Lessons Learned from Carrie’s Pantry

Do you remember when you were little when adults did things that you didn’t understand? I never understood why my grandmother kept sugar, flour and meal in large, plastic containers in her pantry. I remember asking her about this  … probably more than once. And I remember that her answer was that she wanted to keep bugs out of them.

Until I had a pantry of my own and had a box of some-floury-sort-of-cooking-staple fill with little weevils and make babies and contaminate other boxes and bags way back in the back of my storage ….. I had no idea why plastic containers were a good idea. But, once I had to deep clean, cull and purge
and toss away good food,
those plastic containers in Carrie’s pantry made a lot more sense.

My pantry Today, I use glass rather than plastic, in my own pantry.

Not so long ago, Joy, one of my raisin haters saw my jar of raisins and said,
“Really, Mom? Why would you even WANT to put raisins in a jar?”

I laughed. She would rather be hungry than eat raisins.
THIS is why I want to keep my raisins fresh.
I love oatmeal with raisins, brown sugar and butter.

Oatmeal with raisins, butter & brown sugar

She won’t get the whole keeping-food-in-sealed-containers thing until
she is grown and has a few little mothy-bugs fly from her cabinet and she realizes that
she has to deep clean, cull and purge bugs from her pantry. But, her turn will come.

And, you know how hard it is to handle that last sliver of soap when your bar is almost gone?
Well, another thing that Carrie did that puzzled me
was she smashed that little soap sliver
into a new bar when she opened one.

I remember once washing my hands with a melding-bar
when the new fragment of soap wriggled loose.
I  …. g.u.e.s.s I tried to throw it away? I don’t remember.
I just remember that I was firmly instructed on how to make the old soap fragment
adhere to the new soap bar. I probably rolled my preteen eyes.
It seemed like …. a superfluous act to me.


But, today, I am thankful. I mentioned HERE  that my skin is super-duper dry. The soap that I adored from Yardley is no longer carried at the grocery stores or pharmacies that I frequent so I have had to resort to a new product … which is also more expensive. More than ever, I am careful with ever last tidbit of soap.

My grandmother grew up in a time when there wasn’t excess. You cared for what you had and didn’t mindlessly toss things that cost money to purchase. She taught me many lessons on frugality.

In today’s world of consumerism, we cast aside things simply because we don’t like them or need them any more RATHER than donating them to an organization that can pass them along to someone who WOULD use them and want them. I am thankful that I was offered an example of frugal and careful.

On any given morning, you might find me eating oatmeal with delicious, fresh raisins
and then forcing the last sliver of soap from an old bar
into the clean, crisp form of a new bar
and giving thanks for lessons learned from Carrie.


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