Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wait...Don't Throw It Away

This could begin by discussing the problems with our throw-away society, or how much food waste goes to the landfill annually while one in five children struggle with hunger. But I like approaching the topic of food thrift on a positive tip, because positivity can be more mobilizing.

Stretching ingredients is no longer a remnant of the depression-era. Being careful with ingredients does not specifically represent poverty, or tough times, or war. In fact, keeping scraps from the trash is in line with today's haute cuisine trend, which some may find kind of ironic.

Watching chef Sean Brock on Mind Of A Chef (a worthwhile production, thanks PBS) fry chicken skins and glaze pig tail to serve to his guests at HUSK in Charleston, SC, I was reminded of this. Being savvy in the kitchen is once again represented by wasting little, thanks to some chefs, home cooks and cookbook authors who are promoting creative ways to serve up the underserved.

I personally remember how much my mom loved pan-fried liver and onions, and I would gag as she ate them, but now blend up a pate with some regularity. I adore chicken feet for a good broth, especially at $3 a bag at farmers market. And often a good loaf of market bread doesn't get eaten fast enough and quickly becomes hard as stone. These are opportunities. Because regardless of what political group we subscribe to, (or refuse to subscribe to), or where we grew up on whatever side of the tracks, or whether we are part of the majority or the 1%, the bottom line remains the same: our resources are not limitless. Waste is u.g.l.y.

Often I feature very pretty, quality food here on this blog, but this may be giving the wrong impression. Yes, our household spends a big piece of its financial pie on food, but this does not mean our pie is big. It's realistically more of a hand pie.

Food is a personal priority, but understandably not the priority of all. Regardless, our income is precious, and much of this is represented on the chopping block. I'll be damned if I have to throw any of it away.
In fact, as I type, eggs and cream are staging a serious Cinderella story on some leftover stale boule in the oven.

So here is the recipe for this post, if there ever was one (measurements are approximate):

*If you buy the best ingredients you are able without compromising other living essentials, don't throw away the scraps, put them in the next meal.
*Underdogs are hidden, affordable treasures.
*Fillet Mignon is overplayed.
*Dogmas are too.
*Carbs are beautiful, and so is butter.
*If you move your body and cook at home, you can relax a bit about a meal's glycemic load. And everything else.
*If you sit down grateful, your food will fully feed you.



  1. Amen. You can say that again.
    I love canning or freezing a big batch of fruit and then using the peels to make a big batch of wine. We are living in a zone of abundance, where even our scraps have so much to offer us.
    May we all be graced with the good sense to use what we have. Let us not be damned, let alone dammed!

  2. Love your wine. Still have a swallow or two from the last bottle. Speaking of which, I shouldn't try to curse in writing while I have a swallow or two;)

  3. You ladies do not know what you are talking about. The quality of food that YOU both use/eat is tremendous. You should come with me for a five day trip: Eating what you can get hold of (very often FAST food, although out of a reasonable kitchen., I could start here!) and then the food that is thrown away on a five day trip... I think YOU are doing a fantastic job ...But I was not aware of the wine...Hint