A Wasting Lament: how part of my soul died because of what I threw away

I should have taken pictures to share with you. There should be “before” and “after” photos. In fact, I should go out in this snowy 12-degree weather and snap a shot of the contents of our trash barrel. It’s despicable.

Going deep

I cleaned out my deep freezer. We have a smallish one in our basement. It has been needing a good ransacking but I just kept putting it off.

Today I started sorting through the goods in our drawer freezer in our kitchen fridge. I needed more space and to know what I had. See, I’ve begun shopping and cooking in bulk in order to save time and money; this means I need ways to properly store food. In other words, I use my freezers a lot.

It was past time to get them both cleaned up. I emptied, sorted, cleaned, and organized the drawer freezer first. This left me with a mop bucket full of food that ought to have been in the deep freezer. For instance, I chopped a half dozen white onions and two red onions awhile back and froze them in two-cup increments in baggies. I didn’t need eight freaking onions taking up precious space, so down into the basement they went.

OH GOOD GOD

Seriously, what was half of that!? Why was all of that in there when we’d never in a million years eat it? Where the hell did it come from? And, more importantly, why was I letting that shit take up precious deep freezer space?

Think about it: I was paying the electric company to keep two mop buckets’ worth of inedible food frozen. AND not fully utilizing my freezer. Wtf.

Why

Five years ago, just a few months after we got married, the BHE and I helped my mother move in with us. I won’t scare you with the details here, but just know she has horrible ideas about food.

* deleting major description of my mother *

She brought the deep freezer, full of food, with her when she moved in with us. When she moved to Florida for a job about nine months later, she left the freezer and its contents as a sort of thank you for housing her.

Soul killer

I hate throwing food away. I don’t know if there’s anything which causes me more guilt than wasted food. I’m an eater. I love to eat. If I can’t eat everything in front of me, which is rare, I will definitely eat leftovers. I have a million recipes in my head for what to do with scraps and too-small portions.

I know what food costs, I know what it’s like to go hungry, and I know that there are starving people all over the world. That’s right: All over; not just in some African nation but right here in rural Indiana, too.

So much of the food in the freezer was frosty and burnt and way beyond edible. And a lot of it was just food we won’t eat. Two whole buckets of food dumped into the trash made me want to cry.

And no, none of what I threw away could have been donated. Makes. Me. Sick.

Inventory

What I kept: Two whole chickens, probably tortured before slaughter after having lived in heinous conditions and injected with god-knows-what (these will be used to make something for a large group since I won’t waste them); three dozen individually wrapped tilapia filets; two pounds unsalted butter (non-organic so again will be used to cook for a group); vacuum-packed shrimp wrapped in potatoes that must be deep fried (and I’ve never fried a thing in my life); those popsicle things in the vicious plastic sleeves

What got tossed: Five pounds of super frosty scallops (my heart broke); a pound of nasty-looking ground beef; two big bags of berries, frost-bitten to death; some unidentified hunks of fish, probably bought fresh but frozen improperly; butter-flavored Crisco; six ears of corn wrapped in a paper sack with two rubber bands around it; two pounds of raw shrimp that are now a big, gray, icy block

What’s in there now: See above for what I kept, plus… 3 five-pound bags of organic flour; five pounds of chicken breasts from a humane Amish farm; six pounds of uncooked and two pounds of cooked ground chuck (not certified organic but still organic); tons of chopped carrots, onions, and peppers plus broccoli, peas, green beans, and corn; a few jars of homemade chicken broth; the top tier of our wedding cake; a package of Kings Hawaiian rolls leftover from a get-together (on second thought, I may need to chuck these too; freezer burn and such); a couple pounds of bagged ice

Organization is key

Now that I know what I have and where it is, I can better create meals for us. So much can be wasted if you don’t even know you have it. I don’t know why I didn’t do this before. Some part of me must have thought it would be a big, time-consuming ordeal. It wasn’t. It barely took 15 minutes, and that was with Angel Baby “helping” the whole time.

What’s in your freezer?

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3 thoughts on “A Wasting Lament: how part of my soul died because of what I threw away

  1. Joya

    I feel your pain. I hate throwing away food. We have two deep freezes in our basement. One for meat (venison and fish the hunter brings home) and one for our freezer jam, veggies and overstock of rice, etc. “My” freezer is not so full that I don’t know what’s in it usually. We learned our lesson before; having to throw away food from our garden that we had in the freezer and forgotten about.
    Love your blog:0)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. travelerwife Post author

      I’ve been saying for years how we need a bigger freezer. We don’t. We just needed better organization. Now that the pantry is cleared out, I not only feel like we have plenty of space but also know what the heck we have! I’m glad you like the blog. Thanks, Joya.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Healthy Eating, part 3: Where to Shop for Organic | Thoughtfully Sought

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