I eschew bare cupboards.

I want the cupboards to be full, not to overflowing, but well-stocked so I know that if all else fails, there will be pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese. My mother kept powdered milk in the cupboard in case we ran out of real milk and it would be a while until she could go grocery shopping. Powdered milk mixed with water is thin and bluish, almost like mother’s milk, and drinkable only if it is very, very cold. I remember the box on the high up shelf. Carnation.

It’s the same with towels and socks and underwear. I want to always have a stack of clean towels, a pile of good socks, socks that wear well if the wearer lives in Wisconsin where it is currently snowing in the middle of April, and underwear that fits me and sits folded in little stacks in my dresser drawer. Having these things and some decent jeans is to avoid want.

My grandmother kept jars of preserves and vegetables on shelves lining the basement stairs. She had long since quit canning but the jars remained. She didn’t want to eat what was in them but wasn’t ready to throw them out either. I’m betting the jars conjured the sense of well-being that came from having a full larder. A Depression-era mom, she had kept apples and potatoes in the fruit cellar; the fruit was gone but the bushel baskets were still there. I’d see them when I’d go with her into the basement to watch her shovel coal into her furnace. Then she switched to oil, I think. I don’t remember.

At the grocery today, I bought pie crusts, the kind that are rolled up in a tube and all you have to do is unroll them into a pie tin. I long ago gave up making my own pie crust though many would say my reputation as a baker of great pies is sullied by this omission. I don’t tell anyone upfront and if they compliment my pie I let the compliment stand, not wanting to embarrass them for not having noticed the pie crust’s obvious inadequacy. Anyway, I’m not baking a pie today or anytime soon. We have cake. But having the pie crusts means that I could bake a pie if I wanted to. That’s a great comfort to me, knowing that.

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The Daily Post: Deplete

Photo by Nonki Azariah on Unsplash