Saturday, June 09, 2012

Cooperative Fridging: Key to a Use-It-Up week!

I intended to continue The Use It Up Challenge today, but most of the day  I was stocking books at the thrift store. This evening I was reminded of a key fact in any project using a shared resource such as a fridge: you have to work with the other people involved!
Right now we have four adults sharing this fridge (me, my wife, a brother, a mother-in-law) while housing situations shuffle around. Each has dietary preferences and in some cases these are almost medical mandates. The upshot is that although I used up some stuff from the fridge, other stuff got added so the net is about the same ... although since the new stuff was going to be added anyway, we're really better off for having used up stuff.
Let's see how it looks and ponder any lessons.
In the Freezer:
Freezer/Fridge June 9, 2012
  • In the upper left, in the door, is a bag of spelt flour I discovered in the back of the freezer. The label says it should be kept in the freezer but I doubt that it meant that it should be forgotten for a year. Keeping it in the door may help me to remember to use it up!    
  • In the middle of the door's top shelf are two consolidated bags that we may call "tired fruits" and "tired tomatoes". I like to buy in bulk, but sometimes the last peach or tomato starts going soft before I get to it; in that case, I toss it into the freezer for later use in a fruit pie or a tomato soup. Previously I'd just stuck them anywhere and they were often lost for a long time;  by putting it all together I see I have plenty enough to make a pie soon.
  • On the right side of the freezer are 3 soda bottles of water. This is a convenient way to make ice packs for picnics; as the ice melts it turns into drinking water. And the bottles in the freezer help with freezer efficiency by displacing air that otherwise would rush out each time the door opens
  • On the right lower shelf of the freezer are a couple of new containers of chopped chard from our garden. They are producing nicely and we can use it up only so fast!
Moving to the fridge:
  • For dinner, we used tortillas that in the previous days' photos were hidden by other stuff, plus some greens from the crisper. We also finished off yesterday's salad. That's progress!
  • We added to the fridge several items some new salad and groceries for my brother's lunches. At least we have more space for these, having used-up stuff yesterday. 
Perhaps the big lesson here is that food management is a process that never ends, at least so long as you continue eating. We have to work together with those in our lives to have solutions that work well for everyone. Using up what we've got is always helpful, and makes room to accommodate the needs of others.

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