As we prepare to go #thataway for the year, we've been busy fixing up our house for our tenant, decluttering all the extra "stuff" that accumulates in closets, shelves and basements after 10 years in a house. It has been an interesting exercise in deciding, detachment, and ditching.
We've also needing to decide what to do with the remaining food in our pantry and freezer. This includes:
a surplus of Italian tomato sauce that we've canned over the years;
a surfeit of tomato soup stock -- a by-product of the aforementioned tomato sauce production process --- that we canned or froze, but somehow never got around to using;
several kilograms of various dried beans and sundry lentils at the back of our pantry -- carbon-dating test-results revealed that they may have migrated here from our last apartment, circa 2003...
umpteen bottles of exotic Chinese, Thai or Mexican sauces that we probably aren't going to finish before we head off on August 1;
still more lentils, pulses, peas and beans -- what we're we thinking?;
remnants of baking ingredients: flour, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, some unidentified seeds that probably boost your something or other;
20 kg of Thai rice that we had cached in the basement in anticipation of either Y2K Part 2 or the Harper-Zombie Apocalypse, I forget which...
spices, spices and more spices!
So as not to waste these still-useful foodstuffs, we've undertaken Operation Mother Hubbard -- a multi-sectoral, all-of-household approach to cooking, using or other-wise disposing of these treasures from our cupboards. This operation began initially with a festival of pasta and minestrone, until the kids asked us to stop.
It continued with Trish dutifully inventorying all the items in our pantry on a "DO NOT under any circumstances buy more of these items" list. Whenever we finish any item, we gleefully cross it off our list.
But of course, as this list gets shorter, the menu combinations get weirder: What, pray tell, can we make tonight using oyster sauce, bread crumbs, split peas and dijon mustard?
Other items have been "re-gifted" to appreciative (or otherwise) neighbours, and the remainder has been consigned to that great-big-compost-pile-in-the-sky -- well, actually just at the back of the garden. With this rich legacy of lentils, we currently are buying only fresh food items -- milk, cheese, yogurt, fruit and vegetables, etc.
So if you happen to be passing by and would like a bottle of Sriracha sauce, do let us know.....