Food Waste · Frugal Cooking · Improvising · Reducing Waste

The Tuesday Night Treasure Hunt

The Tuesday Night Treasure Hunt… otherwise known as cleaning out the fridge.  I’m not sure “treasure” is quite the right word for it, but a dose of optimism never hurts, amiright?

Every Tuesday evening, Hubs and I go to the kitchen and root around in the fridge.  I plan our menus for the week, so generally most things get used up.  Not always, though.  Sometimes plans change or things get forgotten about and they need to be unearthed.  Preferably before they grow fur, which explains this being a weekly process.  I have actually learned a lot about the way foods decompose, based on science experiments hiding in my fridge.  {Don’t worry, the fridge was giving a thorough scrubbing after said experiments were removed.}

What we do with what we find has recently changed, however.  Our purpose for doing it in the past was simply to find and toss out whatever didn’t look good anymore.  Or whatever we didn’t think we’d have any use for before it went bad.  Either way, it was a LOT of food waste.  Some weeks were better than others, but rare was the week that something didn’t end up tossed in the trash, often right along with the good intentions that purchased it, since most often it was fresh produce.

It’s more of a treasure hunt now, though, because we actually do find things to use.  We do this on Tuesday evenings because it gives us Wednesday evenings to figure out how to use what we find before grocery day on Thursday.  This week we had a little more than normal, due to a fair bit of changed menu plans for one reason or another.  Happily, though, nothing that we can’t still use up!  This is what we found…

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When I saw the pile, I saw dinner.  The broccoli and carrots will be used as intended, just on a different night.  I will cut them up, steam them until tender, then put a bit of butter or oil on them and put them under the broiler until they are brown.  That will be the side dish.

The peppers and the mushrooms were bought for a dish that never got made, but along with the leftover ham {from ham casserole we had for 2 days], they will make perfect omelette fixins.  We have plenty of eggs in the fridge, and lots of shredded cheese.  That, along with the roasted veggies and a side of toast will make a tasty dinner, one comprised almost entirely of foods we would have thrown out in a former life.  I have to admit, though… there are a few grape tomatoes in a container that are just beyond rescue.  I kept thinking I would eat them and I never did, and it’s just too late.  Time to let them go with a vow to try harder next time.

How do you feel about using up things?  Do you try to use up every thing you buy, or do certain things often end up in the trash?  Do you have any tips for using up those things you find hiding?  Let me know in the comments!

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