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Friday, November 30, 2007

Do you wish you had extra space in your refrigerator and freezer around holidays? I do! I'm always smashing, stacking and shoving to make room for leftovers. Inevitably, something falls on the ground when opening the door, thus making me a bit more annoyed about the state of my overloaded fridge.

Now ... even saying that I have an overloaded refrigerator hits me wrong on many levels. Primarily that I should be complaining about having too much food, when millions go to bed hungry every night. If that hits you wrong too, I'd like to encourage you to look at my husband's website and ministry called Idle No More (http://www.idlenomore.org/).

The other reason this bothers me is that it doesn't show the best stewardship to keep food for so long that I eventually throw it away because 1) I don't know exactly what it is ... 2) but I know it's green and moldy; 3) or it's become a block of ice in my freezer (which could be used as a hockey puck if I didn't live in the desert.) Then I go out and buy more food, which follows the same path of destruction if I'm not careful.

So this month, I'm going to tackle my refrigerator by getting to the bottom of my over-crowded condition - and I mean that literally. By December 21 (when we leave for vacation), I'm going to try and use up all the stuff that's taking up space, waiting to be thrown away because of neglect. If I don't use it up, at least I'll put a dent in some of the items.

I took an inventory yesterday of those items that aren't staples (like catsup and mustard) and here's what I found:

cocktail sauce
Chinese bbq sauce
sesame oil
oyster sauce
hoisin sauce (yes, I went through a Chinese food phase)
chili garlic sauce
Jackson's Big Oak BBQ sauce (from last year's vacation to North Carolina - I hope it's got enough vinegar in it to still be good)
Southern Black Cherry mix (from this year's trip to North Carolina)
Gorgonzola cheese
2 containers of pesto
jar of pepperoncinis
Sun-dried tomato & rosemary butter
2 jars of caramel sauce
2 bottles of chocolate sauce
11 bottles of salad dressing (yes - I actually counted them)
Caribbean jerk marinade
tarter sauce
pie crusts
heavy cream

Now to the freezer. In addition to the normal frozen waffles and chicken breasts:

Italian sausage
Pork chops
green chilis
smoked salmon
meunster cheese
3 boxes chopped spinach
partial jar of pimientos
50 pounds of halibut from Alaskan vacation (probably not going to get eaten by December 21)

I actually started my kitchen count-down last night by thawing the pimientos, adding another 2 oz jar I found in the pantry, some canned mushrooms and leftover Thanksgiving turkey for Turkey ala King.

Tonight I've got a speaking engagement, one son is going to Young Life camp at 4:30, two boys are going to Acquire the Fire with the youth group, and Tod and the girls will be chauffering everyone around. So dinner will be something everyone can easily grab: Quiche Lorraine. This will use up one box of spinach, the pie crusts, some bacon, cream and there's leftover swiss cheese too. Plus a salad. I have a recipe that uses cream cheese in place of some of the cream - so if you want a quiche recipe that kids love - send me an email.

I hope this gets you excited about making room in your fridge too!

In His Love,


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