“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let's be sure we take along with us all the old-fashioned things worth while.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Waste Not .. Want Not

Today is Saturday .. a beautiful sunny day, and I'm hoping to go take a nice long walk in the cool, crisp mountain air.  It's also the day to tidy up the refrigerator for the week and make use of food and left-overs before they go bad.  I HATE wasting good food .. so It's important to know what's in the fridge so it doesn't get pushed to the back and turn into a science experiment.  We use up our left-overs within a few days to ensure quality. 

I'll be making potato leek soup for dinner as I have extra milk and a huge leek.  There's a quart of chicken stock and a rutabaga as well .. and some steak.  These will get turn into some type of meal as well.  Let's see .. Philly steak sandwiches for lunch (I have red pepper and onions and homemade bread rolls).  Rutabagas are great cooked up with potatoes and mashed .. (that will be a side dish for Sunday's dinner) .. and the stock .. well, I think some may go in the potato-leek soup .. and the rest will be served steaming hot in over-sized mugs sprinkled with some dried thyme and a pinch of sea salt.

There's also a 1/4 loaf of home-baked bread .. I've already got that in a large skillet with a little butter, olive oil, smashed clove of garlic, dried thyme and a little sea salt to make salad/soup croutons.  Stale bread works best for French toast or bread puddings too.  Leftover bread can be whirred in the food processor to make fresh bread crumbs to add to meatloaf .. or toasted in a baking sheet and stored in the pantry for another week or two.

My two cups of buttermilk will be the base for a new batch of ranch dressing, the homemade yogurt will get drained and turned into yogurt herb cream cheese.  

In any economy, good or bad, it's wise to use up your extra food if stored properly, with-in a few days; most times, my family doesn't even realize they're eating the previous day's meal because it's been 're-purposed' into a 'new to them' meal.  How do you best utilize left-overs?


Sue said...

I love leftovers--they're my "out" for the weekend cookery. And leftover bread is always hoarded here for french toast---I almost like that better than the bread hot out of the oven slathered in butter. Almost.

Felisol said...

Dear Mrs. Mac,
I always use leftovers, but not so cleverly as you. Gunnar can always guess that he's being served yesterdays news. But he is an easy man to cook for, so he doesn't care.
Throwing food is almost as bad as breaking the ten commandments in my mother's point of view. I feel bad when something is overdue, and has to be thrown away.
I assure you, it doesn't happen often.

As for bread, we only eat Gunnar's home made spelt bread, and that is eaten to the last crumb.

Dani said...

I make double the quantity (e.g. spag bol), pack, label and store the left overs in the freezer for 3 - 4 days, bring it out and it make a "new" meal (Shepherd pie / pies)for RMan - who DOESN'T eat left-overs LOL

I always find that food that has been allowed to sit for a day or so, tastes better than the day it was made - the herbs have time to infuse the food properly then.

Rebecca said...

I SO agree about leftovers. I make a lot of unrepeatable soups out of leftovers :)

I haven't tried it yet, but my friend told me she thickens her potato soup with bread crumbs she has whirred in the food processor....Sounds right to me!

Mr. H. said...

Waste not want not is right, especially in this day and age when we take so much for granted. Micki and I are huge fans of leftovers and often purposely plan our meals so that there will be some. I really like what your are doing with the croutons and might have to try that.

Mrs. Mac said...

@Sue French toast or hot bread slathered with butter .. you're right .. it's a toss up (almost:) .. BTW .. did you disable comments on your blog? I didn't see a place to leave one.

@ Felisol .. Yes, indeed, your mother is right .. about as bad as breaking one of the ten commandments; she always so wise. I loved her 'If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I'd still plant a tree today' quote :)

@Dani ~ and RMan thinks he doesn't eat leftovers (LOL). Good job of playing 'make-believe' on your part that he doesn't even know he's eating a re-purposed meal :)

@ Rebecca .. Yes, bread crumbs will thicken soup beautifully.

@ Mike ~ It is good to make a bit extra for leftovers .. especially for one or two people.

Wendy said...

sounds like a fantastic day of eats! I had all this cornbread b/c we'd ordered some and the chili place messed up our meal order so they gave us a TON of extra cornbread. I knew there'd be something great I could make with stale cornbread, but in the end, I let it go bad :( I have absolutely no creativity sometimes.

Laurie said...

We do eat our leftovers, but most often I do very little to change them. Thankfully, my partner is very easy to cook for. I make croutons & bread crumbs with our old bread. The buttermilk has me intrigued. I do make yogurt & kefir, which is pretty similar, but I may have to give this a try, just to see.

Ruth Trowbridge said...

Thanks for all the fantastic comments. Did you miss my post?

You are so ahead of the crowd, wonderful to follow your blog. Peace