Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Still Learning After All These Years

I'm learning.

I'm adjusting.

I still have a way to go.

It is a week now that I have lived without my freezer.  I know that doesn't sound luck such a hardship, and it really isn't.  I know I am lucky to have this first world problem.  But, it does mean I have had to make some adjustments in how I do things and I still have a lot to learn.

I have learned, for example, that the tiny freezer compartment in the fridge can hold 2 bags of frozen veggies and still have room for one very small ice cube tray.  I like to buy frozen peas (canned are not a favorite), frozen green soy beans (only way I have seen to buy them),  and frozen spinach (much less expensive to use in recipes than fresh).  All three will not fit.  Therefore all three cannot be part of the meals in any one week unless I am finishing up two of the bags and just purchased the third.

There is no freezer space, or very little and only at the expense of having the veggies, to stock up on meat.  That means that our lenten vegetarian diet was a good transition to basically what our normal diet will now be.  We can probably have fresh meat once a week on the day or the day after I do the shopping for the week.  And then, only if we have access to a store that is large enough to stock it.  We can do canned fish like tuna and salmon and smoked haddock, canned corned beef and canned ham, too.  So, maybe it won't be all that bad.  And just think of how good our cholesterol numbers will be.

There is NO room to freeze leftovers for another meal later in the week or month.  Consequently leftovers need to be served until they are gone or until total boredom with them means they become a science experiment in the fridge and then end up in the garbage.  I hate food waste so to try and minimize this I need to really, really work on cooking smaller amounts.  This is very hard for me to master.  Some might almost say impossible.  Wish me luck.

With all the leftovers hitting the fridge there will be less room for things like salad items, larger packs of eggs, multi types of cheese, etc.  This will change what I can cook at any one time.  I will not have the abundance of ingredients I had before.  Another reason to cut down on the amount I cook so that there are fewer leftovers and more room for other meal ingredients.

With the small fridge I have already had to stop making such things as homemade yogurt.  Now I will have to think about whether I can make homemade ricotta and if I so, can I save the whey generated to use in baking.  And when I bake, things like whey lemon pie which needs refrigerated will have to be carefully planned for (see above).

So, anybody know a way to stretch a fridge and make it hold more?  I could use some ideas.

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