Everyone has left overs. Except a cousin of my great grandmother. My mother used to laugh about her, and tell me, when her grandmother would take her and the family there for dinner, she never cooked enough. And after dinner, her grandmother's cousin would look around at the table, and the empty bowls and say, "Look at that! I made just enough..."
How many times do you open the frig to get something out, and find a container of some sort of green fuzzy thing? And wonder when did you put it there and what the heck was it?
I have tried different ways to avoid that, once saying I was going to date all my leftovers. That works, but there are those times you forget because you are in a rush, or it doesn't seem like enough to bother with, but there's enough for a mini meal for one, etc. I have also read that it is better not to put vegetable in the produce drawers because they get forgotten in there. And sometimes things do. But I don't think they keep long enough without the "environmental controls" on the produce drawers.
Last year, I read a blog by a couple (and I am really sorry, but I don't remember who it was! Senior moment?) who said they found a way to stop wasting food.
I have always kept a calendar in the kitchen. I used it to mark Dr appointments or "dates", so I know what everyone is doing. Sorry Flylady, I know you do this too, but I, as my father did.... always did this! My dad left us a drawer full of calendars that record everything that ever happened in our family over the years...EVERYTHING.....births; deaths; anniversary's; marriages, everything.....we call them his calendar records. All the facts and dates of our family...if anyone says, "When was it that "so and so" came to visit?", we run and check the calendars...there it is. He even marked when certain family members called. Later on, as they got older, he even kept track of what my mother WEIGHED because we were all worried she was losing too much weight and she was tiny already...
Once I was talking to a friend on the phone, and my sisters work schedule came up. And I said she was working that day. The friend asked surprised, "You know your sisters work schedule?" Yep..so does my other sister..because it seems like we "inherited" our dads calendar habit...
I took a while to try out this couples method, of recording leftovers, and it does work.
First I make menus for the week and write the plan at the top of the calendar square. When I come home from shopping, I list all the produce and meat I bought on the calendar. When I cook a meal, if anything is left over I leave the menu entry as is. Once I use the left over I line it out, if it wasn't a raging success, or put a check next to it, if I am going to do it again. This way I also have a calendar of menus that worked, then I know exactly how old a left over is, and what it is and better yet, when to use it! And no more digging through the freezer to see what I have. (It's a deep chest) because I have a running list. If I make double soup, chili or stew recipes or anything I can freeze for an extra meal, I put an F next to it.
It doesn't have to be a large calendar because this is the only thing I use it for. Just make sure it has pictures you like, and boxes to write in. Flylady has one but with no pics. But it is large, and I use one as my master calendar and that is where I now put Dr appointments and tasks I am doing, or errands. Right now, in the ktichen, I have a Farmer's Almanac recipe calendar in the kitchen.
Hope in some small way this might help someone keep track of a part of their lives. Do you have any tricks you use to amrk leftovers?
I am in a no camera phase again. Probably time to get a decent camera for a change!
See ya later ; )