Clearing Out the Cupboards

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been working some pretty long hours this past week. I’ve been staffed on a project that’s to last a minimum of another two weeks so more of the same is ahead of me. As I get paid by the hour, that’s some nice overtime in the bank; however, that schedule also takes its toll in other areas.

One of those is my eating and diet. Losing 10+ hours in opportunity costs (the amount of overtime I billed this week), doesn’t make it easy to prepare, shop and plan for mealtimes. Perhaps it is for these reasons that the new Real Simple Food was appealing to me. I’ve enjoyed the regular magazine and often found some good tips in it, so I was interested to see what tidbits a version solely dedicated to food would tell me.

With hints about speeding up prep time, sample meals, and suggestions for what to stock in one’s pantry, the magazine tries to address how to feed ourselves and our families with our time-starved lifestyles. It made me think that it was also long time since I had overhauled my own kitchen cabinets and fridge.

One item I think is really useful is “The periodic table of produce.” It goes through how to store and how long to keep various items. For me this is always a challenge as I’m not always up for preparing dinner after working overtime. Sometimes, I have to admit, food goes bad before I have a chance to eat it. Hopefully, having this reference on hand, I’ll be able to make smarter shopping decisions.

Now, in a soul-baring first, I’m going to throw open the contents of my refrigerator and cabinets. I know that they are not the best-stocked they’ve ever been, but I think that they have some good options. I just need to do a big shop to fill in the missing pieces and to restock some of those things I’ve used up.

A selection of spices is always good to dress up dinner

Oils and vinegars for cooking and marinades

Nothing in the freezer except chicken, puff pastry, filo, and cookie dough

Look: frozen peas, some pine nuts and almonds, and back-up coffee

Not much in the fridge except some breakfast food and cheese

Hmm…wonder from whom I learned to put foot lotion in the door…

Always good to have garlic, shallots and onions available

Coffee (of course), granola and pasta are always readily at hand

Baking supplies are top-shelf

And look what I found hidden in the back! Good thing I didn’t buy this again.

Buon appetito!