Monday, May 08, 2006

Grocery Tip #10: Making Use of Throw Aways

Your grocery tip for this week is to make good use of food most people throw away.

Think about all of the vegetable scraps and bones that you throw away. Now is the time to get into the mindset of always asking yourself if something can be put to good use before throwing it in the trash can.

Because of my child with severe diet limitations, I began to make homemade broth years ago. After cooking up a delicious roast chicken and serving it to my family, I take the carcass, throw it in a pot with some seasonings and vegetable scraps, cover it with water, and boil it to death. The resulting broth can be frozen if it is not needed in the near future. You can do this with beef, pork, turkey, and fish bones as well. I also make vegetable broth if I have a lot of vegetables scraps. Believe me, homemade broth is way better than a bouillon cube mixed with a cup of water. And it's so easy, if you can boil water you can make broth!

One summer, my preteen daughter pickled watermelon rinds. Of course, rinds are not something you would normally eat, but pickled they're actually pretty good. I would say that was a pretty good use of a throw away!

Another way to make use of food throwaways is to compost. Over the years the harvest from our gardens have gotten better and better. Our flowers are bright and beautiful, and our vegetables are big and delicious. I credit this to our homemade compost. In addition to raking our leaves into the compost heap each spring, we throw in vegetable scraps, egg shells, newspaper, dryer lint (from cottons), hair clippings, the rabbit's droppings, lawn clippings, coffee grounds, and a few other odds and ends. No more spending oodles of money each year on top soil, manure, and peat moss!

One more idea for you all before I close -- Leftover Soup! When I have just a wee amount of vegetable or meat leftovers from dinner, not enough for a single serving the next day, I put it in a special container in the freezer. When my container is full, I make leftover soup. I mix it together with my homemade broth, perhaps throw in some rice, and I have a delicious soup.

This last Christmas, my husband and I were at a formal dinner party where the hostess served a wonderful cheesy broccoli soup which lead to a conversation about favorite soup recipes. When my husband was asked his favorite soup, his face lit up and he exclaimed, "My wife's Leftover Soup. It's the best!" I couldn't believe it!

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