As a recipe developer, writer, spokesperson, and media personality, a variety of random foods related to projects find their way into my kitchen. After the third test of a recipe, I might freeze the last batch to enjoy when my taste buds have recovered. I may need only an individual serving of a particular product for a TV segment, so the rest ends up in the freezer. A client may send me a five pound bag of an ingredient when I only needed one. Plus, I buy additional foods for special occasions. Over time, all of this can add up to a freezer ready to burst. Wait, make that freezers. I have a fridge in the garage that I need for overflow. And my husband’s beer.
Each summer we go away for a long vacation. Before each trip I whittle down the food contents of the fridge to the bare minimum in order to prevent waste and return to a clean and pristine icebox. A lightly stocked freezer requires less energy to power and stay cold, and think of all of the money you save by using up food already on hand. Not to mention, once a freezer becomes so full it can be difficult to decipher what is even in there. This summer, though, instead of one long trip I’m taking a number of shorter trips, which so far has led me to get a little lazy with the fridge purge.
But now I have you – my lovely readers - to help keep me accountable and motivate me to get creative designing yummy meals using the foods in my freezer. That is why I’ve decided that for the next 40 days I must consume at least one ingredient from my freezer each day.
The rules I’ve devised are as follows:
1. The ingredient of the day must be one that I don’t already rely on regularly, at least monthly, such as waffles.
2. If I thaw something and discover that it tastes like the freezer, I don’t have to eat it. I will make an effort to find a different ingredient from the freezer for that day.
3. I will not be allowed to buy any more frozen foods during this time, except waffles and the frozen low-cal lunches my husband takes to work.
4. If I don’t prepare any food at home in a given day, I will be exempt for that day.
While I know this exercise will help provide me with a fresh start, I also hope you will gain some new meal ideas. You may even feel inspired to give your freezer a good summer purging.
Won’t you join me?
Happy Friday everybody, and enjoy the weekend ahead.