Eating Down the Fridge
eGullet co-founder and executive eater Steven Shaw is in the midst of a kitchen challenge worth chewing on; for an entire week, he’s taking a break from food shopping, using what he’s got stored in the freezer, fridge and pantry. A few months ago, I talked about this very idea with my editor, Nancy, who describes it as “eating down the fridge.” Her father -- raised during the Great Depression -- refused to toss any somewhat edible food item and would regularly go through their freezer and eat all "mystery" leftovers.
Shaw, who lives in a New York apartment with his wife and son, is chronicling the ups and down of his experiment every day and is encouraging readers to join him for the frugal ride.
Inspired by Shaw’s gumption, I took a cursory spin of the Casa Appetite larder, and here’s just a sampler from the ice box: a locally raised heritage turkey; a bag of peas, a frozen flatbread, chicken thighs and a variety of nuts. In just one cupboard are several cans of beans, tomato puree, raspberry jam, local albacore tuna and rolled oats. There’s another cabinet filled to the gills with pasta, quinoa, couscous and Asian noodles. Aside from fresh greens, which were polished off last night, we could easily join Shaw and his merry band of frugal eaters.
A closer look reveals I’ve got more than I realize -- plenty of onions and carrots, a few loose potatoes, fresh thyme, garlic, shallots and some kohlrabi -- hardly an empty produce bin. And maybe that’s just the point behind Shaw’s challenge -- to think more closely about what we really need during these financially difficult times rather than feeding a whim. Let’s be honest: how often do you throw away perishables that get stuffed into the fridge only to be forgotten? Just last night, I bid farewell to half a bunch of escarole that shoulda coulda woulda. Lazy and taking food for granted, you ask? Guilty as charged.
I’m game if you are. Shall we set a date? Share your thoughts on “eating down the fridge” in the comments area or today at 1ET for this week’s What’s Cooking.
By Kim ODonnel |
February 24, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Cooking on a Budget
Eating Down the Fridge
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