Shelf Awareness

Last night, I cleaned out the fridge.  Typically, I do that before I go grocery shopping, but in this case, because of the "weather event", I didn't have the opportunity. 

It should be noted that we have eaten out twice this week, and usually, we do a little more than that, so - it's a bit of an outlier.  I also bought a lot of food because of the aforementioned weather event.  That said, here are some trends I noticed.

Pickles.  I don't eat that many pickles.  Matt does.   We had about five jars of pickles that were, at this point, mostly brine.  Now, I read a thing online recently that said you should use all your brines for marinade.  I don't think there's much call for pickle infused chicken.  Maybe I'm wrong.  I did some consolidating and we're down to two jars.  I don't need to get pickles any time soon.  This same phenomenon is true with jarred jalapenos. 

Mustard.  We love our mustard in this household.  I think we have about six different kinds.  I need to stop getting the weird flavored stuff, with the exception of jalapeno.  That one gets a thumbs-up.

Leftovers.  I cook too much and probably too often.  I actually love leftovers.  I'll bag them and take them for lunch. I could eat the same thing every day for a week.  Matt is less inclined - he needs variety.  And that's fine - I just need to learn to cook in smaller portions.  But the things I love cooking most - particularly in winter, are things that make giant portions.  Soups, chili, spaghetti. It's hard to figure out the balance.  Sometimes, Matt and I can kill off the spaghetti sauce that I make in one meal.  Sometimes, I have enough for a meal and one leftover.  Sometimes, I have a ton of sauce that never gets eaten.  And that's making the same amount every single time.  So, who knows.  Maybe I need to freeze things.

Frozen Thngs:  Unless it's something I use every day, once it goes into the freezer, there's a good chance we won't see it again any time soon.  I probably could have survived this weather using only items from our pantry and freezer.  It would have been weird, but it could have been done. I need to clean out the freezer and organize it - then I could actually effectively freeze and use leftovers.

Fruits and Vegetables:  I love fresh vegetables.  I like cutting and chopping and all that.  Typically, and specifically when I'm dieting, I'll get a bunch of carrots and celery and cut and bag them at the start of the week.  That way, I can grab and go every morning.  I do the same with grapes.  Peppers sometimes, too.  Maybe I should treat meat the same way - just have portions ready to cook every night.  Or,  cook a lot of chicken, plain, and use the cooked meat in recipes all week.  One of the downfalls of leftovers is that with leftover spaghetti sauce, there's only so much you can do with it.  With a leftover portion of plain, cooked ground beef, you have more options.  This is practical, but seems completely unappealing.

Plan to Plan:  One of the nice things about traveling less is that I can cook more.  One thing I've done is institute Taco Tuesday - so that every Tuesday, I know, within a genre, what I'm cooking.  It may be tostadas, or quesadillas or taco salad, but that's the basic gist of Tuesdays.  So, maybe:

Meat n Three Mondays

Taco Tuesdays

Whatever is in the Freezer Wednesdays

Throw it on the Grill Thursdays

Find it in the Fridge Fridays

Should We Order Pizza Saturdays

Salmonella Sundays

Or not.  I like the freedom to do my own thing.

Even though we have some leftovers in the fridge, tonight I will be making tortellini soup.  It's hearty, delicious and easy.  It's one of the few soups that Matt considers a standalone meal.  I think, as a rule, women like soup more than men.  It's fine.  It's just something I noticed.

The roads are pretty crap, but I wouldn't mind getting out of the house and picking up some bread to go with dinner.  It's not going to happen, I don't think.

I have definitely noticed that when we're both home for any amount of time, I run the dishwasher at least once a day.  The trash fills up faster.  But, I have definitely shed a few pounds during our exile.  It's been worth it from that perspective.  Even if I feel like I haven't had social contact in weeks.

The unsugaring is going...OK.  I came really close to making a sweet potato marshmallow dessert mix that I have a box of in the cabinet.   But I know it wouldn't scratch the itch.  And once you start scratching, it's hard to stop.  If I eat enough protein, I am good to go.  I'll have breakfast soon, maybe take a nice hot shower, get dressed.  At the moment, I'm working from bed.  I have some sciatic pain from falling down the other day, and staying warm and mostly horizontal doesn't suck.

That's what I have for today.  Carry on.  Stay warm.