You know that old saying or mindset which basically suggests we shouldn’t “save” the good stuff for special occasions or company? I’m beginning to realize more and more there’s something to that.
For example, I recently cleaned out our pantry. It’s amazing what you find shoved way in the back. I found all manners of fancy jars and bottles – sauces, marinades, chutneys – that we had received for gifts over the past handful of years. Many were expired. Why weren’t they used? In case we ever had “company” or “entertained.” It’s sad. Now they’ll entertain the critters at the landfill. So no more. If we get a food item for a gift, we’re going to use it, dagnabbit. Our little family is just as deserving as any of these phantom guests that we never have over. I don’t know what Stella and Felix would do with chutney, but it’s fruit-like and they like fruit…..
Wine is a bit different, I suppose. I keep a few bottles of “good” wine reserved – again, for potential emergency guests. You know. The ones that show up unannounced and famished for a decent cabernet and some chutney. We have one bottle we’ve been carrying around for almost 10 years. I bought it for Will for Xmas the first year we were dating. It was “good” then, at least for my budget. It was a Kendall-Jackson 1999 reserve. Nothing too fancy, but at the time it was a lot of money. Hell, it’s a lot of money now. Our current “table wine” comes in a freaking box. True story. Anyway, we still have this old bottle which I’ve been saving for a special occasion. The past handful of special occasions have involved pregnancy or the birth of a kid, which isn’t the ideal time to drink. I’ve decided we should drink it in a week and a half. On the 29th we will celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. We don’t normally celebrate our anniversary, other than maybe grabbing a steak and bottle of champagne and consuming both after the kids go to bed. This year, we’re going to celebrate. We have this wine. We have a $100 gift card to a nicer restaurant in town (which I’ve also been “saving”).
You watch. The wine will taste awful. Or like the boxed stuff.
Now back to the original saying involving tableware. To hell with china. We need to start using our every-day plates. A while back we switched to that family classic, the paper plate. Nope, it ain’t “green,” but when you find yourself with kids who want hot dogs then peanut butter then eggs then pizza, you find that you’ve used 8 place settings during one meal. And who the hell wants to give anything breakable to a 2 or 3 year old? Regardless, we figured that whatever landfill space we were using would be offset by the energy and water required to run the dishwasher umpteen times in a week. But you know what? We run the damn dishwasher umpteen times in a week anyway. And while Felix certainly can’t be trusted with anything fragile, Stella does ok. I’m tired of trying to balance spaghetti and meatballs on flimsy paper plates in and out of the microwave (because I’m fairly certain our bargain “Made in China” plastic chargers aren’t microwave-safe). So plates for all! (Except Felix)
Time does pass. People come. People grow up. People go. And whether it be chutney, plates, or wine, you can’t take it with you.