I had two new year resolutions. 

They were:

1. Being able to walk through my house without bits of stuff sticking to my feet. 

2. No throwing out food, not ever.

So far I'm not doing brilliantly on either. 

My house really isn't that dirty, but there's a lot of outside tracked inside by small people, and if I had to vacuum regularly then frankly the family would be naked because I can just about handle laundry and cooking and shopping and ferrying and tidying up and a small business but regular cleaning depends largely on Adam. Who is excellent at it. He does, however, use up an enormous amount of his very fair and even domestic work allocation cleaning up the kitchen. 

I make a lot of dishes. Really. Take today for example. On the sink: ordinary breakfast bowls and plates; the food processor which made the hummus to go with the crackers for lunch; bowl, cup, spoons, pans from making orange and chia seed muffins; boards, knives, Le Cruset which made the pumpkin soup for dinner; bread pans, yoghurt making saucepan and jar, teacups, kids cups. 

So after he has cleaned up all that I don't really expect him to start up the vacuum. I could probably do it. But it needs a bit of resolve on my part. 

And the food throwing out thing. 

I consider myself ecologically aware. I know the real cost of food. I know a diabolical amount of good food is tossed into landfill every day. I try really hard not to contribute to it. 

We've got chooks, pigs and a resplendent worm farm. It's easy to look at a manky lettuce and think about any of those three recipients joyfully tearing through it, and feeling no guilt in tossing it knowing it will be 'recycled' in a way. 

Doesn't counter the fact it's wasteful. Of money and resources. 

So I'm trying not to do that either. 

That photo above is of my pantry, this afternoon. Ad has been known to stand in the pantry wistfully saying, 'is there any actual food in here?'

On the bottom shelf you can see the only two tins I own, one of creamed corn for a delicious Thai soup we love, and one of evaporated milk which must have been bought for a recipe that I forgot about and has probably moved with us through two states. 

There is also a box of UHT milk that my friend Sarah brought me after I ran out of milk once last year, so I would never run out again. So incredibly sweet. Plus there's soy milk for my dairy intolerent friends. Anyway that's not really the stuff at risk of needing thowing out. It's the fresh vegies in the crisper no longer crisp. 

Or spuds hanging around too long and going soft (or green.)





I also have a terrible habit of not labelling things properly (like, at all) in the freezer.

What IS that jar of tomatoey looking stuff? Pizza sauce? Baby food??





Anyway, now I've told you, so I'm more accountable. 

I'm going to vacuum my floor and try to manage the fresh food better so nothing gets wasted. 

I soaked too many chickpeas. Far out we've got a bit of hummus to get through.







16 Comments on “resolute

Melanie @ M&M
January 31, 2012 at 12:58 am

The absolute guilt that assails me when I have to throw out food because I forgot I had it! I too am trying to better where this is concerned. I loved your line about any actual food in the pantry. My kids (21 & 18) do that all the time! There is tons of food, just not want they want (i.e., junk)

Thrifty Household
January 31, 2012 at 2:43 am

I’ve frozen hummus…

January 31, 2012 at 7:19 am

Label and freeze the hummus! I’m trying to work out a three or four week menu plan to deal with this very problem at the moment. It’s easy enough to use up the basic stuff, it’s all the fancy bits and pieces you buy for some recipe you’ll probably never make again that causes all the problems. It’s good to be organised.

Darren (Green Change)
January 31, 2012 at 8:21 am

I’m so with you on number 1! My kids were away for three days last weekend. I vacuumed the floor on the first day, and it was heaven walking around grit-and-fluff-free for all that time! Now that school’s back, the floor has resumed its usual covering of tiny toys, dropped crumbs and school-sandpits-that-came-home-in-shoes.

For the freezer, I use masking tape (you know, the papery kind of tape) to label things. I write the contents and date on the tape, tear it off, and stick it on the container. It doesn’t come off in the freezer/fridge, but it’s easy to remove later and doesn’t leave a residue.

We waste way too much food too. When we have to give half a rockmelon or a dead lettuce to the poultry, it feels like it’s not being wasted because it’s being eaten – but really, it’s the most expensive chicken feed you can buy!

January 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

Happy new year Fi! I identify with both of those issues. One thing that’s helped enormously on the ‘stuff on the floor issue’ for us was when I decided last year to vacuum the kitchen & living room every evening – I know this sounds hideous at first, but if you can quickly whip around and get toys off the floor (getting kids to help), keep the vacuum set up somewhere central, quickly take it out and whip around those 2 areas that get the pounding all day, sucking up the day’s play mess, food mess & dinner mess, it really helps on the sticky feet front and also makes me feel a little more in control. The rest of the house is pretty neglected, but general living is easier. And the next morning it all feels a little less chaotic when you can walk around without sticking to the floor 😉 On the chick pea front I freeze batches of them in individual takeaway containers then use them in soups, stews etc. Now, if only i could get the rest of my chaotic domestic life under control – no chance 🙂 x

knutty knitter
January 31, 2012 at 11:21 am

I do this three course dinner for leftovers thing. This consists of whatever is in the fridge at the time and makes for some interesting looking plates. My effort for this week was a handful of lettuce, a corn on the cob, a spoonful of pasta. a small amount of refried leftover mashed potato and an egg made into an omlette per plate.

As for floors – I’ve just about given up there altogether. Think of it as a science experiment 🙂 I probably will get more cleaning done eventually but not until the renovations are finished!

viv in nz

January 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Having a compost and chickens really helps with “the cost of doing business” as my husband calls having to throw things out (or when you spend too much, or whatever — aka guilt).
And, my contribution: Did you know that hummus freezes well?? Just label it! 🙂 (I have a sharpie in with my wraps so that I just will.)

Canvas Art
January 31, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Thanks for such a great post.

Definitely inspiring us to hit the organic produce store more…

January 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm

oh, good idea! thanks!

January 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Yep, menu planning on my to do list too 🙂

January 31, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Exactly. And am digging out the masking tape as we speak. Great idea. xx

January 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Hi lovely – EVERY day? You’re a more determined woman than I! Maybe that’s not as hard as it sounds… xx

January 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Yes, fab idea, I think I need masking tape for labels and a sharpie handy – that’ll do it! Thanks!

February 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

I use masking tape labels, too. It works so much easier to have something generic to label with so you don’t have to look for “that roll of special labels” while you’re wrapping up a cooking session. Tip: remove the label while it is frozen or still very cold; comes off a charm with no sticky stuff.

And let me share a word of encouragement, get into the labeling habit now and you won’t regret it. Eventually, your kids will be more of a help in the kitchen. It will be easier if they can find ingredients themselves. Also, eventually, they might even venture on their own to prepare meals for the family, snacks for chums, desserts for surprises, as long as they can navigate the kitchen easily and identify the ingredients. Not only will you benefit from the efforts but they will benefit a lifetime and probably pass it on to your grandchildren.

February 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

None of our food waste goes in the bin, but I am trying to feed the chickens, worms and dogs cheaper food, rather than the stuff I bought for us to eat…

Kirsten at The Frugal Girl does a food waste Friday to stop herself from wasting too much food. There is something about making it public that keeps you accountable!
Sharon Astyk has an ‘eat the food’ category in her Independence Days challenge. I agree with her that growing or buying the local farmers market produce is in no way as difficult as getting round to cooking it. I do try to follow both, but my effort could definitely do with being more concerted.

A menu plan from the foods lurking in our freezer is also on my to-do list. Must make a bit of space in there.

Aussie Mum
February 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm

But you can never have too much hummus right? Or so my 5 year old thinks.


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