Every so often when I am feeling quite domesticated I have a replenish day….. not for myself – though goodness knows at times I really need one, but to fill up jars, restock cupboards and get everything around the house back to a ‘user ready’ state. It has a two fold advantage in that I can make a list of anything running a bit low so I can restock and I also have a little straighten up on shelves and in cupboards as I go. I do find it very therapeutic. Bliss.
Well yesterday was that replenish day…..totally unscheduled, as so often they are, and it began, as it usually does, with the toilet roll. I always seem to be the one that has to replace a toilet roll – it seems to wait especially for me. If you live alone then you will be used to replacing the empty roll yourself every single time – but when there are two of you I am of the mind that the odds should be more 50:50 or even better 75:25 in my favour!
I keep 6 hidden away on a shelf in the shower room cupboard so no one is ever caught short and an extra one or two in a basket in the family bathroom as there is no handy cupboard in there. When the spares run low I top them up from the main stock I keep in my airing cupboard on the top shelf – a place big enough to accommodate the larger money saving packs I buy.
After replacing the roll on the holder and putting a few extra in the cupboard I thought it a good idea to refill the travel bottles in my toiletry bag with shampoo and shower gel and then the little travel jars of face cream ready for our next trip. We are away such a lot at the moment that I find it really convenient to be able to pick up my travel bag and go rather than having to mess about refilling bottles and jars at a time when I am frantically packing and concentrating more on getting the clothes washed and dried.
After refilling bits and pieces upstairs I worked my way through the downstairs starting in the pantry – this takes a little more time to organise. It is a while since I had a good sort out in here.
Mostly it keeps in good order thank goodness, unless of course DH has unpacked the groceries, and then secretly I may just have to rearrange a few items afterwards, like you often do with the Christmas tree decorations. With the threat of shortages recently I have been inclined to pick up two replacements rather than one and certainly if there is an offer on then it is not unusual for me to buy three or more at once so it can end up a bit of a squeeze to fit everything in. Packets of the precooked brown lentils were on my Sainsbury’s smartscan offer this week for a much reduced price so I bought four.
Earlier in the week I cut down the outdoor tomato plants and pulled off the remaining tomatoes – they won’t ripen outdoors now far too cold in our climate below the moors.
They may have a chance in the pantry next to some riper ones and a banana for the ethylene gas.
I had a few dry goods waiting to be decanted into the storage jars I had washed and dried and not forgetting the biscuit jar to refill – it often lies empty – I think we must live with the ‘Borrowers’ as we never remember eating them.
I did a quick date check on all the stock of packets and cans so we can eat up anything getting too close to that dreaded use by date.
So now I have a little collection of use up foods that I need to incorporate into my next menu plan, one of which is Passata….so this will either become a lasagne, ratatouille or a celery and broccoli bake or maybe all three.
And how did I overlook this bottle of raspberry coulis?
I felt quite pleased that the only thing that landed in the bin was an opened packet of crispy Taco shells I found had been pushed to the back of a shelf out of sight. They were way over their date and certainly had no crisp left in them. Anything else I found out of date I am prepared to take a risk on.
Whilst rummaging around in the pantry I was able to make a note of bits and pieces I needed to buy in readiness for Bonfire Night and Christmas; soft brown sugar, treacle and crystallised ginger pieces – all those warming, gooey foods with that wonderful hint of autumn. I have a few recipe clippings waiting in the wings that I would like to try – I am thinking pear and ginger puddings or plum and apple crumble or even tarte tatin.
The little wall cupboard in the pantry houses a mixture of medicines and supplements on the top shelves and cake décor lower down. I seem to use far more cake decorations than medicine! The medicine shelf is minimal – we don’t seem to need very much thank goodness and apart from my prescribed thyroxine, I only keep a box of paracetamol, a bottle of Buttercup Syrup and glycerine and some vitamin C lozenges in case of sore throats – none of which needed topping up but maybe I will apply for a repeat prescription so I don’t forget nearer Christmas.
My regular supplements of Vitamin D and selenium I keep handy in the kitchen cupboard so I don’t forget to take my daily dose at breakfast time. After checking through the abundance of chocolate sprinkles and mini fudgy pieces it was no surprise that with three grandchildren to make birthday cakes for now nothing came even close to being out of date there!
After the pantry was sorted I moved on to the worst spot….. the laundry room and the cleaning products and washing powders; I refilled jars, dispensers and canisters and small spray bottles from my main stocks that I keep either in the garage cupboard, under the sink or in the pull out drawer in the laundry room. Somehow I have managed to overstock on cleaners. Some are inherited from clearing out my mum’s and mum in law’s houses years ago and I don’t really use them as I tend to use eco products that are better for the environment but I cannot bring myself to just put them in the bin it seems such a waste.
I do have a number of cleaners that are only useful for a certain purpose….carpet cleaner for that odd spill, washing soda for freshening the drains, vanish for tough stains, borax to freshen up the washer drum, Duraglit for the silver and Brillo pads when I need a bit of extra help to remove burnt on food – they all seem quite valid to keep in but for something so infrequently used they all take up valuable cupboard space.
Finally, I went around the house replacing tea lights and batteries in the decorative string lights.
So that was my day – a nice satisfying job completed with a long list of items to restock, which I will do in the next couple of weeks, and in a funny way I did feel a little replenished myself and I could relax after tea with some pretty flickering lights and watch the third episode of The Long Call.
And while I am on a roll I might tackle the linen cupboard tomorrow.