I love having Gary make the food. He can out-cook, out-chop, and out-sauce me every day. He is an artist, and I can tell because he flings his artistic temprament at me if I dare to intrude on HIS kitchen.
Sadly it was once MY kitchen, and while I like the new food, I mourn the loss of my kitchen. Gary's kitchen is more ... abundant than mine, and that abundance has flowed into the laundry room, the countertops, and the top of the refrigerator.
For example, when I ran the kitchen, the pantry and spice rack looked like this:
This is the current state of Gary's pantry
It is chaos. Any sugestion that I might organize the pantry is met with a scene from Hoarders. "DON'T TOUCH MY PANTRY I NEED EVERY ONE OF THOSE THINGS IN THAT EXACT SPOT."
It isn't just that foodstuffs are disorganized, there are just soooooo many foodstuffs. His larder of staples is far more varied than mine.
In my larder, I made sure to always have: flour, sugar, salt, milk, two cans of cream of mushroom soup, two boxes of Jiffy corn muffin mix, and two boxes of chicken stock.
Gary, however, is an artist, and he needs the whole pallete. Back in the day I would say, "I need to buy almonds for this green bean recipe, then I'll make almond cookies to use the rest of the bag."
In the supermaket, Gary spies the almonds. "DO WE HAVE ALMONDS? WE NEED ALMONDS."
"BECAUSE I MIGHT WANT TO ADD ALMONDS THE NEXT TIME I MAKE A STEW! BUY A BIG BAG OF ALMONDS."
(He keeps trying to make stew crunchy, for some reason.)
Essentially, his goal is to have one of every item in the supermarket. Wait, no - two, because you need one in case you use the first one. In that case the back-up stays on the shelf and the missing can is replaced so you have a pair. It's like a Noah's Ark of groceries. (I mentioned this at the in-laws and they cautioned me that I need to be sure to rotate the cans, so the backup is eventually used. They also have a larder.)
Here is small sample of the mini-mart taking over our laundry room. (Today the laundry room, tomorrow the still-tidy basement and garage.)
Every one of those cans is a staple.
"Water chestnuts? We need two cans of water chestnuts?"
"WATER CHESTNUTS ARE ESSENTIAL! WE NEED THEM ON HAND!"
I suppose he read a fifties cookbook and he wants to be prepared if I suddenly bring six friends home from work unannounced. Or, perhaps it's in case Incognito Jesus does a spot check and wants water chestnuts.
(Granted, if Gary had pulled the stunt of bringing home six people from work I would politely ask, "Cheerios or Raisin Bran?")
Anyway, he is stocking up. You'd think it would be economical, because we could stock up on sale items. But no. Sale items never catch his eye. My larder was more frugal since it's more economical to a) buy food b) eat food c) buy more food. As it stands now, we will never come out ahead on this deal. If we die in a car wreck, some lucky person will inherit a fully-stocked larder, because the goal is not to eat the food, it is to collect the food.
So, I've given up. This was last week's shopping list.