Saturday, December 04, 2010

Using up Food

We are in the countdown period to our Christmas travel. One of the actions I take to prepare for travel, as a frugal householder, is to eat down our supply of perishable foods.

It creates an interesting challenge. How do we continue to eat well with this extra constraint? How can I use the possibly mismatched items in the fridge to create attractive and balanced meals? How can I ensure we'll finish out the period before travel at the same time as we finish off the perishables?

All in all, it adds a little more fun to cooking to be playing the game of resource management at the same time. At least, for an economically-minded strategic gamer like me.

Adding to the challenge is our ever-growing preference for fresh local foods. These are exactly the kinds of foods most likely to spoil if we leave them behind. So relying on storage foods for our last day or two would be a suboptimal solution. Eating out is also suboptimal this year, although in past years, it has been a pleasant addition to the strategy.

So, here's the game: Empty the fridge in such a way to finish off the veg and fruit the day before we fly. Extra points for especially tasty meals. Buying more before we go incurs no penalty. Leaving produce to spoil or throwing it away does cost points. Extra points also for using items from the pantry in creative ways.

Wonder how high I can score?


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