Two Good Projects

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A week or two ago, my friend Claudia told me about a project her friend Kim O’Donnel at the Washington Post‘s Mighty Appetite blog was doing—Eating Down the Fridge.

I love this project! It’s over now (it was a week-long community project), but you can read about how it turned out for everyone.

I find it stressful to have too much food around, so I don’t tend to get a lot built up. Also I occasionally have what I think of as “weird meal night” where I eat whatever little bits of leftovers I have regardless of how well they go with each other—I might have a meal consisting of leftover pancakes and mashed potatoes and cottage cheese (or whatever).

So that project wouldn’t work all that well for me, but I know that a lot of people end up with all sorts of things in their pantry and freezer and fridge and then just kind of forget about them and keep buying new stuff. I think doing your own personal Eating Down the Fridge project every couple months is probably a good idea. (Unless you’re actually living an Eating Down the Fridge project, in which case you should just try to make the best of it. And maybe read How to Cook a Wolf for inspiration. I promise, it will make you feel better.)

Also when I got back last night from my trip to New York City (I was up there filming with Rachel Ray for her series on the Smartest $avers in America, and it’s airing TOMORROW — Friday 3/26, check your local listings) I got on the shuttle bus to get to the parking lot and I said hi to the driver as I got on, and there were no other passengers on the bus yet, so I moved toward the back and put my stuff down and he said, “What are you doing going all the way back there? Sit up here so you can talk to me.” And I laughed and thought, “I’m definitely not in New York City anymore.”

So I was talking to the driver and I told him about Rachel Ray and my project, and when I got off the bus, a couple with a sweet little baby who were also going back to their car asked what was the name of my blog and I told them and we started talking because he said he’s working on a book about wasted food and everything that gets thrown away.

I said that was so funny since my top tip for saving money that I gave to Rachel Ray was DON’T THROW FOOD AWAY. (Yes, I know, this is completely revolutionary—so revolutionary that I need to be put in front of a national television audience to say it.)

His name is Jonathan Bloom and his project looks great, check it out at

9 Responses to “Two Good Projects”

  1. I’m really glad our paths crossed, Rebecca. It was neat hearing about your project and left me with a nice sense of community. I’ll be tuning in to watch my first ever episode of Rachel Ray tomorrow!

    Thanks for the linkage; let’s be in touch, you know, once your media blitz concludes.

  2. Heather Says:

    Oh wow, what coincidence that two of my favorite food bloggers meet on a bus in North Carolina and swap stories about their respective big projects! I think my foodie-obsessed world just shook. Should we all move to NC? =)

  3. Tom Says:

    I really enjoyed reading about your experiment. Keep us inspired & posted on your minimalist approach. It’s cool to see the plain glass bowls & jars in your photos. What is in your minimally kitchen? Any more recipes you can pass on? The split pea soup is perfect.

  4. Coincidently I just did this myself just recently. I ended up gathering so much forgotten food in my pantry that I haven’t gone grocery shopping in about 3 weeks, apart from picking up a few fresh or very inexpensive sale items. I think if we cleaned out the fridge and pantry every few weeks, we wouldn’t have this problem of overabundance. North Americans are the biggest food wasters in the world, we’re so gluttonous compared to other countries and cultures. Quite sad isn’t it?

  5. T Says:

    I would like your recipe for the stir fry you showed on the Racheal Ray show. Thanks, T

  6. lessisenough Says:

    I didn’t actually use a recipe, because I didn’t have ingredients for the sauce so it was pretty basic — I just chopped up garlic, carrots, onions, cabbage, and stir-fried those and then added cooked pasta and stir-fried that together.

    Here’s a link to a recipe I found on a Japanese culture website.

    There are other recipes out there but this one was the simplest I found, and was the most like what my friend who had lived in Japan told me.

  7. T Says:

    Thanks, I’ll try it!

  8. I’m sorry that I missed seeing you on Rachel Ray.

    I was busy, out having my arms poked full of holes so that someone can check my cholesterol or some damned thing.

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