Waste

8 Apr

Today I went through my refrigerator and tossed out many food items – most unopened.  I feel horrible, wasteful, and incredibly guilty.  Here, I’ve spent my family’s money on groceries, that instead of providing meals and nourishment – they have been thrown away.  On top of that, I’ve wasted precious resources – and not to mention that there are people who are starving!  I feel like a failure.  I set goals and they were far from reached.  This seems to be a problem of mine.  I can see how I want things, and at times I can get it pretty well planned – but I often times lack the execution of these goals.  There are several issues that contribute to this poor trait, but mostly I just need practice and learning.  I’ve only recently began my interest in cooking more substantial, hearty meals.  I have turned out some delicious homemade food, but not consistently.  When I do cook something, I am slow and it takes me much longer than the time given on the recipe.  I realize this has a lot to do with my inexperience, but it can sure drag out the process and make for some later-than-planned meals. 

Another aspect that I have issues with is not having an organized fridge/freezer.  I’ll buy some meat for a meal I picked out and put it in the freezer if I’m not cooking it right away.  Then, some time will pass and I’ll realize later that there is some meat in the freezer.  Then I’m likely to toss it because I don’t know if it’s OK to eat anymore (better safe than sorry thinking).  More often, I’m tossing out food that was partially used in some recipe, but wants you to use in 10 days – chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, basil, rosemary, cream cheese, juice, and other such items.  This happens especially with produce.  Fruit & vegetables are constantly going to mush in my fridge.  It’s particularly hard for me – as far as planning goes – because my husband doesn’t have a 9 – 5 job.  He owns his own construction business, so he gets home at varying times.  This makes it difficult to know when to have the food ready.  I also don’t seem to have a repertoire of go-to meals when dinner needs to be fairly simple.

I love food.  Good food.  Quality food.  I love to read cookbooks and collect recipes.  I love the thought of homeade meals.  Cooking for my familiy.  Gathering at the table.  I love all the aspects of cooking, and I enjoy cooking itsself.  So what is the hold up?  Why do I continue to let myself down?  I don’t know, this post seems to be tending towards rattling off some scatterbrained thoughts.  I hope you’re getting a semi-clear picture of my roadblocks to consistent homemade meals.  Please, offer up any advice that works for you – I really want to be successful at this.  It’s important to me.   

© Rock Creek Farm 2008
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10 Responses to “Waste”

  1. Rosehaven Cottage April 10, 2008 at 1:13 am #

    We have had the same problem and it feels horrible, doesn’t it? I did find some helpful tools at http://www.flylady.net in helping me to organize myself better so I don’t lose track of things (particularly in the fridge). Maybe you’ll find it helpful too.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

  2. Paige April 10, 2008 at 8:18 am #

    Hello Cindy! Ya know, I have actually looked at that sight, but like four or so years ago. I should look again and see what I can glean from it. Lots I’m guessing! Thanks for the comment!

  3. christy O April 10, 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    I went through this when I first started cooking everything from scratch. It is hard at first! What helped me was to start planning weekly menus and only buying what I need for that week. Also, freezing a lot of stuff. Those partially used things that you should only keep for 10 days? Freeze them and they last a long time. Meat in the freezer shouldn’t need to be thrown away unless it is totally freezer burned. It won’t go bad, but it might taste bad. This will take at least a year to occur. I’ve got meat in the freezer that has been there a year and is fine. I freeze veggies too when I buy them, then I don’t have to worry about them going bad and they are still quick and easy to cook. Hang in there! It will get easier.

  4. Paige April 14, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    Hello Christy O! Thanks for the helpful comment. Freezing is something I really need to do more of. And I had no idea meat could stay good for that long! Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Kris April 15, 2008 at 11:36 pm #

    Hi there!! I found you through Children in the Corn – and I can so relate to throwing lots of stuff away. I’ve finally (in the last couple of weeks) hit upon the plan – if I cook it and there are leftovers, I freeze it to use later – or make sure I pack it for lunches in hubby’s and mine (when I was working) and my daughter’s lunches. I’m slowly getting better. And 2 nights a week, we have leftover nights (usually Tuesday and Friday) when we all eat something different, and if I need something to fill in, I do hamburgers or homemade pizza. Most stuff freezes pretty decent, and I quit buying lunch meat to force us to eat leftovers for lunch. Hope this helps!!!

    Kris

  6. Paige April 16, 2008 at 2:12 am #

    Hi Kris! Glad you stopped by! You offered some excellent tips. I certainly need to be better about leftovers, and I really like the ‘leftover nights’ idea. I’m going to use that one. It’ll be a great idea for my husband’s lunches too, as he tires of sandwiches pretty quickly. Thanks so much for the great advice!!

  7. christy O April 17, 2008 at 12:58 am #

    Instead of calling it leftover night, call it ala carte night. Makes it sound fancier and more appealing. We do this at least once a week, something twice if I’ve cooked a lot that week.

  8. Paige April 18, 2008 at 1:23 am #

    A la Carte – that’s what I’m going to use. It’ll help rewire my brain into not thinking as leftovers with a negative connotation!

  9. Kate April 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    I agree with a previous comment that the best way to avoid wasting food is to plan meals, buy for those meals, and then actually cook them! We don’t have children, but we do have otherwise chaotic lives and most of the time I multiply recipes x 3 and freeze the remainder using our Food Saver vacuum.

    I have a list of go-to weekday recipes I can share if you are interested, just send me an email.

  10. Paige April 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Thanks Kate for your great suggestions! Actually cooking them – that’s pretty straight forward, and yet it’s not what always happens. I think that’s what it comes down to though…I just need to cook the meals I planned!

    Freezing meals would be great for us. There are times when I just don’t feel like cooking and being able to pull a homemade meal out of the freezer would be so much better than pulling out a frozen boxed pizza – yuck.

    I am interested in the go-to meals! I’ll send an email your way. Thanks!!

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