The never-ending balance of bringing in food vs. using it up continues! I'm pretty sure I'm just treading water.
I have started using a wipeboard on the fridge to track what needs to get used and have put it at eye level. That has really helped. I also have a designated shelf for things that have to be used up. That is also helping.
We hosted a family potluck on the 30th and are just finishing up all the leftovers people left with us. I haven't had to cook dinners, so I have been able to focus on using up some of the non-dinner stuff we have kicking around.
Christmas has left us with a ton more food items. I'm pretty much okay with this though, the amount of "stuff" has gone way down and most of the family opted for homemade food gifts. Given Hubs and I have pretty specific diets these days, it is really cool that people thought about that and gave us food gifts we will use, instead of having to regift or rehome.
Some highlights: My sister made some coconut oil/turmeric/chai spiced hot toddy mix, and a jar of browned butter ghee. We got pistachios in our stockings instead of candy, my sister also gifted us a bottle of homemade huckleberry mead. Mom gave us a bunch of her canning. We got tons of herbal teas, regular teas, spices of all kinds. Now we have plenty of these, but it is so much better than getting things we will never use and have to store.
Our gifts were homemade popcorn seasonings (BBQ, Sour Cream and Onion, Ranch, Sriracha) tri-colored popcorn from our stash and a molded beeswax candle, all inside a decorative record bowl. These were super fun to put together, everyone loved them and they did help put a dent in our spices and popcorn stores :)
There is still a ton of chocolate and snacky things like that, but we are hosting an open house gaming day this weekend which should help use it up. Everything food wise for that is from the pantry or freezer, except for the buns, since we don't eat them. I am going to see if I can try and make a BBQ sauce to go on the kalua pork out of things I have in the pantry.
My aunt gave us a HUGE bag of Lemongrass "tea" So I now have dried lemongrass in at least three different forms:) I did make some into a tea and threw in some freeze dried raspberries I found in the back of the pantry. It was pretty tasty. Unfortunately, it only used a couple of tablespoons. Onward and upward!