Does anyone actually enjoy moving house? Of course it does quite depend on where you’re going, the circumstances and so on, but surely no-one likes packing. It’s a drag. Perhaps it’s my neat-freak tendencies that spoil the ‘fun’, but honestly what’s there to like about having half packed boxes lying around the house, just waiting to be tripped over? Come on, don’t say you haven’t yelled expletives at a box because it was ‘in the way’ (and not you just being a clumsy soul). Does it sound like we’re in the middle of moving house? Mmm. Buh-bye Sydney. It’s been nice knowing you for a year.
It’s very tempting to leave packing to the absolute last minute, rather than having the house looking like a mini-tornado’s hit it for any extended period. However, there’s one ‘department’ (because I’m a little anal and divide the house into sections for organisation purposes) of moving/packing etc. that can’t be ignored for too long, without some serious waste occurring. The aspect in question is food.
Australia is a biiiiiiiggggg place. But you probably already knew that. So when the contents of your abode are travelling over 3500 kilometres by train to reach their new destination, refrigerated and frozen goods are already a no-go zone. Additionally, each state possesses a number of quarantine rules regarding what can and can’t cross the border. Western Australia’s particualr laws restrict the passage of seeds, nuts and honey. Now if you’re anything like me and have a habit of squirreling things away when they’re on special (chia seeds, quinoa, amaranth and so on aren’t exactly easy on the ol’ purse), it means you’ve got a small mountain of goods that either have to be given the flick or used before they cross the border. Time to pull the recipe books out and put the thinking cap on.
It’s become a bit of a game, a personal challenge, over the past week to come up with meals/snacks that use as many ‘no-go products’ as possible. Five was the ‘high score’, with some amazing millet & seed cookies….of which a recipe will be coming soon. When I’ve gone out and rebought all the ingredients. Fun times.
In the past three weeks we’ve had vegetable fritters with besan flour, quinoa risotto with pine nuts and ricotta (cheese was a major issue – we had about five types in the fridge), and numerous salads with quinoa or feta or seeds. Sometimes all three. We’ve had homemade pesto in anything and everything. Because, that’s right, WA prohibits the entry of all plants too. And we can’t forget about these Creamy Cannellini Bean and Vegetable Pies. The pastry off cuts from the pies were then used in mini pumpkin and feta quiches. Nothing goes to waste if I can’t help it!
In terms of muffins there’s been Joy the Baker’s Brown Butter Cornbread Muffins (a nifty way to use up polenta and frozen berries) and Sky-High Apple Blackberry Muffins from Sally’s Baking Addition (yet more berries to use up). Oh and a batch of blueberry white chocolate muffins for good measure. Frozen berries may or may not be one of my weaker points when it comes to purchasing sale items in bulk.
These Soft, Chewy Quinoa Oat Bars were put to good use, as were a number of other biscuits, slices and confections that supported shoving in copious amounts of nuts/homemade nut butter/seeds/honey. I’ve also been consuming frozen banana, berry and chia smoothies for all I’m worth. It’s a hard life. I’m proud to announce that the freezer will be completely empty by moving date, with nothing having been thrown away! In fact only ‘victims’ of the move were half a bag of sesame seeds and another half bag of chia seeds and pepitas. Not bad, if I say so myself.
An alternative to going nuts trying to incorporate all your perishable or forbidden items into meals (I must admit the frozen peas have been pushed to their absolute limit) would be to pawn them off to someone else. No doubt they’ll appreciate the free nosh. Making the effort to prevent as much food waste as possible in such circumstances is not only the ‘right’ and moral thing to do, but amongst the chaos of packaging bashing a wooden spoon around a bowl for an hour or two can be a great stress reliever. And if you decide to go down the ‘give away route’, some good karma wouldn’t go amiss! It might even prevent you falling over the packing boxes for the hundredth time.