Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Own Too Much Food! Or Does My Food Own Too Much of Me?

I own too much food. How could that possibly be? I don't shop nearly as much as I used to, I wait long periods of time, trying to use food I already own, in new and different ways, so as not to waste. I started throwing away any foods less than perfect (old produce) but I still own too much. This should be my worst problem!

I cleaned out my pantry months ago, only stocking basics like beans, grains, oatmeal, pastas, anchovies, tuna and other canned protein, dried fruits (coconut for Mark), canned chipotles, and even these things I only have a few at a time, my whole pantry takes up barely 2 shelves. My freezer is so full of ready made foods, like quarts and quarts of soups, chilis, and stews, not to mention roasted tomatoes, chicken stocks, and fruit (strawberries I get weekly CSA), in fact I almost bought a melon yesterday until I asked myself, "But why? You have frozen fruit and an abundant fig tree right across the street calling your name! Do you have to spend $2 on a melon you don't need?"

My fridge already has at least 3 days worth of preportioned meals....I could tell you exactly what I'll be eating for each day. AND I picked up my CSA box last I have 2 bunches of chard, turnip greens, more fresh strawberries, more tomatoes....I still have at least 10lbs of roma tomatoes, even after making 5 quarts of tomato soup, and eating it everyday....white and green string beans, fresh basil, that I have to use today because it doesnt' keep, AND I just blanched the purple cauliflower and 2 bunches of kale from last weeks CSA, for a salad I didn't need to make, and last but not least I still have a bulb of fennel from 2 weeks ago that will probably end up in the trash (sorry Fawn...she loves to use fennel!) Geez!

I would love to eat all of this food, really I would, and I could! But I can't really. I've just recently started throwing food away, against my nature. I got too excited picking figs (free figs! you know they can cost as much as $4 a basket!).... but did I need 5-10lbs of figs? Everytime I overshop fresh food (25lbs of tomatoes is kind of extreme, lol) I feel as if I have to cook it, or make it into a salad, and then of course eat it.

Another example is when I put together a new recipe, and it comes out fabulous, I feel as if I need to repeat it...right away.....afterall, it was so good I must need more!

I did decide that I don't need to learn how to can, I mean why? That's a huge relief. But I had to slap my "inner Martha Stewart" to get to that conclusion! It's bad enough that my freezer is full, but guess what? I don't live out in the boonies with barely enough food to survive the winter, I can go to the stinkin' store whenever I want. Geez.

I've got to stop letting too much food control my life. Owning too much food takes advantage of my love to cook. Buy less, cook less (darn!), eat less, (double darn!).
Fresh Tomato Soup recipe on Food and Thought soon.


Aaron Friday said...

Hey, there's nothing wrong with hoarding food, except that it ties up money while fresh food spoils.

Go a week without buying new food, and then go crazy. I remember going nuts after my parents bought groceries. Seems like a natural rhythm.

Kim said...

If you change your mind about canning, the recent issue of Bon Appetit, has a primer. I love to can tomatoes that I use year round for sauces & curries, nothing like it!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Interesting you should use the word "hoard", that's the behavior I want to eliminate from my seems to touch other areas as well.

And as far as not food shopping for a week.....I guess if I didn't have freezer that was already stocked with tons of homemade, readymade, foods it would be more difficult, but I think I could do it at this point and not go crazy. But not longer than a week, just from a freshness standpoint.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I made that final decision after talking with my friend Ross, another "foodie", and his opinion was that since canned tomatoes (a good quality of course) are San Marzano, which are considered better than Romas, he would use canned. A good point, and a trade off worth considering.

I did run into organic San Marzanos at the farmers market on did tempt me! But I have to pick and chose what I spend my time on, and this year I'll pass on the canning lessons...and the equipment to can.....and freeze some fresh tomato sauce and soup. And then I'll move on to the current seasonal foods.