They might help feed a few people in some poor countries. Just keep this thought and read on, it might change your way of thinking about food.
My saving education comes from my ancestors
I have a long and good saving education, coming from my great great great grandparents, who were forced to save food, power, water and anything else, because of the war or hunger or the economic crisis. The list is so long that I could write about each saved object that is re-used in my home, from a small plastic box, to a paper bag, or to a milk bottle anything can be reusable here. It is the same with the food that I'm not throwing away, because I try to cook the exact amount of any meal for the number of servings that I need.
Food scraps for others are ordinary food for me
I've always tried not to waste food and to make the most of any food scraps. Besides the well-known use of the vegetable scraps, coffee grounds or tea bags for compost, I've learned how to make the most of any meat or vegetable while cooking. For example, I can make the most of a chicken or a hen, by cooking at least four meals with their meat. Speaking of which, I heard a funny story about this, from a friend's granny. While visiting her son, the granny cooked four meals with one single hen. Noodle hen soup, with the boiled hen legs. Broth, made with the back of the bird. Hen legs (which were boiled in the soup) with rice and last, oven fried cabbage with the hen's breast. When her daughter-in-law asked her where the hen was, the old lady showed the young woman what she had cooked. The daughter-in-law was pleased, yet she still wanted to see the hen. The woman was used to eating an oven roasted whole hen, while the granny was used to making the most of a hen, by cooking more meals which could feed more people.
I was amazed to find out that people in other countries don't eat either the pork organs, nor their bones, which are considered scraps. Moreover, those are sold at a low price or even given for free, for pet food. In Romania, I've learned to eat any animal or bird organ, from liver to lungs and even the beef belly, which are all very healthy and tasty. My grandpa used to grill the chicken liver, which he would give me, as the most precious part of the chicken. This is how I've learned to eat any liver, from pork or chicken, goose, turkey or duck. Also, my mom taught me to use the bones for making a delicious broth, whether they are from a pork, beef or a bird.
Another delicious meal which I cook from food scraps, is milk with polenta. Back in the old days, our grandmothers used to make a huge polenta every day, because it was cheaper than bread. After flipping it over on a plate, they poured milk back into the pot, to moisten the smoked polenta crust, which was stuck to the bottom of the pot. In a few hours, the milk would soften the polenta crust, which swelled and peeled off from the bottom of the pan. That smoked polenta crust with milk is delicious and we still eat it like that.
Even if now bread isn't as expensive as it used to be in the olden days, my grandma taught me how to save any old bread and use it for making other meals, such as croutons or French toast or even pizza. Moreover, our orthodox religion says that it's a sin to throw away any little piece of bread.
Easy use of several fruit or vegetable peels
Some fruit peels are very useful especially for food flavoring, so you just need to have the will to peel it and not just throw it away to the garbage bin. Take, for example, a lemon or an orange. Before cutting the fruit to squeeze it, in order to get the juice or for eating its flesh, I either shred the peel or just peel it as it is. The shredded zest goes into a small jar, with a spoonful of sugar and will be used later, for flavoring some cakes or puddings. The whole peel can be candied and also used for enriching some sponge or dough cakes or delicious cake creams.
I also use the apple scraps, which remain after making a pie (a pile of peels and cores) for making a delicious compote. The same with the quince peel and cores, after making jam. They can be used for making compote, but also for a delicious jelly.
Another peel which I sometimes use is the onion peel. I can make an organic homemade syrup for the cough, by boiling onion peels with sugar or honey and a cup of water.
Seasonal food scraps
In my garden, the apricots ripen in July and that's the time when I make apricot jam. I learned from my grandma, to add to the jam, the apricot kernels that makes it even more delicious. By adding apricot kernels (which are inside the stones) into the jam makes the flavor more intense. Having known that, I've never thrown away the apricot stones, which I crush and then eat their kernels -right after eating the apricot. Do understand that eating or using too many of these at one time can be toxic. So use them as an occasional treat or flavoring, however everyday use is discouraged. When I have too many apricots, I make jam and throw some of the kernels inside. I save the rest of the stones in a bag and use the kernels in cakes, because they taste similar to almonds.
Other fruit scraps that I won't throw away are the liquored sour cherries. These usually remain in the carboy, after all the sour cherry liquor is used. People living in the countryside just throw the drunken cherries away to the birds and they say the birds get drunk after eating them. I don't find it funny, and even if I had any birds in my yard to throw the drunken cherries to (except for some sparrows and magpies) I wouldn't do that. Instead, I prefer to save them for making a delicious chocolate cake. If I don't use all the drunken cherries, I can keep them in a jar for many years, as they are soaked in alcohol and will never spoil.
Last, but not least are some delicious food scraps from the vegetable garden, the green (unripe) tomatoes. I love making pickles with the unripe tomatoes.
In Romania, we pickle the last healthy, unripe tomatoes from the garden, because we can't just throw them away and they are very tasty. I've also learned to make green tomato jam and preserves, which are both delicious and the best way of using too many green tomatoes. They might otherwise perish under the fall nights' frosts, and wouldn't it be such a shame? A famous quote from the famous chemist Antoine Lavoisier says ' Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed' and that's also my philosophy of life. It can be yours too!
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