Cooking my way through the pantry

The other day I decided to make stuffed peppers with quinoa for something different. As I rooted through my pantry, I realized that I had at least 4 bags of quinoa. And 3 kinds of brown rice. And 8 boxes of the same pasta. And barley. And dried chick peas. And kilos of adzuki beans. Then I moved onto the canned goods. I have tomatoes and pumpkin and horror; blood pudding. My baking section is a cornucopia of different flours and nuts and stuff I bought for one project that never worked out. I have bought multigrain flour several times because I couldn’t find the bag in the pantry; that’s how full it is.

There is some random shit in my pantry. Foie gras from france. Juniper berries (why? was I going to make my own gin or something?). No fewer than 8 tins of smoked mussels. I have at least 6 kinds of salt.

And then there’s my freezer downstairs. I have a rough idea that there’s some meat left from the 1/4 cow I split with a friend, but it’s cuts I have never used before. There’s at least 4 lasagnes, some soup stock, frozen vegetables. God knows what else. My fridge is the same… condiments bought for a single purpose, never again to see the light of day.

And yet we are often staring at the fridge saying “there’s nothing to eat”. Well dammit, we have tons of food. I am going to cook it ALL. I am not buying anything except for fresh vegetables, milk and eggs until everything runs out. I am not going to throw away anything in my pantry, and I am not going to throw out leftovers either unless they’re inedible.

Exceptions:

1) I will be buying a turkey and trimmings at Christmas. My family will not forgive me if I make them eat that scary duck blood thing from France.

2) If it’s expired, it’s outta here. I am looking at you, barefoot contessa cupcake mix. No one needs to get sick.

3) I will replace canned things like tomatoes so I am not just eating cruddy dry beans all the time.

4) I will not cook my way through all of my seasonings. There will be no oregano and chicken bullion loaf, for example.

Ok, so here goes.

Tonight we had pork loin chops breaded and baked. I also made a side of tagliatelle with tomato sauce. Pantry ingredients used: bread crumbs, olive oil, sea salt, oregano, pasta, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes.

Then I made cookies. Pantry ingredients used: cocoa, macadamia nuts, almond extract, self rising flour, white flour.

Things I unearthed that made me scared: a lb of sunflower seeds, box of vital wheat gluten, 2 boxes of nutrios (completely flavourless cheerios).

Some time this week I am going to take inventory so I can plan. I probably should have done that before I committed, but that’s what being lazy gets you.

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