Last weekend it was the bathroom, and today it was the kitchen. I donít do ďcleaningĒ for the sake of ďcleaningĒ very often, but it seems once I get started I canít stop myself. When I found the month-old cooked chicken in the back of the refrigerator, I couldnít get it out of the house and into the garbage fast enough. But while I was at it, I went through the whole fridge and came up with a full trash bag of items that should have been tossed (or used, even better) long ago.
Itís not often that I have to chuck out leftovers like that. Considering how many leftovers I create, thatís actually kind of surprising. I like having leftovers, but I also like trying new recipes, which I generally do two or three times a week. That means (a) I have to buy a lot of ingredients, and (2) my leftovers tend to overlap each other. Itís a wonder I donít forget them more often.
If I were a better cook, Iíd probably share more of what I make, and that would avoid the problem of having food to throw away. In truth, a lot of what I cook isnít worth sharing, but almost all of it gets eaten (by me, that is), and itís a rare thing that I have to throw something out. Most of what I tossed today was nearly empty bottles of sauces and salad dressings, and some crumbled feta that had passed the point of no return as far as aging goes.
At least I never have to throw out any fresh produce, ever since the local garbage company sent out a notice that it could be placed in the yard waste container. Limp celery and soggy, blackened parsley that I used to throw away, I now contribute back to the community. It makes it a lot easier to go ahead and buy these things in the supermarket, knowing I wonít be throwing anything in the garbage. I canít say the same about last yearís barbecue sauce, or last monthís sour cream.