La Cuisine Sans Clutter

champagne in fridgeClearly “clutter” is not French for “clutter”. It is, in fact, “désordre”. There you go. I am, being a lover of order and hater of waste, rather pleased with my latest foray into kitchen thrift. You see, The Husband has been away since last Monday on an expedition. This is not a joke or, as one wag asked last week, a euphemism for “finding himself”. He is on an Earthwatch Expedition to Neds Corner, located in remote country Victoria. There you go. Again.

I seized upon his absence as an opportunity to do some pantry diving, which is the art of going through your refrigerator, freezer and pantry to make meals for the week without buying anything new. Obviously this works best if you have a well-stocked, or indeed over-stocked, kitchen in the first place. This is also the best reason to do it. I love to cook. I do a weekly menu of delicious and nutritious meals, and shop accordingly. I am not extravagant, but I always reach a point where my kitchen is burgeoning, if not overflowing, with food.

It just so happened that The Husband’s absence coincided with this very situation, hence my culinary thrift drive. And I am very proud of the results! I have made delicious soup from chicken stock (freezer), half a bag of baby carrots (fridge), chopped capsicum (fridge), and thyme stalks (garden). Simmered, then blended, then scattered with pepper and a last random bit of crumbled fetta lurking at the back of the fridge, it was yummy scrummy.

The apples in the fruit basket were looking a bit sad. I put them out of their misery by taking to them with a knife. Sliced finely and laid artistically upon two paper-lined baking trays, and then baked long and low until almost-but-not-quite completely dry, apple chips make a lovely snack, cheeseboard addition, salad ingredient, breakfast topping …

Speaking of breakfast: no bread? No worries! Get your day underway carb-free by whisking two eggs with a splash of light soy sauce (seasons and loosens up the mixture without adding milk). Heat some oil in a frying pan and make an omelette. Place it on a plate and stuff it with whatever you have. I experimented with tinned tuna, a scoop of tinned tomatoes, baby spinach, chilli and grated cheddar, and lived!

I’ve managed to use up almost all the fruit and veggies and random packets of breakfast cereal, and my freezer is looking pleasingly spacious. Does all this mean that the next “proper” grocery shop I do later this week will see me spending hundreds of dollars restocking? I am determined it will not. Stay tuned for what I come up with on my grocery list … healthy, budget-conscious meal suggestions welcome!



~ Wasted

~ Detox: A Process of Elimination

~ A Bacon Billet-Doux


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