Hello, my name is Cyndi, and I'm a food hoarder.
I think. I wonder if any of you are like me: I have way too much food in my refrigerator, my freezer, and my cabinets. I am challenging myself to use what I have on hand for two full months
We came back from a 3-week trip in our RV to New Mexico and Arizona, and I did what I always do: I went to the commissary and spent $200. I went to Costco and spent $100 - mostly on meat. Then I ordered produce from Washington Produce (a local wholesaler that recently opened a retail outlet) for $30. Then, I "took inventory." I keep a notebook - a list of all the meats and vegetables on hand, from which I make a master list of all meals, meatless as well, that can be made from what I have. I realized that I could probably cook wholesome meals for 3 months - 3 MONTHS - with everything I have, replenishing only a few items of produce.
Exactly a year ago I did this, but only posted 3 times about it. I don't recall why I stopped. I'll try to do better.
Now that I've made that statement, I need to decide the rules for my personal challenge. Here are my rules from last year:
1. I can buy milk, eggs, and butter/margarine when I run out.
2. I can buy the significant condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) when I run out, unless it's something I can make from scratch. And no, I'm not going to make ketchup from scratch. : )
3. I can buy lettuce, tomatoes, and other salad-related produce when needed. But I need to use up a lot of frozen and canned veggies, so no immediate purchases of other vegetables.
4. When the side dishes get very slim, I can purchase FRESH vegetables only.
5. I get to make up my own rules as I go along, since this is my challenge.
6. I will try to make healthy foods. TRY.
To those rules, I'm going to add coffee and creamer. Gotta have coffee and creamer.
I have a lot of items that have been in the freezer for months that need to be used before I buy more of them: mixed berries, cherries, peas, blueberries, spinach. Speaking of spinach - since I'm thinking out loud here - I picked up a bag of spinach balls at a Wal-Mart in Whitehorse, Yukon, this summer. One of those balls is the perfect size for mixing in 5 scrambled eggs for Don and me. I looked for spinach balls here in the states, but can't find them. Does anyone know where I can find them? It's not a big deal - I can use little slices from boxed frozen spinach - but those little balls are perfect.
I have nearly 10 pounds of flour on hand, my sugar canister is full, and there's plenty of butter in the fridge. So I have basics. I was going through my recipes the other day and realized that there are hundreds of dessert items that can be made just from basics - I call them "pantry desserts." One excellent example is Chocolate Cobbler. I always have flour, sugar, butter, and cocoa powder. (As a matter of fact, I bought a large bag of cocoa powder at a bulk food store last month. I'm set!) I also have a box of 10 Pilsbury pie crusts in the freezer - got them at Costco - and not only can I make pies, I can use some of them for quiche!
Breakfast: We currently have 3 dozen Panera bagels in the freezer downstairs, two boxes of Nutrigrain Waffles (I like to make a sandwich with cream cheese and some jam), and lots of breads and rolls. I'll replenish the eggs when they run out. As for breakfast meats - I have TONS. Bacon, sausage links, bulk sausage, little smokies, Spam, Canadian bacon - enough for what we call "big breakfast" for several months. (I make "big breakfast" about twice a week. The rest of the time we eat the bagels or have small breakfasts like egg sandwiches with some kind of meat.)
Lunch: I think I need to get creative here. I get tired of lunchmeat and cheese sandwiches, and we're not always in the mood for soup. Yes, we eat leftovers, since many of my favorite recipes are for 4-6 people, but I bet I have quite a supply of fixings for some different lunches. I recently subscribed to Eating Well and Family Circle magazines to assist a friend's daughter in a fundraiser, and I bet I can find great ideas there. Well, those and Google searches!
I will try to post every day or every two days with what we've been eating and how I'm doing on my personal challenge.