Last night, I finally made time to turn out the freezer and make an inventory before repacking everything neatly. Having had such a thorough look at our food stores has been really beneficial - I now know exactly what we have got and what needs replenishing, and have an idea of how squirrels must feel when they make their little stores all ready for winter!
I enjoy cooking, so it was no surprise to me to realise that gradually my herbs and spices and flavoured oils etc had taken over an entire shelf in one of the cupboards, but I was surprised to find I have 33 different herbs and spices! And that I was nearly out of sage, all out of rosemary, and my mixed spice had lost its scent, and so almost certainly its flavour!
I have not done a proper 'big shop' for a while, and so find myself without things that I consider staples, such as tinned tomatoes, but am pleasantly surprised to see how much we do have. If we had a sudden unseasonal snowfall and couldn't leave our home for a few days, we could eat very easily, although I must put milk for the freezer on my list so we could still have our pots of tea!
In my list making, I have included everything except for the fridge, because I see that as very temporary storage and perishable - there is no point to me saying I have milk in the fridge on a list because there is always milk in the fridge; meat in the fridge is there because it is about to be cooked, etc.
I now have my google spreadsheet all set up, with colours for the main categories of food (blue for dairy, red for protein, etc). The only thing that could make life a bit easier is if I had the magic kind of phone where you can access google docs on it, because then if I was in a shop and couldn't remember how much of something we had, I could look it up. Having said that, the plan is definitely to shop online as much as possible, except for the local market for fruit and veg etc, so I shouldn't really need to look things up while I am out and about!
Hopefully seeing at a glance what I have already will make menu planning easier. For example, I knew I had some pork mince in the freezer, but knowing I have some dry noodle nests and a jar of peanut butter means all I need to do is buy some new soy sauce, and sugar snap peas, and I can make pork-and-peanut-noodles for dinner. Although that won't be tonight...I have my friend and her parter coming to dinner tonight, and he is vegetarian. I am thinking of a spiced carrot and lentil soup, served in small portions in teacups as a starter, and steamed pumpkin and syryp sponge pudding for dessert...just have to decide what to put in the middle!
But before I get to any of that, I have to fill in my application form for the restructure at work. And remember to go and put my out-of-office reply onto my work emails, and try not to look at them as they come in....
But first, time for a bolstering cup of tea!