Saturday, May 12, 2012
No Waste Day
Wouldn’t it be nice if our refrigerators looked like this all the time? Well, if yours is like mine, before no time at all, food I was planning on using for something, ends up pushed back behind something else and I forget about it. Then, it is no longer consumable.
I really got tired of throwing food out, especially when there are others with no food, and with the price of food escalating at such a fast rate.
So, some time ago, I started thinking about having a “no waste day”. On that day, once every week or two, I would look through the frig and see if there was anything hiding. I would either freeze it raw or cook it and freeze it. (You do have to make sure to date it and write it on a list somewhere that it is in the freezer or else it will get lost too.)
Today was the day. This morning I found some mushrooms that were still good, but maybe not for long. I had no immediate plans for them because of our hectic schedule. so I better do something with it. I also had some fresh blueberries and strawberries that had not been touched. And some celery stalks.
Not knowing when I would get around to using them, I rinsed the berries, drained them good, then put them in a freezer bag, sucking the air out with my mini vacuum freezer tool my daughter bought me a couple years ago. I labeled it and dated it with a permanent marker. The next time we have ice cream I can stir in some sugar and make some fruit topping. Or, it is good to use in smoothies, or jellies. No waste!
Then I turned to the mushrooms. I knew if I cooked them they would last a lot longer than sitting in the frig fresh. So, my intention was to just cook them up and freeze them as I did the fruit. Well, this is what I did to them.
I put a little olive oil in a small fry pan, about 1 tablespoon. Then I added three cloves of peeled garlic (smashed but whole) just to flavor the oil. Then I put 1/4 cup of wine, crushed red pepper flakes, maybe 1/8 tsp. Add 1 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar. Then I put about 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Let that simmer for 15 minutes.
While that was simmering, I took the stems off of (about 9 big button) mushrooms, rinsed them off (I normally just brush them but I was going to cook them down anyway). Then I sliced them in fairly big pieces.
I added them into the hot liquid, added salt and pepper and sautéed them on medium heat, stirring frequently (don’t leave them) until they had shrunk in size and were soft, about 15 – 20 minutes. Then I turned them on simmer for about 20 more minutes. I turned the stove off and just let them sit and soak in the juices which were a beautiful rich brown.
I was going to let them cool and put them in the freezer, however, they were scrumptious. So good in fact my husband and I sat down and had a bowl of them. That was our satisfying dinner. No waste!
There is not much you can do with celery, except to chop it in small pieces and freeze it to use in soups or some stews.
I know it is just my house that is trying to save a little here and there, but it is one way to be a good steward of all the blessings and provision the Lord has given us.
And I hear my mom every now and then say, “Waste not, want not”. The older generation were a lot more frugal and could turn nothing into something. As for me and my house, I just want to make a little difference in a “waste not” lifestyle.
I am praying to get a lot better at it.