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Going Anthro


mame11
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A few weeks ago, I heard this story on NPR. I listened with great interest because I have had occassion to waste a bit of food over the course of my life. For the past two weeks I have implemented the strategy and it has changed the way I interact with food. For example, last night I returned home after some holiday gatherings hungry because I had really not snacked much at any of the events. I noticed the celery hearts I had purchased at TJ a week ago, sure that they were either bad or close to being bad. I pulled them out and too my delight and surprise they were perfectly fine. I cleaned some celery, sliced some salami and cheese and had a good light late snack.

Today for lunch I had a salad using lettuce I bought last week to keep it from going bad, though I might have enjoyed a sandwich today.

It is just an interesting concept.

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I had the same experience the other day. I was watching a football game on TV and wondered into the kitchen looking for something to munch on. Lo and behold, on top of the refrigerator was a partial bag of tortilla chips left over from the same activity the previous Sunday. Figuring they had to be stale I nibbled on one anyway. Son of a gun, they were not so stale that I couldn't eat them, so I proceeded to eat the entire rest of the bag. No way am I going to let perfectly good tortilla chips go to waste.

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For me, one of the joys of cooking beets is that I get to eat the greens, which I'm betting a lot of people just toss. I'll chuck in a few handfulls of spinach that I've maybe kept a bit too long for salad purposes, but would be fine wilted. Toss with some sauteed garlic and a splash of vinegar. Yum.

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great topic! We're pretty good salvaging perfectly good food in our refrigerator too. Why, just yesterday I was down to the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, which keeps a really long time obviously (and thankfully) because it is so low moisture. The only bread I had to make a sandwich was one of those really thick end-pieces from my house-brand Safeway loaf of wheat bread. It was kind of stale, but not so stale that I couldn't nick off the few tiny circles of green mold and put the heel into the microwave to soften it up a little. first I wrapped it up in a paper towel that I re-used from when I had made bacon that morning and had fortunately forgotten to throw away. I would have rather opened up the dijon mustard that I got for a gift last year, but it looked like the spicy brown mustard was getting pretty crusty in the container in the refrigerator so I mixed it up with the rest of the Miracle Whip left over from when I made that jello mold for the spring picnic and it was just fine substitute for dijonnaise! I coudn't use the lettuce though, it was just too far gone, so I cut all the brown edges off the last of the avocado I had used last week to make guac, and it was a really good sandwich! And the best part was that I still had some beer left over from dinner the night before that still had a little oomph left in it. Delish. Waste not want not.

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There was an incident in Heat in which MB scolded Buford for throwing out celery leaves, something that I've noticed is an ingredient in stuffed pastas and braises.

I've been obsessed this year about not buying more than I can eat before it spoils and prepping vegetables for freezing before they turn to mush in light of a New Year's resolution. I don't run to the supermarket to replenish the chickpeas when the cupboards are full of jars of cranberry beans and flageolets twiddling their thumbs, sighing and growing harder and harder to soften. Typically, there's a soupy cucumber in the bottom of the vegetable bin since I never picked up only one of anything on my list while shopping. Not anymore. I save yolks or half of a raw egg in glass jars to use at breakfast the next morning, cook radish tops, beet green stems and save giblets from whole chickens to top pasta.

Still, last week I ended up tossing almost a pint of Half & Half since I over-bought for Thanksgiving. Milk the week before. The bunch of cilantro standing upright in water is turning black and soggy when it could have easily gone into salads and dressings. And when I whipped up a batter to deep-fry a dozen sage leaves, most of it ended up going down the sink.

Last night I made lasagna, freezing half the dough for later use. Still had a few thin noodles left-over. To avoid clumping, I put them back into an ice-water bath to make either a frittata or a plate of deconstructed lasagna with small nuggets of winter squash, dehydrating sage and raddichio (as long as they don't turn into goo).

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There was an incident in Heat in which MB scolded Buford for throwing out celery leaves, something that I've noticed is an ingredient in stuffed pastas and braises.

I save yolks or half of a raw egg in glass jars to use at breakfast the next morning, cook radish tops, beet green stems and save giblets from whole chickens to top pasta.

Celery leaves get chopped up along with the rest of the celery around here. They have an excellent herbal flavor, reminiscent of Italian parsley. (BTW, so do parsnip leaves.)

But how do you save giblets? Also, can you save chicken livers? We cook maybe one, maybe two, whole chickens a week. At that rate, they won't last long enough to be an ingredient of any quantity, unless you can freeze them?

Usually I just cook them and feed them to the dog.

The rule around here is about food waste is, if it's vegetable, it goes in the composter. If it's animal, feed it to the dog, she'll eat anything. :P

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great topic! We're pretty good salvaging perfectly good food in our refrigerator too. The only bread I had to make a sandwich was one of those really thick end-pieces from my house-brand Safeway loaf of wheat bread. It was kind of stale, but not so stale that I couldn't nick off the few tiny circles of green mold and put the heel into the microwave to soften it up a little.

I can only get away with this if my husband isn't watching. He won't eat anything that he know has had mold cut away or scraped off. If he catches me sniffing something to assess its status, he wants to know if it is "rotten"... Anything that is just a few degrees off of perfectly fresh, even if it is still completely safe and edible, he won't touch.

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I can only get away with this if my husband isn't watching. He won't eat anything that he know has had mold cut away or scraped off. If he catches me sniffing something to assess its status, he wants to know if it is "rotten"... Anything that is just a few degrees off of perfectly fresh, even if it is still completely safe and edible, he won't touch.
Your husband is a man after my own heart. Growing up, every scrap of food in our house was accounted for. Leftovers were remade into casseroles, pot pies, etc. Nothing got thrown away if mom could scrape the mold off. It grossed me out. Consequently, I have an active horror of accidentally eating something that's gone bad. Of course I had no idea as a kid that I'm a supertaster, and can taste off flavors that most people can't.

I try not to waste too much food in my own house. I find shopping every other day, and only buying what I need for those days, cuts back on the amount that goes in the trash.

Waste not, want not.

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Your husband is a man after my own heart. Growing up, every scrap of food in our house was accounted for. Leftovers were remade into casseroles, pot pies, etc. Nothing got thrown away if mom could scrape the mold off. It grossed me out. Consequently, I have an active horror of accidentally eating something that's gone bad. Of course I had no idea as a kid that I'm a supertaster, and can taste off flavors that most people can't.

I try not to waste too much food in my own house. I find shopping every other day, and only buying what I need for those days, cuts back on the amount that goes in the trash.

Waste not, want not.

There were three times when my mother just took all the leftovers, put them all together in a casserole, heated it all up and served it. Those casseroles, and I use that term advisedly, were DREADFUL and I was in no way a "picky" eater. The deal was, in our house, that you couldn't leave the table until you finished your dinner. I waited patiently until everybody else got up and left; then I would take my paper napkin and dump the dreck into it and into the trash. Some things just should not be done. Then there was the only time I got food poisoning--from leftover bacon which had been in the refrigerator for far longer than anyone suspected. I was 10 years old at the time and there are some things you just never, ever forget. Like putting two slices of cooked bacon on a sandwich, because it was THERE. :P
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There were three times when my mother just took all the leftovers, put them all together in a casserole, heated it all up and served it. Those casseroles, and I use that term advisedly, were DREADFUL and I was in no way a "picky" eater. The deal was, in our house, that you couldn't leave the table until you finished your dinner. I waited patiently until everybody else got up and left; then I would take my paper napkin and dump the dreck into it and into the trash. Some things just should not be done.

Sounds a lot like the stuff that Ruth Reichl's manic mother used to cook. One of her memorable creations put a bunch of people in the hospital.

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Your husband is a man after my own heart.
My husband is a maniac non-food-waster.

He will eat the same dish, day after day, until it's all used up. Which makes him perfect as a backup for recipe experiments. If they go bad, he'll keep eating until it's gone or time to delegate to the dog.

The worst thing is when I throw things like bruised fruit into the trash or the composter, and he fishes it out to make sure there's nothing good enough to salvage.

The second worst thing is when I make something good, and he refuses to eat it because there are still leftovers in the fridge and they need to be eaten first before they go bad.

And then there's being lectured on the vices of wasting food, and the virtues of not wasting said food. :P

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