For Want of a Nail

It all started with the peppercorn grinder. We’ve been having corn on the cob lately, which I like to have all slathered in butter and then I like to sprinkle lots of fresh ground pepper on top of it. Unfortunately, our little pepper grinder was nearly empty. It was so empty that it really didn’t work anymore. I decided to refill it yesterday morning. I knew we had a sampler of different kinds of peppercorns and that it was in the pantry. At least I thought so. Alas, our pantry was a disorganized mess. After pawing over the most likely shelves, all to no avail, I decided that my best bet was to start moving stuff out of the pantry. The noise of all my hustle and bustle soon got Anne sucked into this effort. Our work continued until everything was out of the pantry. As it turns out the extra peppercorns were right in front, right at eye level, but such was the clutter that I just couldn’t for the life of me see them. After every last item was out of the pantry, I took out all of the shelving too and washed each board and set them all out to dry on the back porch.

Then there was a trip to Home Depot to buy new contact paper. At the store the greeter there was an elderly woman in one of those motorized wheelchairs. I asked her if they had contact paper. She kind of frowned and my heart sank, because I had already struck out at the grocery store. She said, “We don’t have a whole lot, but I can tell you where it is. Go down aisle 8, until you get to 36. Head back to the double-doors and the rack will be on your right.” I followed her directions, but with a mounting sense of trepidation, because all of the shelves were stocked with HVAC stuff and none of it looked like the kind of neighborhood one would find contact paper in, but it was there right where she said it would be and there was plenty for me to choose from. I bought two rolls, but then ended up only using one of them. I’ll take the unopened one back to the store, where I hope to meet this woman again, so I can thank her, because she must spend hours motoring about the store to know where the likes of this kind of merchandise could be found.

We ended up pitching a bunch of stuff that was well past its expiration date. So, when we put everything back together again, there was way less stuff in the pantry than there used to be. There are bare shelves now. I plan on organizing the rest of the kitchen this week, because these bare shelves will allow us to unpack all of the other overcrowded cabinets in the kitchen. All this work will make the annual T-day cooking fest so much easier too. Anne organized all of the spice racks, pitching all of the older duplicates. Next time, refilling the pepper shaker will only be a five-minute job, like it should have been this time.

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