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Week 5: Spring clean week

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:31 AM by Dinner Lady   [ updated Feb 19, 2013, 11:49 AM ]
Give the contents of your kitchen cupboards and fridge a real spring clean - at Four and a half bellies we are going to try our best to save some tins, jars and packets from the bin by rolling up our sleeves, reaching behind all the newly bought produce and exploring what's lurking at the back.  To do this we will:

  • ditch the recipe books and grab the "how to cook" books - remembering basic cooking principles so that we can be imaginative and create meals out of what we've already got
  • take 'best before' dates with a large pinch of salt - I will revert to my more primeval skills of sniffing, looking and tasting to check that produce is ok to eat.  If it's not green, not fizzing and not moving I'm eating it.  
  • using the internet to find recipes that I can cook using the produce I already have rather than using recipe books to write shopping lists for extra food we don't need
How we're doing:
  • Terribly! I don't think we've saved any money this week (4th-11th Feb) from larder spring cleaning, but we have saved some money and food from the bin through using up left overs and bits and bobs about to go off.
  • This week I have worked almost every day. The kitchen has been out of use because the work tops have been sanded and oiled. And with sore throats all round, shining a torch to the back of the larder to see what tins might need using up has not been high priority.  We've just been using fresh fruit and veg, stuff from the freezer and generally anything to get us through the week. 
  • Thinking about it, was probably not the right week to do a Spring Clean Week. Will therefore do it next week. 
  • Next week....Spring Clean week has frankly looked more like Christmas Sales week, with lots of dashing off to buy totally inappropriate items in a frenzy.  We have been to the shops to buy food that is quick to cook in a microwave, as the kitchen surfaces are still being oiled and I can't really cook in the kitchen because of the overpowering smell and no where to put the pots and pans. And then a dash to my parents over half term to avoid the dust from our ceilings being over boarded.  We will resume Waste Watchers when we return home....
However, we have made some good food saves:
  • added a spoonful or two of left over tinned tomato soup to a homemade winter vegetable and lentil soup - 50p
  • Added a small tupperware of cooked left over rice to the homemade winter vegetable and lentil soup - 50p
  • used up a green cabbage that had been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks to make cabbage and potato sweet(ish)curry - 50p
  • used up Saturday 10th Feb night's home made curry left overs, left over homemade winter vegetable soup, 1 tortilla wrap filled with 2 mushrooms I found in the fridge, sautéed, to make a smorgasbord of tasty dishes for a Sunday lunch -50p