Category: holding on to useless things

Goodbye, celery-keeper

I’ve had it for 25 years.

I took it with me to England and Germany on our two overseas tours. It’s had a home with me in Arkansas, Minnesota, and California. It could hold many things I suppose, but its destiny was to house celery in all its celeriac glory – crunchy, green and downright wet.

But after these many years, and these many moves, I am retiring the celery keeper. I am giving it away. It still does a marvelous job of keeping celery, but the fact is, it has spent the better part of its life in the cupboard, shoved to the back next to the Bundt and omelet pans. I’ve hardly ever kept celery in it. The thing is big and rectangular and takes quite a bit room down there on the bottom shelf of the fridge. It has always been easier to toss the celery into the crisper with the carrots and lettuce (I got rid of the lettuce keeper last year) and wish it a crunchy halflife with the rest of the salad-makings.

So why did I keep it all these years? Why did I treat the celery keeper like a back issue of National Geographic? Why did I accord it a place in the kitchen archives — in the deep bowels of the cupboard where only the rarely-used-but-essential items are kept —the turkey roaster, the gravy separator, the springform pan, the copper Jello-mold in the shape of a fish?

I don’t have a good answer other than we (I assume I speak for others like me) keep what we don’t use if nothing is wrong with it. Did you catch the first part? We keep what we don’t use. We don’t use it but we keep it. Nothing is wrong with it. Someone else could use it. Because there’s nothing wrong with it. But no, we keep it. And use it not.

It’s almost like, dare I say it, we are stingy. We have something someone could use, and we’re certainly not using it, but we keep it year after unused year. I’ve come to the realization that holding onto stuff I don’t need or use is pointless. It serves no point. Someone out there would love to have my celery keeper, I’m just sure of it. I can imagine it even now. A lady is walking down the aisles of a local church thrift shop. She sees a flash of dinner-mint green. Can it be? Is that a celery keeper?! Yes! It is. And off she goes to the cash register, happy as a clam.

Now that serves a point. Well, it sure serves if nothing else.

It is time. Celery keeper, I’ve held on to you for far too long. You’ve known no celery for lo these many years. Go forth to the thrift shop and be fruitful. I mean, vegetableful. You were meant for this. I bid you adieu.

What’s in your cupboard?