Pantry Challenge ... of sorts

4 February 2023

Now that the school holidays are over and life is back to somewhat normal...  my focus has shifted back to the garden and food preservation. I am definitely wanting to make the most of the abundant tomato harvest... but also wanting to rake out all the random foods from the freezer and pantry and make sure they don't go to waste.

I always follow along with some of my favourite US homesteaders at this time of the year and watch as they embark on their #pantrychallenge ... I feel very inspired by their mission to 'use up' and 'make do' over a set period of time... usually a month or two with no shopping.
Its not really an ideal season for a pantry challenge in Australia because its our summer and the focus needs to be on preservation but I figured I would see how I go on a smaller scale.

This week we tackled our freezer ... we made an inventory of everything it contained and also earmarked some items that needed to be used up asap!

I then made a list of all our pantry/fridge staples and we did a large shopping trip to get everything we needed and our aim is to avoid any grocery shopping for the next 2 (hopefully more) weeks. 

On our menu this week ....
Roast Pork - (this needed to be used from the freezer) ... we enjoyed this for tea one night and then added chopped roast pork to our lunch salad bowls for the next few days.

Chicken and Leek Pies - I bagged up and froze my excess leek last year so I have been wanting to use it.. especially a few of the vacuum bags that had lost their vacuum. It was equally delicious frozen and cooked as it would have been direct from the garden.

Fish Cakes - In summer we were gifted some salmon and enjoyed one meal fresh the rest I popped in the freezer with fish cakes in mind. These were really delicious - I used this recipe.

Brown Rice - I had a bulk jar that needed using so I cooked a batch in the Instant Pot and then tipped over a lime juice/ garlic dressing - this was a delicious addition to our salad bowls during the week.

So now its on to week 2 and I have a collection of goodies that need to be used up and out of my pantry for this week which includes a huge jar of Australian brown lentils.

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