Sunday, 1 May 2016

Day 16. May 1st 2016

This is the apple pie I made using the big giant bag of Red Delicious apples I scored from the work fridge a week ago.  I still have some apples left and must figure out another cooking option for them.

There was a punnet of blueberries in the fridge, and I threw this in at the last minute, too. [Translation for Northern Hemisphere English speakers - a 'punnet' is the small container in which berries and other small fruits are often sold].

The pie is delightful, if very rich and sweet.  I made a rich shortcrust pastry, which was very difficult to work with as it kept breaking.  In truth, I don't think the base of the pie has baked adequately enough, but there was so much liquid in the filling when I cut into it (just after snapping the photo above), that nothing can be done about that for now.  I will need to experiment on the shortcrust shells to improve the quality.  Plenty of time for that.

This pie is ginormous and even though I have had two servings for lunch, no less (dessert for lunch is highly recommended but for rare occasions only), it's going to last days!  I may take some to work this week as my colleagues are being most helpful with my cook n' eat pantry declutter program.  :)

I spent a huge amount of groceries this past week.  That sucked.  Admittedly, most of it was food for the cat, but I also bought wine and cheese.  WHY did I buy cheese?  I have no idea other than I get quite panicked when i start getting low on cheese in my fridge.  It's almost an instinctual response to make sure I have "enough" cheese in the house.  There's this job being advertised in the USA for a Cheese Librarian!  I probably should apply, eh?  My cooking world does tend to revolve around the use of cheese in many recipes I select.  I never knew this about myself before I started this journey.  Fascinating.

Since the family have gone, I've been buying just the small 500ml cartons of fresh milk, but have found I am not even going through this much and it's languishing for too long past the use by date.  I have since bought some tiny UHT long-life milks to store in the pantry for the occasions when I need milk.  Even then, I realised after I'd bought them, that I had a bag of skim milk powder left in the pantry.  I've been using this for muffins but didn't even consider that milk powder, when mixed with water, makes....milk!  D'oh!  Stupidity runs supreme with my stock control skills.

My friend gave me leftovers from one of her meals last week, too.  We were commenting about how important it is for single people to get together and share their meals!  It's a practice that should be encouraged.  I know lots of singles like to go "out" to eat together, but the practice of sharing a basic homemade meal with other single friends (and couples too, where possible), really does develop community, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of "family."   Important, yes? I think so.  Aside from the fact that so many recipes are built to cater for 4 or more generous servings, food waste is a significant consideration in all of this too.  If one can't face more than 2 or 3 servings over the period of a few days, then sharing the burden, brings variety without waste into the diet.  Good stuff.  If you're single, invite your friends over for dinner when you're cooking - if convenient.

So where am I up to.  I have some mini frittatas I made yesterday still left over in the fridge.  I stupidly used cupcake papers in the muffin tins for these and now the paper has sort of melded into the frittata and takes some peeling off.  Won't be sharing these.  I can still eat them, but they're a bit of a pain at present as the paper peeling takes some care to do properly.

My freezer is still stuffed.  Oh! And I bought ice cream.  Le sigh.  It IS Magnum ice tubs...and it's chocolate... and it's ice cream.... can I justify this anymore than necessary?  It's ICE CREAM PEOPLE!  A life staple.

I have really only used up a small container of cooked curry this week from the freezer.  I have some copha in there that I'm thinking I might get out and make chocolate crackles with.  I have this huge box of rice bubbles in the pantry that I just won't eat otherwise.  Besides, chocolate crackles are always a crowd pleaser - especially if the crowd are aged 10 and under.  These might be a nice gesture for the neighbour's kids.  :)

So apart from the shameful spend at the NQR this week (for which I really want to blame my gluttonous cat); one in which I went outside of my weekly spend goal by way, way too much (I bought a LOT of butter!), and in which I bought wine and cheese in bulk... I'm tracking slower than anticipated.  And, as I'm eager to confess my grocery-purchasing sins today, I also had a bit of a buy up at Darriwill Farm in Hamilton.  They had some ridgy-didge Italian quality pizza flour (a strong bread-making flour) on sale and they sell Bagdad Dressing.  Yes! I'm blushing with the hypocrisy.  A pox on my grand intentions and all that.

I'm wondering if I need a different strategy?  I thought I'd be tackling freezer next after fridge, but the fridge is a mutable object,  it empties, fills, empties, fills and even though I have things in there I do need to use - and soon (I'm looking at you bottle of Fish Sauce and bottle of Sambal Oeleck!), I think I need to use pantry items simultaneously with both fridge and freezer in combination.

So perhaps I might have a bit of a look at Asian cuisine this next few weeks, because this will help with the above ingredient use and help use up the bags of rice I've accumulated...somehow!

I can't even think about junk food these days.  Interestingly, my passionate cause to control my personal food waste habits has totally nixed my love of KFC and Subway.  The thought of eating take away feels....wasteful at present.  I'm sure it won't always be like this, but for now, the thought of paying extra for food I've not made myself, is, well, kind of appalling.  That is an unexpected twist.

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