I’m back-k-k! from a brief Covid-19 vacation. Rooney Bin residents didn’t have the virus, but we finally had a get-away returning just in time to prepare for another spike in the pandemic…or so some predict.

            In fear of running out of wine and food when the possibility of another shut-down was mentioned on TV, my spouse the Binmeister said: “Quick, let’s go to Costco and stock up.”

His latest pandemic hobby is cooking. I’m not complaining. He’s become quite skilled at replicating Wall Street Journal recipes, which call for exotic spices. However, I can’t seem to get him to halve the portions. Thus, the fridge is filled with assorted leftovers as well as many small jars of odd condiments.

Tomorrow [Sunday] is Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, an unofficial holiday that aptly is within boarding house reach of Thanksgiving. As they say, “when in doubt toss it out!” It’s definitely time to dispose of that two-week old lasagna, throw away the rusty lettuce, reuse the left-over pork casserole and dig to the bottom of the freezer where a frozen Tyrannosaurus roast has been since time began.

The goal is to make room for Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and gravy. However, the Bin’s fridge doors and shelves runneth over with condiments, such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise, as well as Binmeister’s horseradish sauce, marmite—what’s marmite?—red  and green curry paste, oyster sauce, sweet chili sauce, Hoisin sauce and jalapeno pepper sauce. In case you didn’t guess, he’s into cooking curry.

 “Americans can eat garbage, provided you sprinkle it liberally with ketchup, mustard, chili sauce, Tabasco sauce, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish,” author Henry Miller wrote.

 I do need to clean out the refrigerator as well as all the left over Halloween candy, because no trick-or-treaters visited us this year. (Unfortunately there’s no problem getting rid of the candy.) It’s not as if I haven’t had the time. The Rooney Bin’s mission is to cover Beaches events, but many 2020 events have gone virtual or been canceled leaving me with time to clean closets. However, things are making a comeback, including Halloween inspired fun at the Beaches.

The Final Word…It’s hard to part with something you’ve had for a long time—even food—and might need someday.

 For example, food writer Marilyn Kaytor said: “condiments are like old friends-highly thought of, but often taken for granted.”

Nevertheless, with space constraints of leftover turkey and fixin’s looming, it’s time to bite the bullet and toss out those old to-go packets of soy sauce, hot mustard and ketchup and little  plastic cups of barbecue sauce and salsa to make room for everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving condiment…cranberry sauce!

I’m skilled at recycling leftovers, much like humorist Calvin Trillin’s mother.

 “For 30 years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found,” Trillin said.