I went to the grocery store on Wednesday. I figured out as I was shopping why I have so much stuff in my house. I was buying more food than we are able to eat in a week. It had actually been two weeks since I had last gone to the grocery store, but it was even more than we can eat in two weeks. This was partially true because Dick and I had both been traveling. I was gone for two days, he was gone for three days, and then he has been gone all this week, too.

I thought he was going to be home late tonight. I was a bit chagrined to learn he would be home in time for dinner instead. That means I’m cooking. While I did actually cook one night while he was gone, I also ate canned soup and leftover roast beef made into sandwiches. Nothing time consuming or elegant.

So I took out some smoked pork chops for us to have for dinner tonight. Then I looked around the kitchen, bursting with food stuffs to see what I could make to go with the pork chops. This was going to be a problem.

Dick said he should be home around six this evening. One thing I have learned after over twenty years of him traveling, at least intermittently, is that when he “should” be home has no real bearing on when he will be home. It can be thirty minutes sooner or a couple hours later.

I needed something relatively quick to cook for dinner tonight. I really like baked sweet potatoes, but those take an eternity to cook. That was out of the question. As I looked around my kitchen, I thought it would be great to have an acorn squash. I know those should take an eternity to cook as well. But I mostly cook the thing whole in the microwave. I started this because it is much easier to cut it in half after it is mostly cooked. But it also cuts way down on the cooking time. So after I cut it in half, I salt, add brown sugar, and margarine and then bake the thing for ten to fifteen minutes. Total cook time is well under a half hour. My definition of fast enough.

I did not have an acorn squash in the house. So I went off to the grocery store again. I had a list of four things to buy. I spent over $30 on this second trip to the grocery store. I did that because I kept telling myself I didn’t need that or that or that, either.

I did buy mushrooms on my last trip to the store, so we will have sautéed mushrooms, sprinkled with sage, the squash, and the pork chops. I can add a couple bake and serve type rolls while the squash is baking and that should be it.

So dinner will be done quickly. And that is important when I’m not exactly sure when the wandering soul will return home. If it is late enough, he will just have to eat warmed up food, but I can probably not starve to death while waiting for him and we can eat together.

What I still don’t understand is my penchant for buying more than I need. I successfully talked myself out of buying several items, but managed to buy more stuff than I actually needed yet again. The kitchen freezer is full. The garage also has a full sized refrigerator and that freezer is nearly full. Both of the refrigerator sections are full. The pantry is full. There are only two of us. One of us is on the road frequently, although he is supposed to be home for at least the next two weeks. Much of the food I have on hand is not stuff he is going to eat.


My pantry right now. This does not include my potato chips. Or teas. Or coffees.


Most of what I have on hand is junk food. I have gummy bears and “gourmet”  gummy bears – which is an odd designation. I have snacks of all types, candy of all types, teas of all types, coffees of all types. I do have some canned goods, lots of soups and way too many cans of tuna. I have three boxes of cereal. I have crackers in a variety of different forms from small to large, flavored or plain.

Every once in a while I go on a kick where I think I will make an effort to consume all the food we have in the house. I plan meals around what is available and then make a concerted effort to keep the stocked food to a minimum. It never lasts.

The one thing we can be assured of is this – I’m not going to starve to death in my own home. I guess my over consumption begins at the store.