Cleaning out the Kitchen: Day 9, 10, 11

I don’t have a ton to say about the next three days of Don’t Waste the Crumbs cleaning out the kitchen challenge. And it took me a while to get through Day 9Clean Out the Pantry & Cupboards. So I’m rolling these into one.

 

Day 9

The reason it took so long was every time I thought I had all of the pantry stuff unpacked, I found more. So here’s what it looks like today:

pantry And that’s not really going to change in the near future. Or rather, it is going to change: Every. Time. I Find. More. Food.

This overabundance of pantry items did come in handy on the week when we didn’t have a lot of extra money and managed to spend nothing on groceries (actually less than nothing if you count the return I made at CVS that week). We didn’t have to buy produce because there was (and still is) various canned fruits and veggies. In our meal planning, I’ve started looking to the pantry first and making meals based on what we have there.

While I cleaned the pantry before we put anything into it, I don’t feel confident in organizing it because, well, there’s still so many bins that haven’t been unpacked.

 
 

Day 10

Day 10 was Create a Signature Company Dish, and I almost threw this one out because it’s been so long since we’ve had guests regularly for dinner. (One of the hazards of being on the evening shift.) But I thought about it and realized that maybe if we had a go-to meal that I could prep in advance and have on hand, having company over wouldn’t feel so daunting.

At one time, my go-to dish was stir fry over rice. It’s easy enough to throw everything in the pan while the rice is cooking and have a whole meal in 30 minutes. Chop some fresh fruit on the side and you’ve got a pretty decent meal. I was having friends over every Wednesday (one of my days off) and we’d have stir fry at least once a month. The thing that I love about stir fry is you can chop all of your produce and meat in advance and throw it in the freezer. It’s just a matter of throwing it in a pan after that. Plus, if you go heavy on veggies and pair it with rice, it’s not a very expensive dish.

That’s the parameter that I’ll be planning company meals around: Not so much meat that I feel the need to be stingy, lots of produce and whole grains, and it should be something I can make in advance. Maybe ask guests to bring a desert.

The things that seem to fit these parameters are casserole, stew and stir fry. Any other suggestions?

Day 11

I’ll admit, I read through all the entries in Don’t Waste the Crumbs’ cleaning out the kitchen challenge before I started, so I knew Day 11 was coming. For this challenge, Use Food Twice, I’ve been throwing vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer. When I get enough, I’ll use them to flavor soup. I’ve also set aside some beet juice (from a can of beets) to add to the soup. It’ll give it an odd color, but it packs a flavor punch.

This series

Oct. 4 – Clean out the fridge
Oct. 5-6 – Eat the old stuff
Oct. 7 – Create a grocery budget
Oct. 9 – Ditch hydrogenated oils
Oct. 10-12 – Clean out the Freezer
Oct. 13 – Eat a Simple Meal
Oct. 14 – Make money
Oct. 20 – Bake Bread Plan meals for one week
Oct. 30 – Clean out the pantry and cupboards; Create a signature company dish; Use food twice
Oct. 30 – Clean out the pantry and cupboards; Create a signature company dish; Use food twice
Oct. 31 – Budget check-in
Nov. 1 – All the rest

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