment Overload

I got back from work late Friday evening, only to discover some food that still needed to be put away in the kitchen. Normally, I would be annoyed; but given our recent vinaigrette fiasco, I could hardly blame Larry for his reluctance to cram more leftovers into our icebox. Really, only a trained professional should even attempt such a task.

So I did. And I came up with a diagnosis of our problem:


Obviously, a serious case of Condiment Overload. Specifically, 2 bottles of applesauce, 3 mustards, 3 strawberry jams, 4 (count them, 4) tubs of margarine, and (of course) 4 jars of salsa.

Naturally, I decided to take pictures. And it occurred to me, as I aimed the camera, pausing now and then to tweak the lineup, that if Larry happened to come downstairs at that point, he might wonder why I was standing in the kitchen at midnight, snapping photos of mustard and margarine. And he might also reflect on the fact that, although we have many posed pictures of foodstuffs in our photo gallery, we have almost no formal portraits of our own children.

[In my own defense, it is way easier to pose the food than the children - the applesauce, for instance, never sticks its finger up its nose at just the wrong moment; and the salsa would never make a demon face at the camera. But I digress...]

What can I say? It was one of those moments that can make you question your purpose in life - make you wonder, say, whether you were really put on earth to catalog the contents of your refrigerator for future generations. Is this what it's all about? I mused. Is this what it comes down to, standing alone in my kitchen while everyone sleeps, fussing over how to arrange the salsa?

Apparently, yes. Check out these close-ups:

Ah, Salsa, how we love thee! Keen-eyed readers will observe that only one open jar of Tostitos brand salsa was not enough - we have two. Our old standby Taco Bell Medium is also represented, and then David's favorite - Salsa Verde. Would any of you believe that I never even tasted salsa until I was 17 years old? No? My kids don't either. But it's true.



Ironic, isn't it, now that our milk-allergic Theo has flown the nest, that we should have 4 tubs of dairy-free margarine residing in our fridge? And now they've been joined by the tub of butter I bought at the commissary on Saturday (and there's more of both in the downstairs refrigerator). Do note how nicely these tubs stack on the counter - for some reason, they don't do that in the refrigerator. They're always falling off and knocking over defenseless containers of vinaigrette instead.



I can explain this! On the left is our regular brand of strawberry preserves, in the middle is the leftover jam from our vacation spot (yes, we travel with condiments!), and on the right is the jar of homemade jam that David opened when we got back. And now we have too many. I guess that really puts us in a jam! Oh, I slay me.





Let me say right here that I believe yellow mustard is an abomination. Growing up, I thought it was something that only Gentiles ate (that is, when they weren't putting mayo on their baloney sandwiches, Lord help them). Well, my punishment for marrying outside the faith is to have children who not only tolerate this weak imitation of real mustard, but who actually prefer it. For the record, I threw it out after the photo shoot. It was a "Do the Right Thing" sort of moment, you know? Another day I will have to discuss just how much I hate squeeze bottles. Stay tuned!




There are also the applesauce jars, but those already got a post all their own. In fact, I think they're getting a little swelled up from all the attention (or perhaps that's just fermentation). So we'll just ignore them for the time being. That's what I do best, anyway...

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24 comments:

  1. I didn't know that jam and applesauce were condiments. Learning something new every day. I'm too afraid to pull out all my strange little jars...

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  2. Love you! there is plenty of room in my fridge since all I have at the momnet is condiments. Not even a gallon of milk, to take up all the space. So bring all the extras here, lots of room to go around.
    That way I won't have to clean my empty fridge, since that is the best time to clean, when it is empty.

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  3. Better not to dwell on what blogging brings out in us .... as I don't want to remember how I posed and photographed barbie dolls the other night for a blog post only to have my HB walk in on me (coming home early from work.)

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  4. Oh, you mean that yellow abomination is mustard? I thought it was 11th plague or something... In any case this post made me miss Russian mustard, which I wasn't able to find here in its kosher reincarnation. What Americans call spicy brown mustard, i am afraid to say is not spicy at all, to my greatest disappointment. I would be more than happy to be proven wrong.

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  5. I got home after 12:30am Monday morning, only to find the kitchen sink and dishwasher full of dirty dishes. I ignored it and went to bed. I gave in at 5pm by loading and running the darn thing. More than 24 hours after my initial discovery, I need to UNLOAD the dishwasher so that I can re-load it and run it with supper dishes and the messy results of evening cookie baking. I'm going to focus on the fact that I am thankful to even have a dishwasher!
    We also have a condiment problem. I've kept on top of it this summer, but it's all about to go seriously downhill. And I've been having dreams about finding open applesauce jars in the pantry. I blame your food posts! LOL

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  6. please send me your yellow mustard, i loathe that grainy khaki mustard.

    i have about ten million photos of my own ponytail, but maybe only ten photos of my children.

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  7. There are three Finding Nemo tupperware containers in my fridge right now that have been there for a really long time (6 months, a year maybe) and while I am tempted to be guilted into cleaning them out (or throwing them away) it will probably take a salad dressing disaster of my own to get me to take action.

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  8. Applesauce, madam, is not a condiment; it is a food group all on its own! As is jam! [This Gentile also loathes yellow mustard; just pass me some of that Grey Poupon, and I'll gladly take your mayo off your hands.] Maybe you can explain to my why I have a mango/horseradish chutney in the fridge: now *there's* a culture clash all bottled up for the unsuspecting...

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  9. Applesauce is a condiment! You smear it over your latkes along with sour cream! It's delicious that way!

    I love real mustard and hate the fake kind but my JEWISH husband will only eat the abomination! I don't know what happened but something went very, very wrong!

    Thank you for this post. I laughed til my sides ached.

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  10. I don't even like mustard of any kind and have only 2 kids and no husband and yet? 5 different varieties of mustard in my fridge, including disgusting yellow. (I can kind of sort of tolerate honey mustard...we have 2 versions of that alone)

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  11. Thank you for a hearty LOL moment (or more). It truly is a gift. I, too, have condiment issues, but somehow they never amused me until this AM.

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  12. I don't feel so bad about the 3 open bottles of Ranch dressing in my fridge now. Oh and as a Gentile myself I had no clue of the ongoing issues with the yellow mustard! Whew, glad I like the 'real' kind. ;-)

    As always thanks for making me smile today.

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  13. Squeeze bottles are the devil. THE DEVIL and I don't even believe in a devil!

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  14. I'm voting against applesauce as a condiment, too. I think if you can each something by itself, it is not a condiment. Further, if you can add something else to it to make it taste better (like cinnamon), it is really not a condiment.

    Just my two cents!

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  15. I'm very impressed that you lined them all up for a photo!
    My fridge is the same way. In fact, are you sure you got all that salsa from yours??

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  16. I like the darling 'sweat' beads on your salsa!

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  17. Oh I just don't know what to say except I think you are great!! :)

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  18. I totally understand the need to have different types of salsa. You have different salsa needs at different times. But really, aren't you going a little too far with your yellow mustard discrimination? They have needs, too!

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  19. The downside of having a husband who BBQ's as a hobby? Bottles upon bottles of BBQ sauce. I've started combining them for a marinade to use them up, but I'm going to have to rethink that strategy because every time he sees a little bare real estate on the fridge shelf, he takes it as license to buy more.

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  20. The mustard always gets out of hand at our house too. I THINK I'll want honey flavored, then Grey Poupon and then the next thing you know there's a bottle of French's crowding the shelf...

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  21. Someone else with a milk-allergic child? Really? Someone else knows what it's like?! Mine will be ill if her food touches a surface that touched cheese.

    I'm with you, the yellow stuff comes in its own radioactive warning shade. Condiments of the chef.

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  22. Well, for the record, you slay me too!

    Great post!

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  23. No one in my house likes mustard, so we don't buy it. I bought some when my dad visited 3 years ago. It sat in the fridge for over a year before hubby threw it out... Anne, my oldest, thought she liked Salsa, so she bought one of those huge containers at costco, that sat around for at least 6 months in the fridge after she opened it, as she discovered that she, in fact, does not like it and no one else would try it.

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  24. oh my goodness! My condiments to the chef.

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