Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your cupboard?

Courtney
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.

(From the forum)

Part of this weeks budget challenge for me is to keep my weekly shop to the bare minimum by digging deep into my cupboards and seeing what I can use. For my bentos I am going to tackle at least some long ignored canned tuna, and some tofu.

But I do have a few other oddities like the jar of pickled cockles that someone gave to me. ???

Tell us! What is lurking in your cupboard that you can use and/or what is the strangest thing you have hanging about? :)

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mosaica
Bento-ing from: › Vermont › USA
Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Hello Courtney!

I have a similar goal of using things in my pantry. I think I'm a bit of a hoarder, so it's a good discipline for me. Hmm, one thing I have is a sort of noodle made from tofu. It looks like super zig-zaggy wheat pasta, but it's just tofu. I will try to use some of this, perhaps with a veggie stir-fry. Let's see if it shows up in one of my week 3 bentos :-)

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bronwyncarlisle
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Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

My big problem is half eaten jars of stuff in the fridge. So far I've managed to fit the tail ends of a jar of artichoke hearts and a jar of "cheese filled belle peppers" (so yummy) into my bentos, so that's two fewer jars in there. My next aim is the jars of gherkins and pickled onions. I think I might just have to throw the jar of blue cheese stuffed olives out though - I really don't like them.

The oddest thing I have in my pantry is a packet of "Bean curd in the shape of intestines", that I bought in an Asian food shop purely because the name tickled my fancy. Yoshio the Japanese student thought it was very funny, because the name in Chinese characters didn't say anything of the sort - it just said "Dried Tofu". This makes me suspect that the Chinese manufacturers are very cunning, and put outrageous English names on things to entice persons like myself into buying them. I somehow don't think these bits of dried tofu are ever going to get eaten either - they haven't been tested for melamine content. Not to mention that I don't have the foggiest idea of how to prepare them.

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Courtney
Bento-ing from: London › UK
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Bronwyn, that's hilarious! :)

Any other hoarders out there want to share their cupboard secrets? We won't tell! ;)

Veriest
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 26 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Aside from six cans of tuna (all for me, as no one else eats them) and bags of dried pasta from years ago I've got dehydrated lilies and enough shiitake mushrooms to feed a sumo wrestler for a few days. And black fungus. Oh, black fungus.

I've also bags and bags of dried seaweed; there were at least five different types of seaweed, not counting the oily snack seaweed. I don't know what I'm going to do with most of it. (I mean, aside from eating it.)

And of course, there's always the large stash of okara left over from soybean milking in my fridge, and the many sweet loaves in the freezer because I like buying loaves at coffee shops and...hoarding them. There you go. My deepest darkest pantry secrets. Let's not mention the large stash of durian flavoured wafers.

My secondary goal is to start gnawing off bits of my basil plant, because it's growing too big for its current pot and needs...trimming.

Sassia
Bento-ing from: Colchester › UK
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 42 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

This is going to be a big target for me too. I'm forever opeing things and chucking them out before I've used them all up.

Just about to work out what to put in tomorrow's bento. I have access to a microwave so am wondering if an egg based rice dish (with whatever veg I have lurking in the fridge in it!) will be ok reheated...

I made the best marinade for tofu last week out of soy sauce, 7 spice, sesame oil, garlic and ginger so am itching to have loads more tofu drenched in that.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 2 weeks 5 days ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Great topic! I am a serious hoarder when it comes to food. Since we have to be out of this house in a month (!) I have been trying to cull my stash. Yesterday I found an old packet of reindeer-head shaped pasta from Ikea that seemed to contain meal moth eggs. Not fun.

My next house, it will NOT have too-deep kitchen cabinets.

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The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

odis mcdonald
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

HI! just wanted to say how much i love your pages! You give me great and wonderful ideas on how to cook! Im a hoarder from way back. i would have to say that i stash dry goods. Lots of rice noodles and nori wraps. (i bought the Lye noodles just because of the name. so i agres with Bronwyn!). i should use some of the frozen mussles i bought nearly a year ago... (steamed or baked?)

Thanks again
Odis

Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Well lets see... I've got a small can of opened evaporated milk, of which i used a small portion in a recent recipe. Not sure what to do with the rest. What does one do with evaporated milk? I suppose I could attempt a mini pudding?
I've also got about 1/3 of a bag of Maseca (Mexican corn meal mix) in the pantry that needs using. I may go all out and make corn meal pancakes. I dont usually like making pancakes because it takes forever (note to self: buy a large waffle iron in the future) but perhaps I could grind it out and make a bunch to freeze for easy breakfast.
<3

marzia
Bento-ing from: Venice › Italy
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 22 weeks 6 days ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

My kitchen cabinets are not that deep but they are too high for me so whenever I open them, my boyfriend (who is tall) looks from his privileged point of view and always ends up saying 'ok, this w-e we'll try to clean them up and see what's lying forgotten inthere'! -_-
I know that one of the focuses of the challenge is getting organized, but he is TOO MUCH organized and I do not have strange things to eat and show this week, so I will enjoy yours!!

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Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I think I have those same kind of cabinets, 1950's vintage (if not older) with an oven and stove to match (and not in a good way). Even with being 6' tall I cannot always reach things on the top shelf. I wish I could hoard a bit more, keep more canned and dried goods on hand, I cannot fit the case of canned diced tomatoes I just bought in the cabinet and it is bugging me. But I will also enjoy your strange things in your collective cabinets.

Laura
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Funny you should mention that--frozen bread loaf ends were taking over my freezer. (Ya know, I throw them in there thinking I'll make bread crumbs or something.) So this weekend we had french toast with a variety of breads! Yummy.

LadyMurasaki
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 25 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I'm tend to be a food hoarder as well. I have countless cans of vegetable broth, but at least I use them all. I also have 10-12 cans of thai curry pastes and about 6 bottles of soy sauce. I also keep different types of rices on hand: jasmine (my standby), brown, basmati, Calrose, glutinous, and black rice. Noodles are another thing I hoard. I have soba, somen, shandong dried noodles, rice vermicelli, udon, cellophane noodles, misua, pancit canton, pancit bihon, egg noodles, etc. At least I have a lot of stuff to use for bentos.

LadyMurasaki
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I tend to use evaporated milk the same way I use regular milk. I like to use it in coffee. I also have used it in mashed potatoes, instant pudding mixes, etc. In the summer, I put some evaporated milk in a tall glass with some canteloupe cubes and ice.

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I was just looking at my many cans of tuna (Costco, need I say more), thinking that I don't eat it often enough, so I had a tuna sandwich for dinner and made some mini sandwiches for tomorrow's bento.

I'm relatively disciplined about using what's in my pantry, but because I do so much non-perishable shopping in bulk, my pantry is always pretty full.

I do know that I have a couple of things stuck in there that I may never eat, though - one can of Amy's Organics low-sodium minestrone (I *heart* sodium, and no amount of salt can save this), three cans of Amy's Organics chili (nowhere near as good as my home-made, will never buy again), and a giant can of Trader Joe's onion soup. I think I need to go ahead and just donate these things to a food bank or something.

Kyla
Bento-ing from: › Australia
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

GREAT idea, my husband is always nagging me about the assorted jars on the top shelf of the fridge. Have had a clean out and thrown out a couple of jars of suspicious looking things and am making plans to use the other stuff. Feeling better already! Have also taken up annenayne's suggestion and made a bag of 'never to be used' items from the pantry to donate.

bronwyncarlisle
Moderator
Bento-ing from: Dunedin › New Zealand
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
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Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

And I have just put the jar of blue cheese stuffed olives into my bag to take to work tomorrow, where I will put it in the fridge with a "please help yourselves" label on it. Starving students will eat anything.

I have another pantry problem actually - I love to make jam and preserve fruit. And I very rarely eat any of it so I have a wonderful looking pantry with rows and rows of every sort of good thing, none of which gets eaten unless I have visitors. If only jam wasn't so nice on top of fresh white bread and thick fattening butter.

Here is a small portion of the jam:

jam.jpg

Kyla
Bento-ing from: › Australia
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Yum! How I wish I saw that when I opened my pantry. I always think how nice it would be to make jam and preserves but I never get around to it.

Kyla

clarissa
Bento-ing from: Berlin › Germany
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 45 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

When you don't eat them yourself, why not giving them away as gifts? Everytime you are visiting someone, maybe invited to dinner or something, take one with a nice ribbon and give it away. You can continue making them, but do not have to eat them all by yourself, or waiting till you have visitors

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ketherian
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I grew up in a house of a hoarder. If you can't feed you and yours for several weeks with what you already have, you shouldn't consider yourself a cook; or so the old wisdom goes (now I'm not so sure that's wise). My problem's not the pantry (I'm pretty good at using most stuff eventually--and I'm not afraid to donate tins and packages of food when I no longer remember why I bought them). My freezer is tiny and forever packed with bags of vegetables, homemade broth, protein, and the odd bits of leftovers; all of which is pretty regularly rotated and used up. No, my problem is the fridge.

Tiny jars of sauces and spices that last far longer than my taste or my list of recipes. Fusion garlic sauce (yummy, but odd), chipotle-beer bbq sauce (spicy and smooth), tai-szechwan hot sauce (really none of the above, but resilient red and oddly hearty), ... it's getting so bad that I'm mixing them with tuna to fill out my bento, and cooking chicken breasts in them just to use them up.

Alwin
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Oh boy, how to describe this.. When it's edible, is dried or canned and unusual I'll probably have it somewhere in my cupboard or kitchen kabinets. Just some things:

- about 50 bottles of different wines (while we drink all of two bottles a year I still buy the stuff)
- a year's worth of buckwheat noodles, always handy when you have to cook for 20 people all of a sudden..
- packets of strained tomatoes, cans of peeled tomatoes, packets of dried tomatoes, tomato juice...
- all kinds of veggies and fruits in packages, cans etc. From pinapple to dried cranberries

Oh, and something I need to stop doing: buying spices in bulk. Who the hell needs a kilo of curry, a pound of white pepper, 8 different sorts of spices for shoarma.. I even buy stuff I don't even know or have no clue of how to use.

The fridge, same thing: pots of sweet peppers filled with cheese, 4 kinds of olives, at this moment 5 open bottles of sauce varieing from sweet plum to garlic, 3 kinds of curry paste (for indian cooking! love it!)...

And let's just not talk about both of my freezers ok ;)

Alice
Bento-ing from: Leicester › UK
Joined: 9 Jun 2008
User offline. Last seen 3 years 19 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Make jam filled cakes and give them too pepole.

Does anyone know how to use up mincemeat in a non christmasy way? I made too much again, and mince pies are depressing in January/February.

Stephanie
Bento-ing from: San Lorenzo › California › USA
Joined: 15 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 10 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Amy's soups and chili I can usually doctor up to be passable for a meal when I don't feel like cooking. But others have asked me not to get the chili any more, apparently to some it smells and looks like dog food. And I agree I can make much better chili.

Kyla
Bento-ing from: › Australia
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Try this slice
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/cookandchef/txt/s2430357.htm

You wont need to make the fruit mince, but the pastry is yummy and so easy to make.

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 17 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...
Alwin wrote:

Oh, and something I need to stop doing: buying spices in bulk. Who the hell needs a kilo of curry, a pound of white pepper, 8 different sorts of spices for shoarma..

Ha! My BF always wants me to buy dried herbs in bulk. "Baby, no. There's no way I'm going to go through four cups of dried basil before it tastes like dust."

anon.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I've been very good about not hoarding (which I love to do, just to have everything on hand) and using everything in my pantry/fridge, but I just went to the grocery store and literally bought enough for two to three meals a day for myself, my boyfriend and his son for a month and a half. Therefore, my cupboards are newly-filled with all sorts of weird stuff. Probably the weirdest stuff I have but never use are Mexican cooking products that my mother-in-law brings me, Croatian strawberry instant pudding mix (which doesn't taste the same as Jell-o), huckleberry jam and lingonberry preserves. Not as weird as it could be, although seeing as I'm the only person I know who cooks Japanese food, some people find my cupboard fillings to be a little weird (umeboshi, agar-agar, 4 kinds of seaweed, furikake, dried shiitake mushrooms)...

ajgray
Joined: 12 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 27 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

I'm trying to use up some sauces (olive tapenade, tomatillo salsa) by mixing them with pasta or rice.

moonshae
Bento-ing from: Melbourne › Australia
Joined: 9 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 3 years 18 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Like Maki I'm moving house so am challenging the BF (he is the cook usually) to create things based on our large stocks of tinned beans (chickpeas, red beans, mixed and refried) with bonus point for using up some of the many tinned tomatoes as well.

I am a jelly hoarder. I love jelly and icecream. But if I want jelly and make some, by the time its set I don't feel like jelly and it eventually goes funny in the fridge. I recently went down to 3 packets from 8 as the use by date had passed.

This weeks use up includes blue cheese salad dressing which the boy doesn't like. I'm trying it with boiled egg today.

MizLit
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 30 weeks ago.
Re: Week 3 Challenge Motivation~What is lurking in your ...

Etsy!
You can sell homemade goods on Etsy. No, really, I think it would be a lovely idea. :)

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5682467
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6645688
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5597713

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