Sunday, March 18, 2018

Week 6: Visible-eaty

Read other posts with the label 52 small changes

I was craving ruti for lunch that day. So I opened the fridge, stooped, and retrieved the open but sealed packet of uncooked phulkas that Gundamma had packed me the last time I visited her. I had already cooked 5 or 6 out of that packet a while ago.

As I opened the sealed, plastic bag of phulkas and carefully took out an uncooked one, my heart sank when I saw a patch of green growing on the surface of the first one. Carefully, I peeled each phulka to see the patch of green on every single piece but the last, the patch increasingly getting smaller. I knew I could do nothing to salvage this, the green was a patch of mold growing on the uncooked phulka. With a heavy heart, I tossed all of them in the trash.

I felt horrible that day. Wasting food makes me feel like I have attained a new low in life. I had spent money on those, and since I am not familiar with the desi stores here, I got them all the way from Seattle. Since I had already consumed more than half the packet, I wondered what made me leave the rest uneaten. I knew that I was traveling, and before that, I was off solids for a while after my dental surgery. But I knew the main reason why I did not finish all of them.

The reason was because I had stored the packet inside the vegetable tray in the fridge, a spot that was out of my line of sight. Hence I had conveniently forgotten about it.

An empty vegetable tray 

So now, I try to store all my food in the fridge in my line of sight. I try not to store anything in the vegetable tray (see picture).

I try to do this with dry food too. Instead of storing them in some obscure nook in the pantry, I keep them all at eye level so that I do not forget about them. It often happens that I go to the desi store and cannot remember if I already have something. As a result, I have often bought multiple jars of pickle or ghee, multiple packs of spices or flattened rice or chaatu, and then they sit there and go stale. I am still learning to get better at letting things sit and go waste. When you do not see something regularly or do not have ready access to it (where you have to bend or struggle to find something), you tend to forget about it.

This is not only for food in the fridge or spices in the kitchen. I have often forgotten about clothes and accessories, the pair of jeans, a pair of gloves, and bought the same thing twice because things were tucked in an obscure corner of the wardrobe. Now, I try to put everything I have in front of me so that it is easier to remember how much I already have.


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