With the success of Marie Kondo’s new Netflix series on how to declutter/un-fire-hazard your home, I thought I should try tidying something. Kondo’s idea is that you can find zen if you only keep things that spark joy.

Should I Kondo my closet? No, too intimidating.

Should I Kondo my junk drawer? No, it’s supposed to look like that.

Should I Kondo my bookshelves? How dare you suggest I get rid of even one of my books, you beslubbering, idle-headed clotpole!

Wait, I’ve got it. I will Kondo the kitchen pantry. It’s lunchtime anyway. Let’s see what we can find in the back of the pantry shelves:

• Box of instant mashed potatoes labeled “best by 2014.” I probably bought these for a recipe I never made. If I never opened the box, they’re probably still good, right?

• Carton of dried dates. Bought these for my daughter, who moved to college two years ago. I hate to throw out perfectly good food. Maybe I can learn to like dates.

• Box of instant coffee crystals, “best by 2017.” (See “instant mashed potatoes,” above.)

• Sugar: Keep

• Brown sugar: Keep

• Powdered sugar: Keep

• Chocolate chips: Keep.

• An empty jar of peanut butter. Who keeps putting these back in the pantry??!!

• Two jars of Nutella, one mostly full, one mostly empty. Is it too much to ask that the members of the household finish one jar before they open another?

• Half a bag of chow mein noodles, left over from when somebody asked me to make haystack candies for Christmas. I could throw away the bag of chow mein noodles, or I could go buy butterscotch chips and peanut butter and make more candy. Hobson’s choice.

• Empty canister labeled “Cornmeal.”

• Can of artichoke hearts, “best by 2016.” (See “instant mashed potatoes” and “instant coffee crystals,” above.)

• Bag of black Japonica rice. What on earth was I thinking buying black rice? I think it was expensive though, so I shouldn’t throw it out.

• Box of instant oatmeal, left over from a camping trip. We haven’t been camping in 10 years, but you never know when we might want to go again someday. Better keep it.

• One glass bottle of Bear Bryant Coca-Cola. A staple in every Southern home. I can’t throw this out. Can I?

• What is that at the very back of this shelf? Oh. It’s an open bag of cornmeal.

• Four jars of homemade jelly that are so old the labels have worn off. There’s a jar of purple, a jar of orange and a jar of … brown. OK, that one can go.

• Five boxes of penne pasta. I always think we’re out of this so I keep buying too much at the store.

• An almost-empty bottle of bourbon. Holding this in my hand brings me such joy.

I’ll finish cleaning out the pantry later. Right now I’m going to make myself a little lunch of Nutella and dates with a chaser of bourbon.

Bon appetit!

Lisa Davis is Features Editor of The Anniston Star. Contact her at 256-235-3555 or ldavis@annistonstar.com.


Features Editor Lisa Davis: 256-235-3555.