Using up food - Yankee 2.0
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Using up food

I recently discovered a blog called The Non-Consumer Advocate whose motto is "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I've been focusing on using up food recently. I've got all sorts of weird ingredients sitting around the fridge and the cupboard that I either bought for a specific recipe or got because I thought it looked interesting. I happen to think that spices last much longer than their expiration dates, but I did notice that I have some non-spice items that are getting sort of long in the tooth. So I'm concocting recipes where I can use these things up so that I don't have to wait until they go bad and then throw them out.

Sometimes when I buy a special ingredient for a recipe, I think of it as "really special" and don't want to waste it by using it. I realize this is kind of irrational -- it's much more wasteful to buy it and not use it! I don't want to get bogged down by foodstuffs that I'm not using regularly, so I'm going to try to put more thought into my ingredients purchases. I tend to make mostly the same things, and I tend to like pretty similar food -- either really simple stuff like eggs and potatoes, or stuff that doesn't require fancy ingredients like Italian food, or delicious Indian food which is kind of complicated, but I do have all those spices on hand -- so I think I'll try to curtail my purchases of ingredients outside the regular rotation, so that I won't have any more five year old bottles of mustard oil that I'll have to try to make use of in the future. 




joie de vivre said:

I have found that we eat some foods mostly in the winter, and others in the summer, so I do a spring clear-out to finish the last of the dry beans, rolled oats, bread-making flour, and other winter staples which I generally buy at the bulk store. The bulk store lets us scoop out any amount, so you can buy just a tiny amount of spices, if that's all you need. There's also minimal advertising and brands at the bulk store (referring to your blog post about advertising); just generic raisins, rice, etc. I have had the same experience as you, with weird ingredients, and now I try not to do any impulse buying unless it's a few tablespoons of spice or new variety of loose tea, 25 cents worth at the bulk store.

In spring, summer, and fall, we enjoy the fresh local foods (including some that we grow) and the fridge is stuffed with seasonal produce. It's easier not to waste it, when we've had very few fresh tomatoes, watermelon, plums, etc. all winter. It seems like a huge treat to have them now.

When fall comes again, there will be baked potatoes: mmm, haven't had them since last winter!

July 18, 2011 7:24 PM

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