Monday, October 6, 2014

Everything counts!

Hello all!  I am  finally able to say I have finished a large number of sweet potatoes; 40 quarts to be exact.  Now one quart didn't seal so it was part of last nights dinner.  Which brings me to this weeks post.  DON'T WASTE!!!!  Seriously, how many of you throw away a little bit of meat here or a few veggies there when dinner is over?  Those little bits here and there add up to a pot of veggie soup on cold winter nights.  Everything counts! 
According to an article in US News, The National Defense Council says the average American throws away 25% of their food each year.  My grocery bill averages between 400 and 450 a month including toiletries, pet food, etc.  That would factor out to about $1200 a year!  Uh, if I threw that much out.  I can't afford  to throw that much out.  With the cost of food rising, it is extremely important to rethink how we look at our grocery use.

 Here are some things I have done just recently;

Last nights dinner was pork chops, fried green tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.  Anyone who has made fried green tomatoes before knows you have one container of beaten eggs, one container of milk, cornmeal, and flour.  Well, I didn't end up using all of the ingredients to make my tomatoes.  I didn't want to throw it away, so I mixed them all together and added a little salt, and baking powder.  I then cooked them like pancakes in the now empty iron skillet used to make the tomatoes.  Now it only made 3 "Pancakes", but it was enough for the men of the house to have one with a little butter on it with their dinner.  On to example number 2.  When canning sweet potatoes, I used a light syrup for the liquid that covers them in the jar.  When that one jar didn't seal, I heated it up for dinner.  We had left overs as well as the syrup they were packed in.  This morning I strained the left over sweet potatoes to retrieve the syrup.  I measured 1/3 cup of powdered milk into a cup and added enough light syrup to make 1cup liquid.  I then proceeded to make sweet potato muffins with walnuts, cinnamon, and allspice.  Because I used the syrup/dry milk mixture instead of 1 cup of milk in my muffins, I was able to eliminate half of the sugar I would have used in this recipe.  I also whisked in some of the left over potatoes. 

In the past I have, used left over meat loaf as the meat in spaghetti or chili.  Left over meat, and veggies are saved in the freezer for veggie soup.  Leftover rice goes into muffins or pancakes to stretch the quantity,  Left over potatoes become potato patties or also go into breads.  I have taken the egg and milk for French toast and added flour, etc to make a batch of muffins for the next day.  The idea is to re think our uses for those little items we usually throw away.  It goes without saying I do not reuse egg and milk or flour from dredging meats.  Just wanted to throw that in there so as to not alarm anyone.  You know I may be crazy, but not stupid.  So the plan is to re think food usage.  Try and use things up, and re purpose left overs.  Your grocery budget will thank you.

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