Monday, November 12, 2012

throwing it out

More food waste this week:
  • a few wilted, slimy green onions.
  • some (more than some, actually, more like quite a bit) freeze-dried strawberries that had turned black.
  • a cup or so walnut halves that I found in the cupboard that had gone rancid.
  • three bananas from the freezer that turned to black liquid when I thawed them to make banana bread.
  • a moldy orange.
I need to be more careful and aware about what I'm buying at the store and then have a more definite plan to use what does come home from the store with me. I am learning something about myself and that is I am very random. "Spontaneous" sounds better though, don't you think? But honestly, I have all these random things in my fridge and pantry and no idea what to do with them. I think it comes from my long-standing habit of buying ingredients rather than meals and will be solved by better meal planning and recipe organization and plain ol' care and thoughtfulness.

It is also taking me some time to get used to buying less and cooking smaller meals which I need to do now that most of my children have flown the coop. I don't have a good sense yet of exactly how many potatoes to peel, for example, and it's getting tedious trying to eat up all the dinner leftovers for lunch every single day.

I also need to have a meal plan and recipes for "food storage" items like the freeze-dried strawberries before I buy them instead of impulsively buying them because they look interesting. Because as it turns out, none of us ever choose a handful of freeze-dried strawberries for a snack or meal.

This week's successes:
  • gave away some powdered fruit drink to someone who will use it. We didn't care for its bitter grapefruit taste. When I bought it I was under the impression it was orange or tangerine flavor.
  • ate the last bowl of bordering-on-stale cereal from a box that had to be either eaten or thrown out. Cereal is something we don't eat much of now that my older children are gone.
  • made nearly all meals from the pantry, fridge and freezer instead of buying lots of new groceries.
  • ate all the lettuce that was threatening to turn pink by adding it to whatever I was eating at lunch. Why does iceberg lettuce turn pink when all other greens turn brown or black? It's a mystery.
On this week's menu:
  • more lemon-poppy seed muffins for breakfasts and snacks, made with two lemons that have been hiding under some other stuff in the crisper bin. I have no idea how long they've been there but they still look fresh.
  • chicken salad sandwiches made with green onions and craisins on homemade rolls.
  • ham and pinto bean soup. I will use up the "trimmings" of the ham to make stock and use it in the soup. I will make cornbread to eat with this.
  • chicken and rice soup using some single-serving size packages of frozen rice/veggie mix. I have no idea where these came from and it's not something I would ever buy but they are taking up valuable real estate in the freezer. (I have had three young adults, each with their own cars and money and agendas, living with me for months in the last year so it's entirely possible that one of them bought these things and I haven't totally lost my marbles.) I also have homemade chicken stock in the freezer that will be used up in this soup. We will eat the soup with leftover rolls from the chicken salad sandwiches.
  • I need to figure out what to do with some leftover homemade macaroni and cheese. I wonder if it would turn creamy again if I add a little more milk while reheating it? And then added some ham chunks to turn it into a new dinner?

1 comment:

  1. We take our just barely out of date or bordering on stale cereal to feed the ducks at the park. They don't care, and they like it better than day old bread.

    I use my leftover ham and ham bones to make 7 bean soup. Yummy. My friend always saves me their ham bone too, so I always have two after Christmas.

    I need to deal with some stuff in my fridge too, before I buy the Thanksgiving turkey. I no longer have a refrigerator in the garage as our extra died last year. I have a husband who buys stuff for scout campouts and then brings the leftovers home. A thing of mustard EVERY time. One time I had 5 bottles of store brand mustard in my fridge, all from scout campouts. You would think he would get wise and just bring the same one again. I think he's the only scouter in the troop that actually puts any on his hot dog.

    I tend to buy odd things for ingredients and then not make that recipe again. I'll use the hoisin sauce this week on my egg rolls, but idk about that half a jar of tapenade. I guess devilled eggs? A lot of them. :P