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Fri, Nov 28, 2014

MRS. MURFREESBORO: Time to declutter those cabinets

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It’s that time of year when papers, magazines and notes start finding their way into stacks. And it’s already getting on my last nerve.

I was watching “Sewing with Nancy” recently, and she said, “We all have stacks of stacks.”

I knew again I wasn’t alone.

As much as I talk about cleaning, there are still lot of areas that need attention. This week, it was the stacks in my spice cabinet.

For that one, I’m blaming Loretta Tolliver.

Loretta is the very attractive president of Murfreesboro Newcomers Club, a Rutherford County native who returned from Cincinnati when she retired.

In August, she kindly invited me to the Southern Social honoring Murfreesboro’s bicentennial.

In 1972 when we came to make Murfreesboro, I joined the Newcomers Club. Although my husband, Tommy, grew up, here I didn’t, and I needed to make new friends, so the organization has always been dear to me.

When I went to the Oaklands Historic House Museum for the social, I found an almost empty parking lot. I got there right at 4 p.m., thinking I was right on time.

Unfortunately, the event began at 2 p.m.

How embarrassing.

Loretta and my friends could not have been more gracious, even though I was the loser who did not get to meet all the newcomers.

I offered to donate a basket of goodies for an upcoming fundraising auction, and it was while assembling this basket that I got into the baking mode.

Last year, I never made the first cookie or holiday treat. This year, I want to make some fun Christmas food. The basket was a great excuse.

It seems like it was just yesterday that I decided to write the date purchased on new jars of spices so I’d know how long I’ve had them.

Imagine my surprise when one of what I thought to be the newer jars had a date of November 2009.

Yikes. That was three years ago.

I had been using what I thought was fairly fresh Italian seasoning for three years and had barely scratched the surface.

I decided to throw most of my spices away and start from scratch.

If one added up the cost of spices by the pound, they would probably rank right up there with the cost of silver, I’m sure.

Fortunately, spices are on sale at grocery stores this time of year and many can be found for nominal costs at larger retailers.

So, instead of just buying those that I rarely use like curry powder and coriander, I made a decision to buy them when, only when, I need them – and that might not be for a long time.

I don’t know if the overall taste really is affected, but I’ll know the difference.

And while on that topic, I’ve been really disappointed in the way some foods taste lately.

I bought packets of cheese and crackers to take on a trip, and to me, they tasted like paper.

Is it because they’re using less shortening? I’m sure manufacturers must eliminate something to contain costs, but I’d rather have fewer items than less flavor.

Kit-Kat chocolate bars taste chalky, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are smaller, a so-called quart of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is now 30 ounces, and what used to be a 2-pound loaf of bread is now 20 ounces.

Personally, I’d rather have a smaller size than sacrifice taste.

I’m signing off to tackle to some of those stacks now.

And I wish Loretta would ask me to play host to something in my basement, so I’d have an excuse to tend to that too.

‘Til next week.
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Cleaning, Cooking, Food, Holiday, Mrs Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro Newcomers Club, Voices
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