Thanks, neighbors…

Posted Oct 17

My neighbors are feeding me, unbeknownst too them. Last time ’round i mentioned how full my freezer is? Here’s how full it is.




On Memorial Day weekend and 4th of July i kept hoping I’d come across some BBQ. There’s a very nifty chef’s quality gas fired grill in the courtyard at the apt complex, but I’ve never seen anyone using it. Well today i got lucky – 2 big fat chicken legs, and a couple of hot dogs, a bit too charred, but I have knives, forks and strong finger nails :-).

That’ll get rid of the charred parts! Into the freezer.


I have learned a lesson recently about freezing things – do it as small portions. I have a few large packs of frozen meat, 1 lb, 2 lbs of both chicken and ground turkey. What I should have done was break them into smaller portions, so i don’t have to eat ground turkey for breakfast lunch and dinner for a week or 10 days.


The last few days, just a few things:

• A pack of Thomas’ english muffins, multigrain dated 8/12. Bread keeps a long time my friend, there’s no mold whatsoever.

I’ll probably freeze a few for later.

• Several six packs of soda, generic safeway cola. I’m not much for soda, but every once in a while…OK.

So i take a couple of cans, leave the rest.

• A small snack size ziploc bag w/ pistachios. These are kinda fun, you have to pop off the shell to eat’em. Kinda like unshelled peanuts at the ballpark. Pistachios come from a small tree originally grown in the middle east and central asia. The ‘ritual’ if you could call it that, of breaking open the shells is downright addictive – i used to live at 12th & Balboa in SF, and shopped many times at a convenience mart at 10th and Cabrillo, a short walk away. The owner always had a bowl of pistachios next to the cash register, always cracking open and popping one into his mouth…20 seconds.

I’ve stepped up my checking out trash cans at bus stops/ the bus transit center – a third of the time, i can find a newspaper or part of one, and every so often so food. Today, it was chinese carry out. Not much rice left but a small container of what looks to various meats in a med. hot peanut sauce. Passes the smell test and the taste test. Add rice? That’s dinner for a few days, much better than i can cook. I guess people buy some food thinking they can finish it before their bus arrives. But they can’t, and you can’t carry open food containers or eat on the bus. So into the trash it goes.

Dinner tonight?

Some microwaveable brown rice, mixed in w/ some ricearoni, carrots, and the previously mentioned asian meat medley.

Everything is free. 🙂


• TJ mushroom herb risotto mix. 8 oz

• brown sugar, white sugar, 2 bags. about 2+ lbs. all together.

• bread crumbs, white bread but easy to customize.

• clear plastic wrap 155 sq ft.

• 1 big red onion. Onions keep for a really long time. Why was this one tossed out? Dumb!


• Half a 16 oz jar of ‘classic’ tomato sauce.

• 8 hot dog buns – 12 oz. – Whole wheat. Use some, freeze some, dry some out for bread crumbs.

A good addition to soups.

* 2 monstrous heirloom tomatoes. They are both a bit soft, one has a split on the bottom. Doesn’t mean it’s no good. I freeze one for soup. Will use the other to spice up the tomato sauce mentioned above. And a small container of pico de gallo i found.

• A big 24 oz container of strawberry yogurt – dated?  “best by 7/1/2015”

I open it, give it the taste test? Still perfectly good. 

I think i will bake one of the apples i found, and pick some wild black berries off bushes i pass on my way to my bus stop, grind it all up, and make this yogurt *fruity, juicy and delicious*!

Get creative w/ leftovers!!

• Last but definitely not least, a half finished Toblerone chocolate bar – honey and almond nougat!

Who the fuck in their right mind throws this away?


Several carry-out type containers, plus asparagus:


• Umami tuna sushi – ‘hot’!

That’s probably why it got tossed  – too hot for american palates.

• A steak and baked potato, half finished, if that.

• Asparagus! – a full 1 lb. bunch! from Mexico – the stalks are too tough, i cut them off.

Steam the rest in the microwave. 

Microwaves are good at that, turning anything into mush if you cook it too long. Go a little bit at a time.

• Half a lemon pound cake, a slice of apple/peach pie.

(Time to buy some ice cream, right? I think i’ll make it ‘rocky road’)


Someone moved out in a big hurry one of the maintenance guys tells me as he sees me step up to the dumpsters.

“They left a thousand dollars worth of stuff” he says. Sure enough, he was right. There were several pieces of furniture – a nice wooden shelf/cabinet combination, 5 ft long. The maintenance guy wanted it, said his wife would really like it, he had already drafted a coworker and a handtruck to move it into a vacant apt. nearby for temporary storage. The dumpsters were full of clothes, nice women’s apparel, books and magazines of all sorts. I found two copies of Archeology magazine, but i left the issues of Figure Skater – not my bag. Allota books about God and Jesus – ‘not interested’. Also a hardcover copy of Wendell Berry’s ‘Remembering’, a short novel. Recognize the name but never read anything of his. The novel is set in SF, the GG Bridge is in the distance on the cover illustration, it was published in late 1988. When i open it up, i see it is autographed by the author, dated 12/15/88.

No food at all. Oh well, the weekend’s comin’, people always party, or carry-out that doesn’t get finished, and gets tossed.

Pizza in particular meets this fate. And it is the simplest most flexible food to store and improvise with.

They only have stores in 8 US states, one of them is just a few blocks from my apt.

I’ll bet people buy something extreme, and then find they overdid it.


• Greek yogurt dip, 10 oz. unopened – BB date? 9/28

•14 oz pack of cellery and carrot sticks – BB date? 9/28 also unopened.

• a 22oz bag of romaine hearts, 3 altogether, one is half used, looks pretty old, sorry, that’s gotta go.

The other 2 are a bit ‘old’, but i pull off the outer leaves, the center are fine.

• a box of single serving dry cereals. I only take the rice crispys, leave the sugary ones.

• i don’t know how many small bags of ‘carnation essentials complete nutritional drink, chocolate – just add milk’. It’s got a lot of vitamins and minerals in there.

These last 2 items go in my earthquake supplies cabinet. I might not have milk, but water would do.

“IF you live in the United States, you probably do some form of recycling. It’s likely that you separate paper from plastic and glass and metal. You rinse the bottles and cans, and you might put food scraps in a container destined for a composting facility. As you sort everything into the right bins, you probably assume that recycling is helping your community and protecting the environment. But is it? Are you in fact wasting your time?”

French Entrepreneurs create app to combat food wastage:

That’s it for this month. Thanksgiving is a month or so away. Looking forward to it here. 🙂



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