I spent Monday getting ready to travel for the next 5 weeks. Getting ready for my travels involves going through the food in my refrigerator to see what can be eaten before I leave, what can be taken with me for eating on the plane, and what needs to be processed to be used later. As I chopped fresh fruit to be frozen for smoothies when I return in a month, I found myself thinking about something I’ve heard from people who are starting to incorporate more fresh produce into their diets. What I hear goes like this: “I buy all these lovely fruits and vegetables, but then I don’t eat them fast enough and end up throwing so much away because it’s gone bad.”
I do not throw very much fresh produce away because it has spoiled. Other than some leaves of spinach or baby greens or lettuce that go before the rest of the bunch, I find it easy to use up everything I buy. This is partly because my style of cooking involves last minute checking in the refrigerator for what needs to be used next and planning my meal based on that.
If I find something that needs to be used and can’t manage to use it right away, it’s not that hard to freeze it and then have it available for later use. For most fruits, it’s just a matter of chopping it to the size I can use and putting it in a freezable container. Many vegetables freeze better when they are blanched first – drop briefly in simmering water, then remove and drain, cool, and freeze.
By the time I left Tuesday morning, I had cooked up a frittata (I’ll include the recipe tomorrow, since I didn’t actually eat it until today – they are quite good room temperature or even cold) and a large salad (you can see it in the July 5th collage below) to take with me, created several leftover meals for my husband Rene’ to eat while I am gone, and set myself up for smoothies with frozen bananas, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots (and apriums and pluots!), and cherries when I return.
I am now in the San Diego area, assisting Stephen Gilligan with his annual Trance Camp, at which I will be teaching Awakening the Body (Tuesday, July 12th). My food collages for the next two weeks will be a mix of what I prepare to take with me from where I’m staying (without my own kitchen, and the various staples I usually have access to) and my restaurant meal choices.