I hate canned food.
There. I said it.
As I've stared at my pantry for the 10th time this weekend, I realized that I really don't like canned food. Not canned tuna. Not canned veggies (though mushrooms and anything for Chinese is ok.). Not canned anything.
I should have realized this months ago. Thanksgiving day, I tossed out can after can - filling a garbage can - with canned items I'd bought at a good price and promptly ignored. Not because I can afford to waste money on our cramped budget. But because I just don't like to use canned goods.
If I think about how I cook, it's rare that I grab anything that's canned out of the pantry. Soup, beans and mushrooms seem to be the exception to the rule. We rarely buy spaghetti sauce anymore since I started buying tomatoes for massive sauce-making and freezing in August.
If I really look at my pantry's contents they can be summed up as:
- Breakfast stuff
- School lunch stuff
- Leftover junk food and Christmas treats my husband bought
- Abandoned canned goods
- Stuff to make other stuff
It's the last two items I'll be worried about most during this pantry challenge. Figure out how to use, actually use, those canned goods in a meal, instead of bypassing them to grab last summer's veggies from the freezer. I'll figure out how to use the obscure condiments (coconut milk, anyone?) and other cooking items we've grabbed because we might use it in a recipe someday.
If I was just eating cooked, canned green beans it would be easy. But making the most of my pantry, rather than just letting things go waste, is a bigger challenge for our plates. It's time to dust off those cookbooks and get tasting!
What are your goals for the challenge? Is it simply cleaning house? Cutting back on your food budget? Shaking up your meal plan?