In 2011 : Waste Less Food

I’m not really big on making New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe because I’ve learned that I tend to overload on self-improvement ideas each of which really needs some time and attention to brew up to a real change.  But it does help if I state an intention and if I put a time frame on it.

I’ve been using the goal-making site 43Things to track both serious and frivolous goals for years. According to the site, I’ve done 580 things (and given up on 76) since I joined in June of 2005.  One of my early goals was to take a photo every day with my first digital camera.  If I did that for a year, I would have earned the Nikon DSLR that I wanted to buy.  That’s how this blog began.   I took a photo every day for 3 years, bought a new camera along the way, and I learned a lot from it.

Back to food: I remember reading years ago that people who buy more fresh produce also tend to waste more food.  Probably because, like me, they get all overheated at the farmer’s market or veggie stand and buy way more than is reasonable for their household to eat in a week.

There’s also that thing with potatoes that they’re so much cheaper if you buy them in 5-10 pound bags.   Not so much a deal if you let them go all gooey.  With this in mind, and having just rummaged through my pantry pretty thoroughly, I made potato spinach soup.  Never mixed them before, but that’s what I had on hand.

Here’s the recipe for the above, which I’m calling Reversible Potato Soup, because you can make the base potato soup and add other things from your fridge to it that you need to use up.

I had twice as many potatoes as  I needed for this recipe, so I went online and found out how to freeze potatoes, and froze the other two cups I’d just cut up.   I have chicken stock in there I made from the remains of a rotisserie chicken, some mushrooms I tossed in there earlier this week.  I think I’m building toward another soup from potatoes that would have gone into the trash in another few days.



I’d also found a box of Devil’s food cake mix that was about to hit it’s use-by date, so I Googled and found this basic recipe.  I added white chocolate chips an walnuts I had leftover from my holiday baking.  They didn’t flatten out like they were supposed to, so I think next time I’d bump the oil up from 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

But these were nice bites to take to the Noble House Concert we were going to later in the day.

I also made these molasses cookies with some molasses I bought for holiday baking but didn’t use.  Of course, it only took 1/4 cup of molasses, so I have a way to go to use it up.  It was more like, “The oven’s on and I feel like a molasses cookie.”  These were supposed to be soft, but came out kind of like ginger snaps. Maybe I left them in a little too long.  Here’s the recipe.

I’m not sure that Michael Pollan meant to send me into a baking frenzy when he suggested that one can still have sweet treats, but make them for yourself, don’t buy them.

Well, at least I know what’s in the cookies.  And it was really a great day.  Hydra was working on partially reframing and rehanging our back storm door.  I was inside turning innocent ingredients into actual food and treats.  I also cut and painted a piece of wood that will eventually become part of a new place to hang my measuring cups, and since I had the paint out I touched up the woodwork around the kitchen and bathroom.  (Can I get another shout out for reusing glass jars?  The 10 year old paint was still good!)

Those of us who knew us back in the days when when we roamed from apartment to  rehearsal to restaurant would be amazed at what domestic heroes we’re becoming!


4 thoughts on “In 2011 : Waste Less Food

  1. Gala says:

    Very cool. I can feel the domestic bliss!

  2. Sundry says:

    Gala – We are so happy in our modest little home. 😀

  3. RuthG says:

    Great photos! All the food looks scrumptious! I LOVE baking too–the problem is that it’s hard to stop eating then. 🙂 Yesterday I baked whole wheat sweet potato muffins. Oh yum.

  4. Sundry says:

    RuthG – That sounds delicious! Is the recipe online, by chance?

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