I've decided that this week we shall live off what I find in our fridge and freezer. The reasons for this are twofold. Firstly because both are full to bursting and secondly because we're shortly to be receiving a French exchange student and I'd like to be able to stock up on something more interesting than leftover bolognaise sauce (not that my homemade bolognaise sauce isn't quite acceptable) but you know what I mean.
This could be a very interesting exercise as I'm one of those annoying people who doesn't always label the containers I put into the freezer. I'm always confident that I'll be able to recognise the contents by their appearance and smell. I've still not learnt that the process of freezing often alters both beyond recognition. I well remember defrosting what I thought was a juicy stew to go with a bowl of pasta, only to discover that it was stewed apples! Not a good combination.
Still, so far so good. Last night I defrosted a chicken breast which I roasted with olive oil and tarragon to go with the girls' couscous salad in their lunch boxes. This evening Alan and I had a puy lentil and vegetable risotto type dish. The girls had a curry. It was unlabelled. I thought it was chicken but it turned out to be beef in a aromatic coconut sauce, which was fine.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
The reason my fridge/freezer is so full is that I rarely throw anything away. Portions of leftover stew, sauces, roast meat etc are packed into containers, labelled (if they're lucky) and buried in the freezer. Smaller amounts find their way to the fridge, ingredients for the next pan of soup, sandwich or stir fry. Alan is an expert at concocting a delicious meal from a combination of most unpromising scraps. His stir frys are legendary. My dad was good with leftovers too. Could it be a man thing? Or maybe it has to do with them both being Scottish?
I've discovered a very helpful website called Love Food Hate Waste. Sponsored by WRAP its aim is to help us shop and cook efficiently and advice on how to use up anything that does get left over. Apparently we throw away about a third of all the food we buy which is a criminal waste, especially in a world where we can no longer expect to have quite as much as we are used to.