So….here we are in Maryland. Big changes. Big adjustments. Life is definitely different. Our house essentially has the same rooms. But they are all smaller than before and we have a fireplace and stairs…less to clean. But our budget has needed some vast overhauling. Due to unexpected circumstances we have had to cut and that has been mainly in our food…which is to say: we have really become a No-Waste-Zone!!!
Brown bananas into banana bread (and their peels to the rose bush). Leftover green beans and rice into our soup from our roasted turkey breast shredded and broth from it’s bones. And oatmeal not eaten by the kids goes into a bag to throw into “porridge bread”. I almost feel like my new motto is “I have a bread for that!”
Which brings me to this morning. After visiting historic Colvin Mill yesterday and purchasing blue cornmeal and roasted yellow cornmeal, I was inspired! We made some cornmeal mush from the roasted yellow for breakfast (like cream of wheat but cornmeal instead).
My children rejected it. Even with honey to sweeten the buttered concoction, they were just not used to it and took an immediate disliking. Granted, they did eat some and made do with it, but there was definitely a fair amount left. So I ate mine and mulled what to do with the rest.
And then it hit me: just add the rest of the ingredients and make cornbread! So simple and no waste! It is sweet because of the added honey and it has butter and a bit of salt already. I just added the flour, leavening, and milk.
This has been a total shift in my thinking in the kitchen. Peels, skins, and ends of garlic, onion, and carrots go into the freezer as well as bones from our roasted poultry to make into the bone broth. I wait to eat lunch until my kids have finished and eat what they don’t. When I made a bit too much alfredo sauce and pasta for our casserole containing shredded turkey and broccoli, I just threw it in the fridge for a small lunch later.
Anything I am about to put in the garbage I look at wondering if there is another application or use. I cringe throwing out our apple cores knowing I could make apple cider vinegar. We just don’t have a way to do that yet. Our lack of storage means way less space to let it ferment.
So this is our life now…and it is great! A new appreciation for kitchen skills, frugality, and the ability to provide healthier options for our family’s diet.
So, what have you reused or stretched in the kitchen? Leave a comment below.