discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My fridge uncovered....and a legendary tale

A few other blogs are participating in showing off the contents of their fridges. This really appeals to me as I'm a foodie and who isn't a nosey parker underneath it all.  I use to love that part of the Sunday Magazine that was a look in someone famous' shopping basket.  I couldn't wait to read what they had going on, I wonder if their baskets were edited?....that gives me an idea for another time!  So here is my fridge, no editing, no secret clean up, as it was as of 5.30pm on Wednesday.... 
Ok so, top shelf above  from left to right~ my favourite French Jam, my homemade chutney, the best greek yoghurt, natural yoghurt, up the back peanut butter, ezy sauce(used in the chutney), school lunches yoghurt, at the back meredith goats cheese, green olives, and lemons/avocado/apples/oranges
Next shelf from left to right~Tap King (contains boags premium, hubbies hooked), hummus, googie eggs, water, cat food and yakult.
Tops shelf above from left to right~dog bones and behind that is cooked pasta/rice with grated carrot/zucchini for the pooch, dairy farmers oats express(my daughter is never up for much for breakfast so I figure one of these are great in the car or on the walk to school every now and then) Water, dog/cat mince (ok, my animals are spoilt), and red bull (I LOATHE these but I'm married to a shift worker who hates coffee, who am I to complain).
Next shelf down from left to right~bacon, cheese, chicken meat for lunches, Yummi's beetroot dip (my non guilty pleasure) and butter.
Vegie crisper above~lots of plastic!! pumpkin, spring onions and carrots from the shops, home grown broad beans, silverbeet, spinach, peas, rocket, beetroots, baby carrots.  I feel better knowing I at least re-use some of these bags...but I really could do better.
In the door from top to bottom~more butter, a sneaky freddo frog, a bit of onion, ham, cream cheese, fetta, homemade chilli sauce, mustard, a friend's mum's green tomato pickles, more chilli sauce, balsamic glaze and chilli & garlic marinated local fetta, filtered water, oj, soy milk, full cream milk, pinot gris (mine!), tamari, another friends pickles(I love a good swap), oyster sauce, white rice wine vinegar, sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce, free range egg mayo, lemon juice and a friends green olives.

Thats it! Any surprises? 
So tell me my foodie friends, is there anything you want to know what I make or cook in particular with an ingredient?  

Are there any recipes you'd like me to make or try and create a healthy spin on it?

I must admit I feel a bit silly doing this post, but I'd be interested to see yours!!  If you are a fellow blogger, do a post and let me know.  I'd love to have a sticky beak!!

I love this type of voyeurism.  I'm afraid to say I love looking into other peoples shopping trolleys as we wait in line at the deli or while waiting in line to pay for our loot.  In my teens I worked at Super Kmart as a check out chick.  I didn't realise my fetish at the time, but I really loved that job!! I loved perfectly scanning and packing peoples groceries and at that young age I understood the importance of putting the eggs in a separate bag, or not putting the meat in with the laundry powder, it came naturally to me.  

When I was offered a full time job in the pay office, something told me to back away.  I signed up for a Chef's apprenticeship in Melbourne instead.  I'm not sure I've let out that little tit bit out to you my readers before, but there it is, I am a trained Chef.  

I trained in the early 90's and to be honest it was before the food revolution of the late 90's and long before the likes of Jamie Oliver, Masterchef or my kitchen rules.  It was a job and it sounded cool, working for an airline.  My parents were certainly impressed.  So I headed off to the big smoke at the ripe old age of 17, naive, green, and wet around the ears but I was so eager and excited, itching to get there.  I worked for what was then Australian Airlines, soon to become Qantas. Not anything as extravegant as cooking on the planes, rather in a large catering centre that bosted over 300 chefs.  There was 6 apprentices in each year level and the old school hierachy was rith.  Don't mess with the executive sous chef and it didn't take me long to realise you only call them all chef.  It was like working on a cooking production line. For the first year I'd spend a whole day piping butters and only butters for all those lucky to be travelling first class, or finely slicing capsicums, boxes and boxes of them, or cooking 50 litres of bechamel sauce to make the hugest lasagnas you've ever imagined.  I was a julienne machine by the end of it. I loved it.  I stayed for my whole 4 year apprenticeship but then we were made move on.  Probably a blessing as I could have still been there it was such a comfortable money pit for a qualified chef, working shift work but getting 90% off air travel and a very healthy pay check.  But it was hardly the heat of the kitchen.  

I did work my way into that heat though, and the speed and pressure that comes with it came easily to me. With my meticulous mis en place and attention to detail, it soon earned me a head chef position but back in my home town.  Fast forward many years later I was working in a busy, popular cafe with over 200 items on the menu, opened breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days a week 7am-10pm and I was burnt out and miserable.  I stayed in hospitality but changed roles, to front of house, another passion of mine, but that is a story for another day.  I haven't 'cheffed' for a living for over 15 years, so I hardly call myself one these days.  I like to think it just gave me some good skills that makes my time now in the kitchen easier.  Nor did I have the passion that I now have for food.  Working in kitchens for a living is hard, hard graft.  Its long hours, usually high pressure and not always well paying.  I admire anyone who seeks out this profession but also cringe when I hear of yet another person with no hospitality experience buying a cafe or restaurant thinking it will be a sinch.

See, get me started and I can't stop.......

Ciao, Jan


  1. Hi Jan.
    I love reading your blog with your laid back approach and sense of humour, you feel like an old friend. However, on reading your latest post, I realize you might actually be an old friend. Tell me, is your home town Warrnambool? And is Jan your full name?

    1. OMG..Robyn...are you who I think you are?!!! My old housemate in Melbourne? How cool is this! Gosh we had some times didn't we!! How did you ever get to seeing my little old blog?! You better email me I think!!! You have really put a smile on my face old, dear friend xxxx


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