Use it up January

In the UK we are in the grip of month dedication.

Movember (grow a tash for charity)  and now Dry January.

Ok. Sounds very virtuous and “clean” , straight after the indulgencies of Christmas, and I have read articles both supporting and dismissing it. But I am creating my own month title.

Use it up January.

Let me explain.

The photograph above isn’t my fridge, but it shares certain features. The grocery shelves are not mine but ditto. So, during January,  I am refusing to buy any food (other than essentials such as milk, eggs, fruit and vegetables) until my “bought for Christmas” food mountain has been used up (plus the things that I already had in).

I hear so often, in the shops in the run up to the big day, “All this just for one day!” Well it isn’t is it !  Its for the family gatherings, the evening with friends, the post-Christmas lunches and other eating occasions during the 10 days. So, yes I bought a lot of food and yes I still have a goodly amount left, but no I wont throw it away.

I had a cheese drawer. In the fridge one of the drawers was devoted to cheeses. Stilton, port salut, edam, bousin, cheddar, brie, comte, wensleydale with cranberries etc etc. It is gradually shrinking because those cheeses are used to cook sauces, flavour soups and go with the home made chutney into sandwiches. They will get used, but gradually.

I used the frozen salmon to make a tasty rice dish with a sauce made from the fresh cream, boursin and parmesan left over. The frozen buffet nibbles  (I don’t remember buying so much of it!) which were great for Christmas Eve supper, large family gathering on 28th and NYE with friends, hasn’t quite gone. So on Friday when my daughter, her wedding florist and myself talk wedding flowers the remainder will appear…along with contributions from the cheese drawer and the large box of crackers we are only half way down!

When planning our evening meals I am basing them around my supplies, to avoid buying anything extra if possible. Rice, pasta, pulses can all be jazzed up with things from my freezer, fridge or both. I am getting a strange sense of delight as I throw away boxes and packages. I smiled as I used the remaining frozen peas from a packet last night. Hummed to myself as an empty mushroom box jumped into the recycling bag. Almost danced a jig as I found a use for the last of the pate.

The shelves of the fridge are more visible, the freezer less full and the cook is feeling quite proud of the healthy and delicious inventions concocted with surprising ingredients.

All this just for 1 day” will  henceforth be inwardly mocked . My freezer will benefit, my cupboards lighten, my fridge will sigh with relief and until we are left with tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and oxo cubes I shall shun the supermarket.

Let’s hear it for “Use it up January” !

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