Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Kitchen Scraps...

One of the memories my youngest daughter and I share is the Thanksgiving dinner we were prepping the veggie tray and someone who will remain nameless thought they were helping tossed the peels in the trash and we looked in the trash can and mourned the lost of the the veggie broth we would have made... that is when my Daddy told me that sometimes I get too frugal in the kitchen. I looked back at him and asked who was it that told me each and every bite was important because when you are hungry one bite can mean a lot...it was him.

I wash my veggies and  keep the peelings off onions, carrots, potatoes, stems of cauliflower and broccoli plus the strings and ends of celery, bell pepper cores (without most of the seeds) and toss them in a freezer bag, when I get a gal of peelings I make veggie broth/stock. Price it at the store and you will start tossing your peelings in the freezer also. Garlic skins in the freezer bag..The ends of mushrooms also (store mushrooms in a brown lunch bag and put in frig and they will last longer). They can go together and make veggie broth or I can use the broccoli stems for stir fry,salads or cream of broccoli soup or slaw if I have enough. Mushrooms simmered are a good base for sauces, gravies or mushroom soup. Potato peels simmered make a good starch water for gravies and I have used the water also for potato soup or baked potato skins. I don't do cabbage for broth... I will make freezer slaw if I have enough of the outer tougher leaves to make it with.

I eat radish greens,carrot tops,beet greens and turnip greens...and the greens of scallions(AKA green onions).I also saute these and freeze them to toss in broth or casseroles or soups.

Citrus peels go in vinegar for cleaning or dried for zest or put in salt or sugar , I will candy them during the holidays to give as gifts.

Bones go into a stock pot to make broth... fish (which isn't very often since the grandson isn't around that fishes) pork (goes well in cabbage dishes and stews) ham (beans, cabbage) beef (noodles, soups, stews) poultry(soups, stews, noodles) not touching gravy. Gravy and bread was my Daddy's breakfast during warm months, oatmeal was for winter. That's what he ate for 16 yrs every morning.I also keep, strain and freeze these meats fat (well not fish). I have kept shrimp shells for seafood broth but Hubby's cholesterol goes up with shell fish so I don't do that unless I know the kids are going to be around.

Dried out cheese or rinds are saved to thicken or flavor sauces and casseroles.I will cut mold off and use the rest of the cheese.

Fruit skins and cores can make juice or jams or syrups including watermelon rind  as pickles or shrubs.

Bread heels, crumbs etc go into bread crumbs, bread pudding (sweet or savory) French toast, into soups, salads, dressings (AKA stuffings) coatings for foods.

Herb stems are kept in bags for adding to stocks and broths. I'll be straining it anyways and it gives the same flavor.

I simmer corn cobs to make corn cob syrup (good on corn bread and Johnny cakes/hoe cakes) and corn cob jam.If you save the husks you can make tamales.

I reuse my pickling brine including the pickled beet brine.

At one time both my parents grew grease bean a type of green bean. Mom called them shuck beans... regretfully they thought you could only eat the bean inside (like a pea) and threw away the outside which is called leather britches that can be cooked long time after you dehydrate them.

I use old cookies for topping on fruit crisps or pies or as pie crust (like a graham cracker crust)

No wine goes down the drain no matter how old or how long is has been open. I either use it in cooking or turn it into vinegar ...usually cooking.

We drink coffee, we drink day old coffee or even a couple days old coffee, or it goes in stews or gravies. Grounds go to the compost or garden.

Egg shells get washed, dried and crushed for the gardens.

Put bread heel in sugar and it will soften it that goes also for cookies when sealed in a container or bag.

Tea bags as I sit here drinking my 3rd cup of tea from the same bag. I have gathered a couple of the same tea bags and brewed in water then cooked rice in that water. Used it as a hair conditioner, tossed in the garden ...tons of things to do with used tea bags.

I cook all my winter squash including pumpkin, dehydrate it for using later. I use the squash seeds in shell for snacks and out of the shell as nuts.

When I was growing up Daddy always had a spot for the compost from the house went. He moved it every year. Just didn't plant that area... about a 4 ft x 4 ft area . Here on this farm we use the fields as we get enough compost from the manure/straw from the barns. When I check the ph in the gardens late fall I will put what is needed for it on it then to "marry" over winter.