Another week has passed by for the January Pantry Challenge. This week I noticed the refrigerator really getting bare. The fresh veggies are gone, store bought bread and cookies are gone and ice cream is gone.
I went out to the garden and found some nice carrots. A couple of them had bore holes in them which I cut around. I grated them and made some carrot salad with raisins and a bit of mayo and sour cream. It was sweet tasting and delicious. I also checked out the beets and they are waiting to be picked this week along with more carrots. There wasn't much else out there that looked appealing. The weather has been very wet with little sun so the winter seeds I put in did not do well. I will build cold frames this year to plan for next winter's garden.
This week I will make bread in the bread machine. I find it so easy to just pour in the few ingredients and let the machine do the work. I also plan on making a batch of some kind of cookie to take care of my sweet tooth. I do have quite a few boxed cake mixes that were bought on sale in the pantry. For some reason they are not as appealing.
Mom cooked a chicken in the crock pot yesterday and said she will give me the carcass to make soup. I would like to try a white bean soup with onion and chicken.
Since the end of the month is coming I have been looking at how well I have done. I did buy cream for my coffee and some odds and ends that were on sale that I put away and did not use this month. I have more food store than I know what to do with at this point and have decided to continue on eating from the pantry and freezer in February. I will get a few fresh veggies but otherwise will stick to the freezer. This has been a great excercise in really thinking about what to have for dinner and not resorting to going to the store for added ingredients.
The pantry could use some sorting out and the inventory needs updating. The spice rack on the wall works well for easy access but the larger containers on the shelf get buried too easily and I can't find things. I need to develop another system in my small space. I noticed that a couple of the Hubbard squashes that were stored in the garage must have caught a bit of a freeze because they are showing spots. They will be cut up and cooked this week. I love squash baked, boiled, steamed or put in soup so I will try and come up with something creative.
Now that I have seen the movie Food Inc., I will be rethinking what I buy at the store and what store I buy it from. There is a local butcher that only uses local grass fed animals. I will have to go out of my way to buy there more often. The prices will not be cheaper but the quality will improve and will be worth it in the long run.
A dilemma I have is about coupons. I have been cutting them from the newspaper and circulars that come in the mail but I find few are for products I actually use. In my attempt to be as frugal as possible I use coupons when I can. I just watched a video from Coupon Mom and she bought a whole basket full of groceries for one cent. But I was unable to see what was in her grocery cart and if those groceries would feed here family in a healthy way.
The dilemma is this: could the power brokers who are behind the food industry be manipulating coupons to further seduce the public into buying products that are full of genetically altered ingredients furthering their own objectives? I don't see coupons for fresh organic veggies that were grown from hybrid seeds or sales on free range, no hormone, healthy chickens. Is the coupon craze a scam???
I keep coming back to growing what I can in my small garden and carefully selecting the other groceries carefully. I will do my best to buy locally. I do not see a solution at this moment for the overall picture. If each one of us began to take baby steps with our choices, grew a small garden or even some containers of salad greens, asked the grocer where food was coming from on a regular basis we might begin to change the situation. What other ways can we help?