In the spirit of the Hunger Challenge, I have been looking for ways to not be wasteful. Here are three examples from this last week:
1. Crab Apple Syrup
I didn't have to look any farther than my own backyard for this one! Our neighbor has a beautiful old crab apple tree. One large branch hangs over into our yard and in the spring blooms bright pink and beautiful. But in the fall, it drops hundreds of crab apples onto our ground. I went out back with my husband and picked all the crab apples that were still on the tree. There weren't many left, but there were enough to make one jar of crab apple syrup. I had never done this before---and it required a "jelly bag." Which I didn't have. But I was able to sew one up out of some leftover muslin I had. And it worked! In no time at all, I had a lovely fragrant jar of syrup. And it tastes heavenly over French toast!
2. Clementine Tea Cakes
What to do with rotten bananas and ancient clementines?
This is what I started with. You would think I would just throw them away.....but I had an idea from those lovely people in NYC at 30 Bucks a Week. A clementine tea cake!
I followed their recipe, only doubling it. Boiled the little dry oranges for 45 minutes, then added the other ingredients.
As they were baking in the oven, the whole house filled with the luscious smell of orange. I put one loaf away in the freezer for another week. The other one was gobbled up fresh by my family. A warm slice with a little cream cheese on top was just heaven!
3. Warm and Toasty Croutons
We bought a weird loaf of rye bread the other week. It just didn't have a very good texture. Or flavor. And no one was eating it. Normally, it would have ended up in the garbage. But not this month!
I snipped up the leftover slices with my kitchen shears. Spread them out on a pan and sprayed olive oil cooking spray on them. Then threw on a few spices. Seasoned salt. Oregano. Garlic powder.
Popped them in the oven until they were toasty brown!
We had some on a salad that night (best croutons ever!) and I saved the rest in a bag in the freezer.
My thoughts: We wouldn't have died without crab apple syrup, clementine cake, or croutons. But our quality of life was improved by my attention to this concept. We were able to re-purpose items slated for the garbage. It's a mindset. "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Only it can be your own trash turned into treasure!