Saturday, 27 January 2018

Food - January 2018

My monthly task for January 2018 was Food:
"Go through all leftovers and remains in cupboards, storage, freezer, and fridge. Use everything dated by the previous year, look especially at spices."

Eating all food that is already paid for and brought into the house,  is one of the most efficient ways to reduce food expenses.  
It also reduces food waste, lowers the environmental impact and creates attention to consumption of food - including all sorts of issues with a persons relationship to food.
We normally eat out all cabinets before we turn everything off and leave for summer vacation. This year we instead ate our food souvenirs for the winter holidays. With a little bit of planning, we went into January with almost empty food storages (except breakfast oatmeal flakes that was bulked for the coming year last summer. The only thing left in the freezer were herbs harvested from the balcony during the summer (mint, parsley and saliva) and home-baked bread (using up all opened flour packages). The only thing left in the fridge were pickled herring, soy sauce, bottled lemon and sirop to mix lemonade. 

The clear out started with a quick go through of all food storage, while making a quick list of things we ought to eat. This included all fresh food and vegetables, everything frozen and everything of unknown age, all opened packages, as well as anything with lower storage time than unlimited. 
That gave us a list with opened cans of different curry pastes, picked cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes, chillies, mustards as well as different vegetables. Spices were gone through and anything with very little left, was added to the list.

Combining them for a new dish or adding at least one of them to lunches and dinners became a sport. 
Anybody who could use up something got to strike it off the list and was handsomely complimented.

We also decided to make our own ice-cream with the (in the last year unused) electrical ice-cream machine. The man is an ice-cream fan, especially with chocolate and whipped cream. I don't really like either. He likes the idea of making his own and I encourage that. All ice-cream eaten in the latest years has been bought. 
Finally making home made ice-cream for our new years guest the result was delicious but a) it's not worth the work b) it's not worth the money c) it's not worth the calories and d) the xffing thing doesn't even work properly! Even the man has finally declared the ice-cream machine useless and it (will any day soon) be moved to the bag where we collect electric and electrical waste before it will be taken to the city collection point.

The total amount of space cleared up in the kitchen after this clear out is astonishing.We really do not need to build more cabinet space!
We used the after-holiday sales to stock up with storage food in bulk and bought: rice (four different types), pasta (three types), beans (three different kinds in cans), lentils (two types), couscous, bulgur (two types) and polenta (only fine grain). This ,with the Japanese and Asian styled food and condiments, sets us up with the resources to quickly and easily cook from scratch.

Such as pancakes with cheese for breakfast today.


  1. This is another of your good ideas. I'll see if I can get the rest of the household to cooperate.

    1. This is truly a lifestyle event that everybody in the house need to feel comfortable about - making lists of all the meals that can be made from food already in the house can be a way to start building food security.

    2. I wanted to add: we actually did not have to throw any food out. We ate it all.