No Shopping: Halfway Through

We’ve reached the midpoint of my no-shopping project, and, well, we still have a buttload of food laying around.


We’ve eaten through a lot of rice, all the remaining bulgur, some pasta, most of the tuna, a few cans of tomatoes, and a few other things in the pantry, but it’s still looking pretty loaded in there. I have hardly baked at all, so the pastry supply shelf is just as packed as it was on the first of the month…but I’ll be baking a lot over the next couple of weeks, so that should help.

The side-by-side freezer is also still pretty loaded. We’ve used up some stock, some Asian pork braising liquid, some ground pork, a package of frozen spinach, and some peas, but there’s still tons of food laying around waiting to be consumed.

The fridge is filled with leftovers from this week: kibbeh, red pine chicken, rice. There are also strawberries and fresh pineapple taking up some room. Plus, we have the usual complement of beverages, salad vegetables and condiments. There are lots of eggs because I picked up some to prepare for my son’s birthday party next weekend. I also got some free eggs and some free sour cream from Wegman’s coupons that I’ll use for something or the other. Maybe.

The chest freezer has gone down a little as we’ve eaten some of the different proteins and breads that were stowed in there, but there’s still local rose veal bones for demi-glace, enormous sacks of North Carolina corn grits, slabs of bar cookies, containers of stock, and plenty of chicken parts and shrimp to go around.

I think the “emergency rations” of turkey chili in the big container will come out of the chest freezer next week. I am also considering grinding up all the beef short ribs and the hunk of beef chuck I have squirreled away for burgers at my son’s party. We can also grill some chicken. This way, I may get away with buying only things like hot dogs and buns. (Hot dogs are a huge favorite of the boy’s, and I don’t have any on hand.)

I’m starting to stagger under the weight of this “first world problem” I have with buying and storing food. I taught a cooking class recently. I kept mentioning as I worked that you should save this bit and that bit–the stems of shiitake mushrooms, the shells and tails of shrimp, corn cobs after cutting off the corn–so you can extract more flavor out of them in the form of a stock or pan sauce later. It got to where every time I uttered the word “freezer” everybody would titter. I still think it’s important to save all those little bits, but it’s not that helpful if you don’t get around to using them up before they’re consumed by freezer burn. It’s also not that helpful to buy proteins on sale if I never work them into our menus.

I hope that by the end of the month there will be a more noticeable depletion of food in play. We’ll see how it goes.


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