If a recipe calls for 1 tsp of oyster sauce and the smallest bottle of oyster sauce available is a 4 oz bottle, then one purchases a 4 oz bottle. When making a key lime pie one needs 6 oz of key lime juice, however a bottle of key lime juice is 16 oz. See where I am going here.
Fast forward; yesterday we had a small hiccup with our refrigerator that turned into something a little more serious - like the full blown flu. When I went to get my Diet Coke I found a thermometer sitting on top of the fridge with a thin wire going into the door. My DH informed me the fridge was not cold enough.
Long story short, the internal temperature that should be in the high 30's was in the 50's. So we needed to move everything out and relocate it into our second fridge in the garage. Luckily the freezer was still working properly. As I started taking everything out of the fridge I knew what was coming and I was not disappointed.
"Why do we have all this stuff? Fish sauce? Balsamic glaze? Currents? 3 types of mustard? This is a good time to clean all this out."
Once again I had to defend my significant investment in condiments. When you need that obscure ingredient you do not have time to run to the store. Chances are you are not going to be able to find it any way in our fair town where the staples are fat back, white bread, and chicken necks and any condiments more exotic than ketchup, mayonnaise, and garlic salt would be some BBQ sauce endorsed by a NASCAR driver no doubt.
"And I bet half of this is out of date."
Since several weeks ago I had just gone through everything in the refrigerator, checked the dates, and discarded anything that was out of date, I was ahead of him on this one. Now I'm not saying there were not some mystery items in there and some dishes that resembled science projects gone astray.
Mindlessly I moved the milk and cartons of cream to the cooler to be relocated in the other fridge. My DH looked at me. "Do you want us all the die? You are just like your Mama."
This is where I take offense. Of course all the dairy products needed to be tossed.
What my DH was referring was Mama's reputation for her notorious kitchen in her early days when she was predisposed for a little nip here and there. In fact there is little doubt in my mind that my immune system was greatly enhanced by the antibiotics that were sometimes produced in our kitchen while I was growing up. My DH is quick to remind me of it, given his mother's kitchen looked like the poster for a Mr. Clean commercial. Her floor was so clean it squeaked when you walked on it but who is going to eat off the floor.
This is one more reason your best friend is the one when you die, you can count on to get to your house and clean out your refrigerator before the church ladies show up with food. Knowing you have that most important task taken care of will allow a lady to rest in peace. A husband could never discern between the perished pears and pickled ginger, the old cannoli and the can of oriental mustard, an expired jug of juice and an expensive jar of blackberry jam, or an old bottle of mustard and perfectly fine mason jar of hot sauce.
There is a reason I can put together strange recipes on the fly - and it is not because I have bare refrigerator shelves. Show me a lady with a refrigerator free of condiments and I'll show you a lady who can only make reservations for supper.