This is an occasional series with no set timing, as and when it makes sense to post an update. Could in fact be the only article.
It is more an intellectual exercise than being done out of necessity.
I have three issues with the running of my fridge & freezer.
- Leccy is getting expensive so they are costing a lot more to run
- Possible power cuts that in theory should be manageable but if for some reason the freezer doesn’t switch back on, I could lose a lot of food.
- Food does get wasted, could doing without a fridge & freezer actually help cut waste?
The situation as it is now
To do this I have many factors in my favour.
I am a carnivore so there isn’t the greatest range of food required for myself. I also spend many nights at my girlfriend’s house.
Freezer is really only for frozen veg. Ready-made roasties & chips, carrots, and peas; and a few other bits and bobs. And ice cubes – £80 for a specialist machine. Is it worth it? Probably easier to switch on the freezer when required.
My middle daughter works at a restaurant and now spends a lot of evenings with her boyfriend so she needs to buy little food.
Youngest is with me every other weekend, so I buy some food to last two visits. Frozen veg are all for her too.
Food storage Issues
- Meat: Will keep in a fridge in the winter more than one day.
- Dairy: Milk is very dodgy to be left unrefrigerated. So any diary will need to be preserved.
- Veg: Except salad, most veg ok unrefrigerated.
- Sauces: Some advise that they should be refrigerated.
- Jams & Honey? Should be ok in a cool dark cupboard.
- Clear out fridge & freezer
- Turn off the freezer – still use for storage
- Turn off the fridge – used for storage too.
For the nights that I’m at home I buy meat from a Lidl a hundred yards from where I work. I can manage evening shops for minced beef & mozzarella. The spicy Peperami I top it with would last a few days between meals. On weekends I buy Polish cured belly of pork for work. By buying it Sunday or on my way to work I can mitigate the time it is unchilled (cop-out as I keep it in the fridge at work) – too expensive in fuel to go every day for it. Sunday roast can be bought quite happily on a Saturday. As can weekend fry-ups and Saturday’s steak.
Middle one occasionally buys a pint of milk and leaves it to go off. I think the answer there is to buy UHT milk cartons for the odd time she wants a cup of tea. Otherwise she can buy as she uses anyway.
Youngest is the hardest. Meat is easy. Raspberries for her pancakes will last overnight to do two days. Nutella stuff doesn’t need refrigerating. Biggest problem is dairy, cannot buy to last two visits. We both love gold top so a litre is polished off in one go on a Saturday between us, so no problem there. Cheese strings can be bought in fours so two for the weekend, two for Monday packup. Cheddar should be ok, again for packup, but will need to be checked before using. Butter doesn’t even need refrigeration. Her Benecol drinks would need to be drunk within a weekend, rather than last two visits (£4 for six!!!). She has gone off peas, so the only thing I need to worry about is chips, roasties & carrots. I will buy small amounts fresh and use as needed. A trip to the Chinese chippy for a bag of chips may be a treat.
Only sauces we currently have are tomato ketchup & brown sauce, which seem fine in a cupboard.
And with that it feels simple.
There is a great opportunity to go over sauerkraut making again – which the youngest loved. Also a bit of traditional fermented sauce making and a bit of jam making.
Good case of doing some dry curing too.
We’ve made a bit of cheese, but no long-term stuff – a bit more difficult I think.
© Jerry Mandarin 2022