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Purge the Larder


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Every winter at this time I am nuts about the food in my house ..kind of getting sick of wintery dishes ...and just knowing there are going to be fresh things around the corner ...spring mushroom season starts here soon ...salmon....Yakima asparagus....fresh eggs......it is all just about a month away for us right now ...

every year at this time I demand of myself to begin to purge the larder...completely!

I wonder do other people do this? It is like any other spring cleaning ...can be tedious ....but the point is ...the search for spring is just ahead!

today I am going to start for myself and have a bunch of stuff going ..it is always easy the first few days because you have a lot to choose from!

I use the foods in order of decline to save on waste that also limits choices ..also I dont want frozen rhubarb in my freezer when I can start picking mine next month ...I dont want frozen green beans when asparagus comes in ...and I am not into missing out on salmon season because I have something I need to use up first...

I am happy to keep anyone interested posted and if there is anyone out here who wants to join in on this ...down right fun and sometimes frustrating tradition ...please do :smile:

todays self challenge is:

raw peanuts

6 red potatoes

1 cabbage

1 big assed winter onion

a few dried porcini mushrooms

a giant fresh frozen pork hock

garlic

rhubarb

1 open bottle of decent merlot

I am not an organized person just a seasonal one

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Hummingbirdkiss, you did not say how big a quantity of peanunt you have. If it's only a handful, I'd roast them in the oven and use in the topping of the rhubarb crumble or crisp you'll come up with. If there are a lot, either make boiled peanuts for snacks, or make a kind of African stew with the peanuts added sort of like beans. HTH! :rolleyes:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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I think this is a splendid idea/tradition! I would love to play along but I just know I won't... BUT I REALLY, REALLY SHOULD. :hmmm:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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I think this is a splendid idea/tradition!  I would love to play along but I just know I won't... BUT I REALLY, REALLY SHOULD. :hmmm:

I look at it this way Anna...I am going to buy the minimal amt of items I can over the next few weeks and use up all my good intentions...I aquired all this food with the intent to cook it when it was not available during the winter ..and spring is coming ...soooo ....this should save me some cash and help get my kitchen in order ....

Besides to be perfectly honest..when I have this mindset we do eat a lot healthier ...everything is thought out for a change ...good exercise..

I love the suggestions for the peanuts thank you Judiu ...you gave me a head start on tomorrow ..I have a very lonely acorn squash that may just turn into a stew with roasted peanuts on top! .....that could be my lunch for the next two days...

HUGE BOWL OF BOILED PEANUTS FOR LUNCH! YAY!!! only took three hours to boil them!!!

I have the menu for today down just to give you an example

all the veggies are tossed in to roast now with the dried mushrooms crumbled up salt and pepper

the pork hock is parboiling in a bunch of odds and ends of last seasons dried herbs .bits and pieces of garlic whatever I found that blended well.....half the merlot ..the other half is inspiring me in a glass

hopefully the hock will finish off in a hot oven and become crispy and not dry this is my goal ....I have some partial bottles of sauces in the fridg I am going to try to mix up a chutney of some kind ......then a rhubarb fool for dessert ...I think I may put some salted peanuts on top just to see

I will try to take photos as this progresses ...

tomorrow there is a cauliflower...some frozen vegs that need facing ...habaneros.....garlic .ginger....cocnut milk ....hmmmmmm vegetable curry is where I think I will head with that...

I am going to do this with or with out you all ..but I am hoping someone will join me!!! :wub:

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I've been trying to do something similar with my freezer. I switched to pyrex clear storage bowls w/lids a couple of months ago, so it's easier to identify items. Also really small portions and/or harder to ID items go into freezer bags which I label with a sharpie (along w/date).

Last night used up a leftover mix of roasted peppers/onions/artichoke as a bed for baked flounder fillets.

I love the idea of pre-spring cleaning the larder!

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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I've been trying to do something similar with my freezer. I switched to pyrex clear storage bowls w/lids a couple of months ago, so it's easier to identify items. Also really small portions and/or harder to ID items go into freezer bags which I label with a sharpie (along w/date).

Last night used up a leftover mix of roasted peppers/onions/artichoke as a bed for baked flounder fillets.

I love the idea of pre-spring cleaning the larder!

Good for you! and good for me if you join me because as I said this is fun in the beginning but for the hard core resolve I have the honeymoon will wear off I am sure when I have nothing but bamboo shoots and sardines :raz:

I found a smoked salmon today in .my mania over this...it was in the bottom of my freezer

not sure what the heck I wil do with it but ......

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Hummingbirdkiss,

I'll join you in this, more than happy to do so. A friend of mine will be doing this purge along with us. We had been talking about living off of what we already had in stock, and only buying perishables like milk, bread, etc. We challenged members of a chatter group to join us a while back and there was no interest.

I read your post late so I'll start tomorrow. My plan is to use every package of meat/poultry/seafood in my freezer in every way possible.

Sandra

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Oh yeah. I'm currently working my way through 3 quart jars of raspberry/fig and scuppernong jams. Because, this spring and summer, there will be more jam. Strawberries are right around the corner! Yikes! Plus pickled onions/carrots and pickled watermelon rind. Because there'll be more of them, too. These jars are never-ending.

And then there's the 2 quarts of lard in the freezer, from which I have been making lard-cornbread, lard-gingersnaps, and lard-biscuits.

Last, but not least, there's an endless box of grits that just won't die!!!

I have an additional reason for spring larder cleaning - I may move soon, and like to polish off as much as possible before moving.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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We managed to use up 4 cans of soup this weekend.....Flu I think

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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I have been trying to do this for a couple of months now. On my list of things to use up :

1) a huge bottle of red palm oil

2) a bag of urad beans

3) half a bag of split urad beans

4) almost a full bag of glutinous rice flour

5) half a bag of sour tapioca flour

6) half a huge box of couscous

7) a jar of quinoa crisps

8) about a ton of masa harina

9) a big container of frozen celeriac

10) a big container of frozen adzuki beans

11) a bunch of frozen bean burgers and falafel

12) several bottles of champagne and a couple of bottles of wine

I am making very slow progress.

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I've been hoarding nuts like a squirrel.

In my freezer:

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pinenuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup black poppyseed

1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts

2 cups raw peanuts

(why did I buy all those peanuts?) :huh:

1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts

2 cups pistachios (for the ice cream I never made) :sad:

2 cups raw almonds (I forget why I bought these, too)

1 cup cashews

Also in my freezer and fridge:

1 Italian pork sausage

2 Chinese pork sausages

4 Chorizo sausages

3 beef hot dogs, ONE roll :hmmm:

1 qt homemade spaghetti sauce

1 cup sorrel puree (oops, forgot to do something with this) :unsure:

about 1/4 cup duck fat scraps

1 cup chicken stock

2 big bundles of raw chicken bones (I'm supposed to make stock)

2 rutabagas (leftover from my CSA order)

1 lemongrass stalk

3 oranges, 2 without zest

And in my cupboard I found a treasure trove of homemade candied citrus peel, over 2 cups worth. I forgot about this! :shock:

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Ok Monday morning here we go! (I started yesterday but who is counting?)

Yesterday I worked on the "let's see what we've got here" and the breakdown in my fridg, freezer, pantry and stuff on the counters ...

The fridg is not too bad..

the worst thing is all the bottled sauces and condiments in the door

I have to get a grip on these and either find a way to be eaten or out they go.. there is a limit to how long they can stay open and be good! (I think if I dont find some way of using them I am gong to take them to work and put them in the breakroom fridg for folks to use)

also open

pickles

marinated artichokes

olives

3 open jars of capers..time to rotate those out as well ...

and cheese ..I have no problem with too much cheese that is for sure we eat a lot of it ...and will miss while I am doing this because it runs out fast for us

I have sausage casings in there as well

the Freezer

is not too bad

chicken, goat, lamb, salmon

a few frozen vegetables (we use those up fast and I usually buy fresh so there are not many)

frozen cherries, berries and rhubarb from last summer...and fruit purees (from the marshmallow making frenzy last fall ..time for those to be used sure...smoothies for breakfast this week!)

I have various containers of stocks and sauces partials of coconut milk, tomato sauce and pastes and lots of frozen habaneros

roasted green chiles

Pantry and counter

plenty of things to make various types of Asian, Indian and Caribbean curries!!!

2984575 herbs and spices (they need rotating badly)

fish sauce,

coconut milk,

Thai curry pastes,

fresh ginger

lemon grass

starchy stuff

1 partial bag short grain rice

1 partial bag sticky rice

1 partial partial bag long grained

1 partial jasmin rice

1 partial of black rice

1 package rice noodles,

1 package of spaghetti

a package of semolina,

one of polenta.

half empty corn meal box

3/4 bag of AP flour

1/2 bag masa

all needing to be used

on the counter

1 cauliflower

4 avocados

more ginger

2 onions

3 heads of garlic

back to the pantry

a LOT of seaweeds

more coconut milk

agar

gelatin

Xanthum gum

pistachios, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds

3 cans of Callaloo (what was I thinking???? :raz: I can get it frozen here and sometimes even fresh! but I have to use it up!)

1 can of Ackees

straw mushrooms

bamboo shoots

water chestnuts

capers

Cento tomatoes 3 cans

NO OIL!!! :shock: I am completely out of oil!!!! how did that happen?

I found 10 cans of sardines in the pantry :shock: not sure how that happened I like them a lot but ??????

anchovies are another story I never run out of uses for those and only have one can left!

my Spring BBQ sauce there are about 3 jars left and sweet chile sauce I made as well ..no jam or jellies they are gone gone sadly...

reading the posts and what you all have to consume...we have the ingredients for a great series of pot lucks between us that is for sure!!!

So I am off for a short trip 10 days from now (and will be food shopping so I need the room when I get back!) so that is my goal ..a kitchen diet for ten days!

Short of buying oil and eggs.....Here in public I am pledging that

I am not buying a damn thing

smoothies for breakfast to use up all that fruit puree

soups (seaweed soup especially!!!) and leftovers for lunch ...

curries, stews and rice dishes for dinners...

thank you all for joining in on this it is so worth it! and like any spring cleaning adventure it makes for a fresh start ..something my sad heart needs right now...

please tell what you are making of the things you are finding for the pre spring purge?

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Me, I have to go through the following....

In the freezer:

1 small pot of frozen chicken congee or jook

1 container of chili con carne

fixin's for osso buco

3 medium-sized tulingan (Skipjack Tuna)

6 smoked fish (tinapa or mackarel scad)

8 patties of frozen handmade beef hamburger patties

1 cup of flaked cooked chicken meat

3 containers of uncooked pork fat

1 lb. of pork meat (whole, uncooked)

1 small bag of chicken necks and backbone for making chicken stock

***It doesn't help that hubby cooked a huge pot of his vegetable beef soup which is not taking up almost half the freezer space with half a dozen containers.

In the fridge itself, there are:

1/2 serving of Pancit Canton

2 lbs of ground beef for hubby's taco meat

1 serving of okra

half a head of cabbage

1 huge mushroom

3 leek stalks

4 white onions

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

5 pcs of bell pepper

6 huge korean pears

Sigh, I too, pledge not to buy anything except for bread and drinks, until we have gone through most of our stash.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I learned my lesson the hard way when we moved last year from PA to NC. In cleaning out our fridge/freezer before the move, I was heartbroken over all the stuff that couldn't make the trip -- oodles of homemade pasta sauce, pesto, stocks, etc. It was also interesting to discover how many duplicates and forgotten items were pushed to the back of the pantry (I still don't know how we ended up with multiple cans of kippers and anchovies. And I still can't ever remember buying that tin of canned snails).

From that point on, I do an inventory of fridge, freezer and pantry about once every three months, then plan meals around what I have. An added benefit is that I can save some $$$s at the grocery store.

The Wright Table

Becoming a better home cook, one meal at a time.

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I learned my lesson the hard way when we moved last year from PA to NC. In cleaning out our fridge/freezer before the move, I was heartbroken over all the stuff that couldn't make the trip -- oodles of homemade pasta sauce, pesto, stocks, etc. It was also interesting to discover how many duplicates and forgotten items were pushed to the back of the pantry (I still don't know how we ended up with multiple cans of kippers and anchovies. And I still can't ever remember buying that tin of canned snails).

From that point on, I do an inventory of fridge, freezer and pantry about once every three months, then plan meals around what I have. An added benefit is that I can save some $$$s at the grocery store.

EXACTLY what I would like to acheive in life!! good for you for being so organized and doing it three times a year ..nothing goes to waste that way I bet! ..I only do this twice a year and spring is the biggie ... and I need a lot of self control because as a rule I shop every day for food ...most of what I make is fresh and seasonal ..but February and March are the worst months for us to shop seasonally here so ...

I am excited to see everyones lists and hope you will post how you use things up ..recipes?

give me some ideas besides soup for all these seaweeds I have? ..I could do a Korean salad I think ...

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I can't even begin to list what's in my fridge, freezer and pantry. It's a bit crazy. I did wake up this morning with the desire to clean out my fridge, though. And the freezer is FULL of things--mostly soups, stews, and the like, which I always make in huge portions even though there are only two of us here. You know it's time to clean the freezer when you run out of plastic storage containers.

Of course, I'm going to be adding more to the freezer tomorrow--making a bunch of pizzas. They get used up pretty quickly, though, since they are so easy to stick in the oven for dinner.

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I've been eating my way through fridge, freezer and pantry now for a couple of weeks, because we're moving in 2 weeks! I haven't bought any rice, noodles, grains etc for a month now and I told myself about a month ago, I wasn't allowed to buy anything if I wasn't really sure I would finish it before March 10. This worked really well!

I have to throw out a bunch of stuff from the freezer though.. stuff that should have been thrown out a long time ago! :shock:

Tonight is risotto (bye bye arborio rice) and tomorrow is beef and barley soup (bye bye barley)!

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I have been trying to do this for a couple of months now.  On my list of things to use up :

1) a huge bottle of red palm oil

2) a bag of urad beans

3) half a bag of split urad beans

4) almost a full bag of glutinous rice flour

5) half a bag of sour tapioca flour

6) half a huge box of couscous

7) a jar of quinoa crisps

8) about a ton of masa harina

9) a big container of frozen celeriac

10) a big container of frozen adzuki beans

11) a bunch of frozen bean burgers and falafel

12) several bottles of champagne and a couple of bottles of wine

I am making very slow progress.

I'm ready for Spring, as well, but chiming in to say I just LOVE knowing someone with a list like this!!! Makes me feel so worldly and sophisticated.

rachel of the four bags of dried beans, five kinds of rice, some canned anchovies, three packs of Martha White cornbread mix and wishing the BIG refrigerator jar of kimchee were celeriac

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I've been hoarding nuts like a squirrel.

In my freezer:

1 1/2 cups pecans

1 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup pinenuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup black poppyseed

1 1/2 cups roasted peanuts

2 cups raw peanuts

(why did I buy all those peanuts?)  :huh:

1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts

2 cups pistachios (for the ice cream I never made)  :sad:

2 cups raw almonds (I forget why I bought these, too)   

1 cup cashews

Sounds like nutbars and nutchews and nut pies are in the future. Caramelly nutty chewy bars laden with nuts and bottomed with dark dark darkest chocolate.

I can't even begin to list what's in my fridge, freezer and pantry.

Ayuh. Me neither. Given my ability to plan and schedule food consumption, the major challenge is beyond me. But I am accepting a subportion of it. The top shelf of the corner cupboard is where the 'we should make something with this sometime' things go. I will work my way thru that shelf over the next couple weeks, so that it contains only items used on a weekly basis when I'm done [and the sacrosanct can of haggis in scotch, belonging to the tenor. Never to be eaten nor discarded. sigh]. Should I be successful, I shall consider tackling the middle shelf. Its just barely possible I will inventory the freezer as part of this project, and use some of its contents. No promises, even to myself. But lots of hope....

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Great thread! I went through a MAJOR pantry purge right before my surgery in August, and it was.......not pretty. Fortunately I managed to give a lot of stuff away. Having the opportunity to start from literal bare shelves in the pantry and the fridge actually turned out to be one of the smartest things I've ever done......now as I add anything I can go all "Alton Brown" with it and label, catalog, etc. as needed to make sure I don't buy redundant items or let anything go too far past its freshness date. A couple of months ago I did the same thing to my spice cupboard in order to consolidate and make room for spices and grains that I use often and buy in bulk. As far as dried good and spice storage, "Gladware containers" are now at the top of my list when people are asking what I want for holiday gifts (Kingsford charcoal and razor blades are numbers 2 and 3....I just hate buying that stuff myself). Also, if anyone else happens to drink "New Whey" protein supplements, they come in these industructable plastic test tubes that are the absolute BEST devices for storing whole spices like nutmeg, star anise, etc.

If any of my old roommates lived with me now, they'd be checking the garage for whatever alien pod the new Jerry hatched out of, because if you happen to remember Phil Hartman as "The Anal Retentive Chef" on SNL.......I proudly channel him daily when interfacing with my new and improved pantry system.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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In the spirit of this thread, I dug deeper into my cupboards today and took inventory.

At various places in my cupboards I found: 1 opened bottle of Thai fish sauce, 2 unopened bottles of Thai fish sauce, 1 opened bottle of Vietnamese fish sauce, 1 unopened bottle of Vietnamese fish sauce. I have 5 bottles of fish sauce in my house. :wacko:

I also found some items I thought I didn't have (rosewater, Hain seasalt, nonfat dry milk).

And:

1/2 bottle of pineau de charentes

1 qt homemade preserved lemons (these are so great, but they got pushed back in the cupboard, and I forgot about them)

1 can Muir Glen tomato sauce

1 pkg smoked chile paste (purchased during my vacation in Oaxaca, Mexico, and I haven't figured out what to do with it)

1 cup homemade burnt caramel sauce (for Vietnamese recipes)

1 kg (unopened) arroz bomba for paella

3 different, partly used bags of arborio rice, for a total of 5 cups :hmmm:

(I see paella and risotto in my future.)

1 1/2 cups Thai sticky rice (Not sure what to do with this.)

1/2 lb capellini pasta

1+ lb spaghettini pasta

2 cups elbow macaroni

1 pkg of roasted dried seaweed (bought for one of Barbara Tropp's recipes, but it never happened) :unsure:

1 organic vanilla bean (this one will be easy--ice cream! :biggrin: )

1 cup French green lentils

1 cup old crystallized wildflower honey

1 cup unsweetened coconut (why did I buy this?) :huh:

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5 bottles of fish sauce!! :wink:

I'm trying to think of a use for a half jar of blackberry jelly. I don't know why I bought jelly. Jam is infinitely superior. I'm thinking of cooking it down into a glaze for chicken, maybe with some red wine thrown in and some stock and herbs for savory flavor? Hmmm.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Thank you so much for joining in all of you! How wonderful! even just getting rid of a few things or a small area is such a good motivator!

it funny I find myself mind shopping in all of your larder trying to figure out what we could all make if we lived near each other...With the masa Pennylane and I have we culd have a tomale party ....there are infinite soups and curries to be made and desserts gallore!!!!

Tarascant I need to make some pizza and freeze it for my housesitter! what a great idea to use some of this stuff up ..and make something fun for him ..I even put a little masa in my dough to get it an extra something something (If you have never tried it you just add 1/4 cup to a standard dough recipe it increases chewiness and gives it a wonderful flavor)

Viva the jelly ..I make a glaze for lamb that calls for a jar of jelly (like a cup) a 1/4 cup of good mustard and a cup of gin bring it to a hard boil then simmer a bit until the gin is reduced ..you can brush your meat while it is cooking or serve it with the meat ...it is current jelly in the recipe but if you have the grape I am sure it is no matter

Doddie I would gladly take a couple of those pears off your hands ..I saw the pictures of those things!!! WOW!!!!

Zeemanb ..1 the anal retentive chef I love it!!! 2. your blog!!! :smile:

Chufi good luck with your move! we moved a lot when we were first married because of my husbands work....it was hard to empty and restock a pantry like I did ...but our moves were biggies hope yours is not far and easy for you

Djyee100..you got it going on in that larder!!! I dont know about the fish sauce! at least it pretty much keeps forever!!!

if everyone gathered and combined stashes ..we could live a long time on what we have stashed

anyone want to share some menu's or recipes?

Breakfast today (still going strong) it is my early day so I will grab an avocado off the table...and the rest of the boiled peanuts and eat between patients this morning ...

Lunch a spicy seaweed soup ..I wash the seaweed at home dress it with sesame oil and sesame seeds.. put it in a bowl ....a spice packet..a crumbled hot chile ...one raw egg in the shell and shiratake noodles.....add scalding water at work ...then the egg and noodles ...zap a bit to cook the egg and that is it....I wish I had some of Rachels kimchi to put in there!...I will hear it about the smell of this soup trust me!

I am going to make an antipasta and take it to work as well (does not go with seaweed soup but about 3pm it will be nice to share with folks) I have all those pickles ..cheese and stuff so it is an easy way to use it up...

dinner is going to be chicken and rice with cauliflower (sounds kind of colorless :raz: ) ...and berries for dessert (I am not sure how but I will toss something together when I get home)

I am drinking Jamaica flower/basil seed tea this week that is for sure I had no idea I had three big bags of the flowers! ..my husband got some at the Mercado last week when he tried to find the ones we already had and couldn't!

I told my husband who works from home to just eat his way through the leftovers from the past two days when he gets hungry today ....he is good at that :smile:

time to move my ass , grab this stuff and put it together ...so my intentions and motivation will remain!

all of you thanks so much for adding to this..and please have a good day all ...

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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