waste not

Yesterday the outlaws headed out to 10:30 mass (at 10:35) and returned late in the afternoon with several (plastic) bags of groceries. They bought several kinds of fresh fish, a whole chicken, pork, a melon, a large container of strawberries, and a variety of vegetables. They were quite proud of their haul as it was all so cheap.

Meanwhile, rotting in the fridge are about 8 pounds of oranges (from the 12 that they bought), nectarines, half a large container of strawberries, broccoli, a head of red lettuce, two cups of cooked rice, homemade potato salad, and assorted leftovers from meals that no one would finish because they will throw nothing away.

I lost my cool and got a bit gruff. I told them I am tired of having to throw all the food away after they leave. It’s ridiculous. I once found a half of a jalapeno bagel lodged between the ketchup and the soy sauce a few weeks after they had left. It literally jumped out at me. And don’t get me started on the science experiment that welcomed us home upon our return from Berlin last year.

Today there is an open can of root beer in the fridge because they didn’t finish it last night at dinner. There is a part of me that wants to invoke the spirit of the  Grandpa George and make them drink it. And watch while they do! [Of course there are probably barely two sips left in said can, so it really is a moot point.]

Don’t get me wrong, I try not to waste, but it is hard. I have found that one of the best strategies is meal planning. Of course there are still times when that doesn’t work either because you find yourself eating out unexpectedly, or the leftovers you thought you would make it two nights, just don’t.

But we never know when they will be home or what they want to do. I never know if I should buy bread or if they will too and we will have too much. And really there is only so much you can freeze – at this point the freezer is not looking much better than the fridge.

The really odd thing is that I think they believe that if they aren’t actually the ones to toss the food, then the “sin” isn’t on them. Either that, or they really do believe in house elves and dish fairies who magically ensure that no food in their house ever goes to waste.

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