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Ingredients that die in your fridge


ruthcooks
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I never have gotten used to cooking for one so I buy too much. Being one of the world's champion procrastinators doesn't help. But some foods that regularly make it in to my shopping cart are much more likely to languish than others. Cucumbers get slippery, lemons get moldy, feta cheese becomes of questionable age.

My number one casualty is eggplant. It sounds good, but usually recipes are a bit of trouble and I put off cooking them until they are "past it". Then I buy them again and start the cycle over again.

What is it that you are always buying but seldom cooking?

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Lettuce is the big one for me. Most other things, I can freeze, repurpose or otherwise extend, or give to the dog if it's protein-heavy. But lettuce is short-lived and once it starts to go there's not much you can do about it. We try to make salad every day, but between meals out, takeout and the newly unpredictable lives of parents we may go one week where we make salads seven times and another week where we make them twice. Lettuce, however, rarely lasts beyond four or five days, so in a typical week where we shop on Sunday our Friday-Saturday salads are usually lettuce-free (mostly diced cucumber and tomato, which is how those items pretty much always get used up, though in a pinch aging cucumbers can be peeled and made into a cucumber-onion-vinegar salad for a few days' life extension and wilting tomatoes can be added to canned for a nice pasta sauce).

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Celery. I use ALMOST the whole bunch, but never seem to finish it off before it goes bad. Every once in a while I'll have a potato or onion go bad on the counter. Have had to double garlic in a recipe because I allowed mine to dry out a bit.

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My fridge would be haunted by the slow wilting/deterioration of these:

Lettuce

Cherry tomatoes

Cucumber

Spring Onion

and sometimes... the occassional eggplant. :sad:

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

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It seems there's always a tiny bit of cilantro turning into funky smelling brown juice towards the back of my herb drawer even though I use it alot. I swear, there's always one there!

I've also got about 600 end pieces of old Parmiggiano and other hard cheeses kicking around...besides infusing soups and oils, any ideas?

I'd rather live in a world without truffles than in a world without onions.

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Fresh herbs. We will buy some for a specific application, but leftovers will often be forgotten and languish until unusable. Fresh parsley and cilantro is often extended by keeping it in water in the fridge, but that process is not always utilized. :sad:

Sometimes, if a cheese is not finished in a timely fashion it can get lost in the shufle too. The longer it is in there, the longer it is likely to be in there

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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Carrots and celary...you have to have them at all times in case you want soup or tuna salad, but if this does not come to pass you have green and orange rubber things in the drawer. You can of course just stick carrot or celary in a bowl of cold water for an hour and it at least "feels" ok

tracey

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Unfortunately for me, it seems to be dairy products - milk especially. However, I think the problem is mostly with how the product is handled before I get it. I can open a container of milk that's dated 2 weeks hence, and in 3 or 4 days it has gone sour. Probably sitting out on the sidewalk or in the aisle of the grocery on a 90+ day doesn't help!!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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All of the above.

If I immediately make "sticks" of unused celery and/or carrots, they will probably get nibbled up before they go bad, especially when I need munchies while I prepare supper after work.

I do a lot of stir-frying, so I am used to throwing away half of each head of garlic and bunch of scallions.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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Prepared mayonnaise.

I buy it for something specific, than never use it again, and have to by another jar the next time I make whatever it is. Deviled eggs, mostly.

Ditto on the fresh herbs and heels of Parmiggiano.

Conversely, I cannot keep half and half in my house. I swear to god the little people are drinking it at night.

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
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Bean Sprouts.

I got on a spring roll kick recently and managed to roll up three or four little ones for lunch every other day. I mandolined a couple carrots for the week, bought cilantro and bean sprouts, threw a mint leaf in there, and voila: a mini salad in rice paper.

Unfortunately I got too busy and/or bored with it but kept buying bean sprouts at $1.69 a bag in case the mood struck. I've thrown out four unopened bags of slimy goo in a row now. :angry:

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

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STRAWBERRIES.

Ok, I admit it.

I have an obsession with buying the big 'ole plastic containers of strawberries.

I ponder for hours about homemade ice cream with strawberries, strawberries and cream, strawberry muffins.....

And, then, in the blink of an eye

They're moldy

:sad:

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There are a few regular offenders in my fridge:

Bags of shredded cabbage

Celery (less so since I found out Whole Foods will sell you little itty bitty pieces by the pound)

Carrots (always seem to buy too many and they fall to the bottom of the bin)

Butter. My favorite wonderfood. I have a bad habit of hacking chunks off of a stick and throwing it back into the fridge, lost until I do my periodic cleaning (which isn't as often as it should be).

Tofu, Shirataki, misc cheese, deli meat. All reside in their own drawer together and I often wonder if one day they're just going to mate or something.

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It used to be dairy products, until the babies came along. Now we go through alarming amounts of high fat yogurt (like 6+% milk fat, its called "Balkan style" for some reason) and homo milk (as in homogenized or whole milk).

Now its usually hidden leftovers that go dank.

I actually like what happens to the white button mushrooms in the crisper - over time they will shrink and get chewy and I find the flavour is more intense (for a button).

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

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I'm with Anne and the others who posted celery as the main victim.

I've been trying, the last couple times I've bought celery, to cut it up right when I get home. I put the stalks in a long flat Tupperware and cover it with cold water. I replace the water about every two days. I find I use it all up when I do this.

 

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Deli meats.

Green onions suddenly aren't beautiful - their slimy.

Carrots are on again off again. Sometimes we use them all up sometimes we suddenly realize that the carrots we were going to use are over the hill.

Parsley - as stated by others bought for a recipe, a bit is used and the rest is forgotten until clean-out time.

Apples. I am stuck on red delicious apples. I tolerate Gala and Fuji. If my wife tries to fill the larder with Gala or Fuji I look at them and pass about 1/2 the time. They go bad because their not red delicious which I always will take when I want an apple.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Bean Sprouts.

I got on a spring roll kick recently and managed to roll up three or four little ones for lunch every other day.  I mandolined a couple carrots for the week, bought cilantro and bean sprouts, threw a mint leaf in there, and voila: a mini salad in rice paper.

Unfortunately I got too busy and/or bored with it but kept buying bean sprouts at $1.69 a bag in case the mood struck.  I've thrown out four unopened bags of slimy goo in a row now.  :angry:

My Asian friends taught me to immediately empty out of bag and put into a bowl, cover with water and loosely cover in fridge. Change water every other day or so. They are always in my fridge and seem to last a good week if from a bag at the regular market, and longer if super fresh & crisp from a loose bin at an Asian market.

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Lettuce is the big one for me. Most other things, I can freeze, repurpose or otherwise extend, or give to the dog if it's protein-heavy. But lettuce is short-lived and once it starts to go there's not much you can do about it. We try to make salad every day, but between meals out, takeout and the newly unpredictable lives of parents we may go one week where we make salads seven times and another week where we make them twice. Lettuce, however, rarely lasts beyond four or five days, so in a typical week where we shop on Sunday our Friday-Saturday salads are usually lettuce-free (mostly diced cucumber and tomato, which is how those items pretty much always get used up, though in a pinch aging cucumbers can be peeled and made into a cucumber-onion-vinegar salad for a few days' life extension and wilting tomatoes can be added to canned for a nice pasta sauce).

If you store lettuce wrapped in paper towels, it seems to last longer. Herbs wrapped in moist paper towels last longer also. It also depends what type of lettuce it is - little gems and other romaine type lettuces last longer than baby greens.

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Bean Sprouts.

I got on a spring roll kick recently and managed to roll up three or four little ones for lunch every other day.  I mandolined a couple carrots for the week, bought cilantro and bean sprouts, threw a mint leaf in there, and voila: a mini salad in rice paper.

Unfortunately I got too busy and/or bored with it but kept buying bean sprouts at $1.69 a bag in case the mood struck.  I've thrown out four unopened bags of slimy goo in a row now.  :angry:

My Asian friends taught me to immediately empty out of bag and put into a bowl, cover with water and loosely cover in fridge. Change water every other day or so. They are always in my fridge and seem to last a good week if from a bag at the regular market, and longer if super fresh & crisp from a loose bin at an Asian market.

Outstanding! Thank you heidih!

"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

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Easy. Cilantro.

We usually cook Japanese half the time, so that's my excuse. I wish I could grow the stuff (it usually bolts quickly), so I could avoid wasting it.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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When i need buttermilk for baking the stores here don't sell it in less than a quart.  So it sits and sits in there till I finally toss it. Happens every time. I have never finished a quart of buttermilk

Portion it and freeze it.

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