Sunday, 24 July 2011

Day 24: The Tyranny of the Use-By Date

My weeks are falling into a pattern.  I seem to be doing my main shopping on a Monday or Tuesday.  Therefore, at the beginning of the week, my fridge is delightfully full, and I have a free range as to what I cook and bake.

But then, by the following Sunday, things have become a little more constrained.  For the food which was purchased last week is now a week older, and so the imperative begins: the Food Which Must Be Eaten - now.

I read a magazine article once in which the writer bemoaned this tyranny.  Why must it be eaten? he asked.  Why must I obey my food?  Of all the things which demand our loyalty in this world, do we really have to do what our refrigerator tells us?

The short answer is Yes.  The Frugalist has no option.  The greatest sin of all is Waste.  And that is why the end of my weeks are taking on a regular pattern.  Sundays, I cook!

Accordingly, above this post, I am posting a number of recipes.  In particular, I had a pound of minced beef (bought for £1.50 in Lidl) sitting precisely on its Use-By date.  Of course, the great thing about cooking is that you thereby extend the expiry date by another three or four days, not to mention the freezing possibilities.  I also had some tomatoes going a little mushy, and a courgette going a little soft at one end.  Guess what I made!

The Return of the Cabbage
But I also have a confession.  Remember the savoy cabbage I bought in the first week?  Um ... well ... the thing is ... it is still there.  Or rather, one small wedge is still there.  And small though that wedge is, it packs a great deal of flavour, and it is a flavour that I do not particularly like.  I have been using it - honest!  But I just can't seem to get through it all.  And now it has gone limp, and is fit only for soup.  And I really don't want to eat it any more. 

I tell you, the cabbage is my nemesis.

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