So today the challenge from The Year of Less is to pare down my knife drawer (did I really just say that?). They were able to get it down to three knives. I know that isn’t happening with me. Most of my knives are Henkels and were a gift from my dad, but I did have others that I happily passed on to someone who could use them. I knew for me that there was another area that needed a good cleaning out and that was the UFOs in my bathroom (unused facial ointments), specificly the samples.
Whether they are trial sized, mailing samples, hotel shampoos and soaps or bonuses with cosmetics, they slowly pile up. I’ve told myself I will use them for short trips but I forget about them. I’ve put them in lovely baskets for guests but usually people bring their own things and don’t want to try the death by chocolate dental floss. Year after year the small package of tissues decorated with dancing snowmen sits neglected. Eight tubes of Clinique lipstick, and yet only last month I bought two more tubes of a different product and shades.
I went against every HGTV show and put all my products on the counter. I put all the samples into a box and these are what I need to use until they are gone. I will look ridiculous blowing my nose in Frosty’s hat but the end result of a tissue is not a thing of great dignity anyways. On the counter I will leave all the partially finished bottles of mousse, gels, hair spray, moisturizers, toners and sun screen. These will have to be used or discarded before I use the newer stuff. Old mascaras and eye pencils hit the garbage. Old eye shadows will be repurposed as mica powder for polymer clay projects and shower caps can be used as food covers for the fridge. Really. Then we have the other food give aways, the take-out condiments. A box of the ketchups, soy sauces, and hot sauce packets have been put on the table so that we use those up before opening new jars. It’s not pretty but either these get used or they are just more clutter and a waste of money.
As for the food it is time to reconnect to my Mennonite roots. In most old Menno. homes there are always relishes (chutneys) at the table during meals. No food was wasted. Things were frozen, pickled or reworked. In the past I’ve made red pepper relishes and cucumber relishes but they were not on the list today. I had corn, red peppers, two cucumbers and some onions. Finally in Food that Schmecks I found Magdaline’s corn relish. I reduced the recipe to 1/3 and still ended up with 9 small jars. Normally this is made with green peppers as well but I used what I had. It’s time to reclaim the wisdom that got discarded in the name of convenience. Next step? The goal now is to collect 4 c. of blackberries to make jam for the winter. I have the polysporin already so I should be good!
As for the great “Eat Your Pantry” challenge we are ironically eating better than we have in a while.
No money spent today. Gathered 21 little yellow plums and 1/2 c. blackberries. I added apple to the carrot salad and made a sweet dressing. I made cheese bread as a side to the hamburgers and the left over corn on the cob finished a great lunch. Dinner was a healthy game of Ifits. If it is in the fridge it is fair game. Hamburger buns are buttered and broiled with garlic salt. Hamburger/rice stir fry, snap peas, salad, fried potatoes and spare ribs made for a happy little feast. I think I like not spending money.