Old potatoes. Rumpled beets. Organic carrots. Roasted peppers in a pot. Packs and packs of miso. Those were a few of the things you could find on my fridge a week ago. The kind of things you keep forever, or almost. The kind of things you feel reassured to have, you know just in case. The kind of things you never get to the bottom of, or at least it feels like it.
Then we went on vacation, and I realized watching my parents cook delicious organic food coming straight from the local market that it doesn’t require a ton of vegetables to create a wonderful and tasteful meal. A couple of sprouts, a chosen wholegrain, one protein, a few delicate spices, some homemade dressing and you are good to go. We actually don’t need as much as I used to think to feel satiated, satisfied and full of energy.
So I decide that from now on I would adopt the same strategy. Less quantity, more quality. Fewer vegetables, more flavours. Less time in the kitchen, more time at the table.
However, I couldn’t start right away my new resolution: first, I had to go through the old stuff that was left in the fridge. And I was determined to get to the bottom of it. I swear you’ve never seen a lady cooking with such conviction leftovers.
Throughout the process, I was surprised at how much you actually get out of a few things. It has been the week where we actually ate some of the best meals in a very long time. I guess that’s what you call frugal innovation : being forced to get creative with whatever you have on hand can lead to amazing results. Having the confidence that you will be able to come up with something no matter what, that you are richer than you think.
Yesterday I was done. I still could have come up with a few meals with what was left in my fridge and in my pantry, but knowing I wouldn’t have time to go grocery shopping before another week, we went and bought a few essentials. That part was fun too. Knowing how much time and effort I had put into cleaning the fridge, I was now more careful about my choices. I made sure everything I was buying truly fitted my actual tastes, as well as my convictions.
Sure, we still have those old tuna cans. It’s not perfect yet. This is not a complete makeover when we scratch out everything and start from ground zero. But the important thing is that we gave ourselves a chance to make a fresh start, so that moving on we could keep on eating based on what feels good right now.
It’s not always easy to make the transition from our past selves to our present selves. And it’s perfectly fine. It’s okay to take baby steps. It’s okay to take our time to consciously choose what we want to keep buying in the future, and what we don’t need anymore. To keep some of that old mustard in the mix, because it’s also where we come from.
Our fridge is pretty much like our life: a container. As we are so privileged, we get to choose what we want to put in it, so choose purposefully because as they say, “you are what you eat”.