Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Learning little lessons

Have you ever wasted half or more of a bunch of parsley or cilantro? I have. It would go bad in the refrigerator from lack of planning, forgetfulness, or simply not cooking enough that week. Well: I discovered a solution to this last week on accident; a way that will probably make everyone's eyes roll to the back of their head, saying in unison, "Duhhhhhh!"

Freeze it. Freeze it, and use it in soup later.

A half-bunch of cilantro was inadvertently frozen in the cooler in our vehicle last week, en route [due to the recent thrillingly low temperatures]. Instead of throwing it away like I would have done in the past, I transferred it to the freezer. A couple of days later, I thawed it out, chopped it up, and tossed it into a Creamy Chicken, Rice & Vegetable soup as the finishing touch. It was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Delicious, and I saved something that might have been thrown away.

I've realized I'm learning more and more about this kind of thing as I get older: how to maximize ingredients or items in ways that I didn't realize I could. Things as simple as 1) using old socks for rags or 2) saving the tomato juice in a can of whole peeled tomatoes to use in another dish, to 3) carrying a small canvas bag in my European Carry-all [aka Diaper Bag] to use at stores instead of accumulating one more dratted plastic shopping bag or 4) saving egg shells to grind up and use in the place of lime in the potting soil mixtures that Squeeze makes.

I've also been saving the fat off the chicken stock I make to use for later: using it in the place of butter. Delicious, cost-effective, pipe-saving, and as old as the hills. Why didn't I learn about this until age 30?? I must not have been paying attention.


Jenni said...

Those are GREAT food/homemaking tips! If you don't mind I'm going to link to this post in my homemaking blog. I actually have some half used cilantro in my fridge now, that went bad. Thankfully the chickens will appreciate it, but I am still bummed to let it go because I LOVE cilantro! :) Thanks!

a. borealis said...

Sure! That sounds fun.