Sunday, 17 April 2016

Day 2: April 17 2016

This morning I wondered what the heck I was going to do with the veggies languishing in my crisper. The idea of it being a "crisper" is a complete misnomer, as they generally shrivel into soggy, festering, fur-growing semblages of their former selves. Poor veggies!

So anyway, I decided I could make some veggie stock.

Now two days ago, before I had this whim of an idea about eating my way through my pantry and food stocks - as opposed to just spending squillions on "groceries" I don't actually need every week, I happened to buy a swede and a parsnip. I had no real proper idea other than at the time I think "I might make soup" on my mind. A fleeting justification but which triggered the purchase anyway. 

Ergo... there is now a big old batch of veggie stock in the slow cooker which will take a few hours to mellow out. I'll freeze it into containers for future use.

The idea around this challenge is starting to get me excited. I'm eager to see just *how* creative one can be as the pantry begins to diminish in scope and scale. Before I really even get to all the cans and packets of things in said pantry, I do need to consider how to get my freezer into a useable state. It's quite cluttered at present and I have plenty of stuff in there that needs to be eaten - some of it soon, if one were following good food storage practices (I never have!). I have the left over Chow Mein I cooked last Wednesday in the fridge and while I probably *should* have another serve of it today (I was supposed to last night, but couldn't face it and ate a bowl of ramen noodles instead! At least there's none of those left in my pantry now!). I think I'll freeze another serve of the chow mein and have the rest for dinner on some toast.

I've frozen down my packet of wholemeal bread slices into bags of 4 slices a piece. It means I don't really need to be buying bread. Besides, I want to practice making my own. I am thinking foccacia might be an option!

I bought a massive - I mean massive - bottle of canola oil in that shopping jaunt the other day! Heaven knows why? I mean, chances are, it's the worst possible oil one could buy but - oh well - once its gone, back to good quality olive oil I will go. At least I know I can always make some dog biscuits for my friend's doggie! He quite seemed to enjoy them.

So as I was saying, the aim of this exercise is to totally reduce what I already have available down to a manageable and sensible amount of pantry goods and fridge/freezer capacities. I'm living on my own, so all this overstuffed consumerist greed is a sign of needing to do something! I will aim to limit grocery spending on food for home (this won't apply to my two lunches a week that I choose to buy should I want to), to about $10-$15 a week tops. I should only need to get the barest minimum essentials required to ensure I can actually use what I have here at home in a recipe or meal. It might be a packet of mince, or a chop, or a tomato, carrot or peach... just whatever it is that I genuinely need to make a food preparation work. I will try to invent, extrapolate on recipes and so on where I can. I'm not a particularly imaginative cook, and much prefer flexing written recipes where possible but this will be good training I think.

I'm a bit excited by the prospect of this challenge. It's quite different to any kind of challenge I've done before (and never completed). There's no guarantee that I can finish this one (I've given myself a tick sheet of 70 days!)

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