Friday, January 22, 2016

Pantry Challenge Begins in 2016

Ahh yes, tis the new year, and the pantry challenge starts anew!

One thing I did over the new year’s break was clean out the freezer. It seemed we always had so much food in there, but nothing I could ever pull out quickly and eat.

So I opened it and began tossing and it was humbling.
Giant freezer-burned chunks of things, tons of frozen ice-covered berries, an army of blackened shriveled bananas that were to be used for smoothies, ginger and bags of vegs from 2013 and lots and lots of ice packs.

No wonder I could barely get the door shut.

For about 15 hand-numbing minutes, I tossed and said goodbye to things I thought I would eat.
And I learned about my own habits. I tend to shove things in the freezer that I think I am going to waste or won’t eat, so I thought if I shoved it in the freezer I'd get back to it eventually.

So, out went the wilty bananas and freezer burned items. I bought fresh berries and ginger and labeled it. I stocked up on new vegetables at the 10 for 10$ sale. I got some frozen espresso bars to replace ice cream.

The freezer looks great now. I can see all I have at a glance, and have been using items up and replacing them on sale (chicken breasts, ground beef, etc)

Then I moved down to the fridge!!

Out went the jam jars with a smidge of jelly left, out went the various things my husband bought at the farmers market and we didn’t eat, out went the soy sauce I bought down the shore in 2014. Seriously. How was this stuff still living in here taking up space, looking innocuous?!
I recycled the jars and some I kept for making salads and keeping fruit in weekly.

Out went the packets of mini ketchups and soy sauce and duck sauce from last year. Gone!
Fridge looks and smells fresher- not that it smelled bad, it just has a better feel.

Then over to the pantry! (I was on a roll!)
I began to piece together dinners and lunches from items that were in there and had a cook-off day.

Now, Snowmaggedon2016 looms-the first big snow of the entire winter season in Philly.  
Instead of going nuts at the store, I did get some milk and bread because I DO want French toast, lol, and some pretzels, but we have enough food here, and it’s really just another weekend. This snowstorm is (supposed to) arrive after Friday rush hour and end Sunday. Just enough time to dig out and be back at work on Monday morning at 7:30am!

I'll be soaking black beans to make soup, I have chicken stock but will also be making veggie stock, baking cookies, and making up french toast for breakfast with real maple syrup we got at our wedding a few months ago. 

I'm also rearranging a few kitchen things too this weekend, putting in a small vintage deeper bookshelf to hold things that I have to go digging for or up high. Must find a place for the microwave tho…

So stay tuned dear readers, and stay safe!

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