With Graham on a very restricted diet, I felt it was time to raid the pantry...to find all those foods that were forbidden items and relegate them to the trash bin.
A few years ago, when the kids were still at home, it would have been easy to find junk foods...the kind of foods that add calories and little else. Like potato chips, cheezies...and horrors!...chocolate and candy.
During that time, too, I would find opened packages of food haphazardly thrown back onto the shelf, never to be tasted again. In the pantry, it was mostly dry goods, so those packages usually did little, other than grow stale. It was the foods that went into the fridge, opened and tasted, and then hidden behind another item...to be found by me, weeks later, when the green mould crept out from behind the pickle jar...
Those days have ended...a long time ago. When the kids left, my diet changed too. No longer was the pantry filled with KD or dried noodle soups. Beans, grains and fresh local or organic foods became the order of the day.
But Graham can have no sugars, fats, wheat and/or gluten, or dairy. OK. That meant a whole lot of the foods I have in the refrigerator and in the pantry would have to go...elsewhere. Anything unopened, of course, would be donated...but there was not a whole lot unopened.
The Coombs Country Market has a good selection of dried pastas; Graham and I had just stocked up on all sorts of different pastas...varied shapes and sizes, some egg, others whole wheat. Gray can now only have rice pasta. OK. No rice pasta in the cupboard, only some delicate Asian pasta.
But there's lots of organic whole wheat flour, unbleached white flour, oat flour, oat bran, Scottish oatmeal, organic brown sugars...and these are all forbidden. Graham is a Scot; oatmeal is in his DNA. The cultural food preferences will be hard to overcome. There is no rice flour.
There is white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, basmati rice, wild rice...these, finally, are kept. Graham can have anything rice.
I find the nut cupboard, and say a silent prayer of gratitude...there are many packages of nuts available here...pecans, walnuts, almonds and cashews. He can eat these, too.
And there is a good selection of dried and frozen fruit available. Also allowed.
Hmmm...honey, not allowed, maple syrup...allowed in moderation, brown sugar, cane syrup...not allowed. We have about fourteen different kinds of honey in the cupboard, gathered from various parts of the country, most unopened. This might be a slight exaggeration; there are a lot of jars, however.
Why do we have so much honey? I must be attracted to something there...since I rarely eat honey!
OK. I accept that I overdid the honey thing. But there are preserves, all made with sugar, many given as gifts. I decide to keep these, to serve to guests. It is getting harder and harder to decide what to keep and what to discard, but we are overflowing with food that cannot be eaten. It goes against everything I believe in...to discard food. But I cannot just waste it, either.
I have only olive oils and grapeseed oils, which are deemed OK. But the cheese drawer...oh my! Graham and I are attracted to various kinds of cheeses...and these are definitely not allowed. Along with the milk and cream, these will have to go. And all that frozen bread...
So now I will replace. Neither of us care for buckwheat...but I can find brown rice flour. I can find different kinds of rice pasta. He can eat as many eggs as he wants. And the fresh vegetable bin will remain the same, except he is not allowed potatoes in his diet.
Suddenly, my cupboards are fairly empty. I imagine the whole grains I can try. I fantasize that I will find a great recipe for rice bread...the kind we tried is, to be frank, disgusting. I realize I am about to embark on a new adventure in cooking, which is more of a joy than a chore to me.
It will be a great challenge. And it will feel even better when I get over the fact that I am discarding food.
The pantry is empty. But the raid was required and necessary. It was all in the interests of good health...and Graham is very much worth it.