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Food Waste Friday 8/9/2013

FoodWasteFriday ย This week I so wanted to have a “no waste” week. I wasn’t fully successful, but I’m not too disappointed with my efforts. I had to throw away some cherry tomatoes that were icky and a couple of slices of home made bread that smelled sour when I took them out of the bag. Some small eggplants from the garden may not make it. I’m going to try to use them today. A small amount of buttermilk that was out dated and a small amount of milk that was out dated. We really should have used that up! We were really good about using up several leftovers this week. How did you do with your food waste?

If you are interested in helping to do your part in not wasting food, join us and The Frugal Girl . You can even get her nifty logo to link up with her. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just click the logo above.

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Food Waste Friday…Not too bad this week.

FoodWasteFriday I had a better week than last week on the food waste front.

Thrown Away:

  • a little lettuce from the garden
  • a little tuna salad that didn’t get eaten
  • a few slices of homemade bread that started to mold
  • some cherry tomatoes from the garden
  • a little milk that was out of date

Saved:

  • Some really ripe bananas were sliced and topped with peanut butter for a snack
  • Some left overs were eaten up

How did you fare this week with food waste?

How to turn a fat 8 year old cat into a kitten over night

How to turn a fat 8 year old cat into a kitten over night

Since I’ve taken up knitting these past few days my dog Daisy has decided I’m boring and whines at me constantly. My cat, Annie, on the other hand thinks this is just marvelous! She loves to sit near me and bat at the knitting needles and yarn. I had to make her a little ball of yarn to play with so she’d leave me be. Daisy promptly stole it from her and shredded it.
So, last night I put my knitting aside on the table like I’ve been doing. (My pattern is on the computer, so I just keep them together.) And when I woke up, I was greeted with yarn in the living room, wrapped around the coffee table. I followed the yarn into the dining room.

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Wow! now that is an impressive display of kitty naughtiness right there. It’s hard to tell as this picture was taken on my phone, but the yarn has even gone over the rungs under one of the chairs.

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I thought at first that she had managed to unravel my knitting too, but I spotted the needle under the table.

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Annie, the guilty party. She looks possessed here. LOL

I’ve come up with a temporary solution to save my yarn from my cat…

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an overturned pie plate covers it up. Annie is looking on really irritated. Hey, she’s not even supposed to be on the table to start with! Get down!

A Shameful Waste

FoodWasteFriday This is my first week participating in the Food Waste Friday (albeit a day late). I was really dreading my confession time. I had to throw out a lot of things…though I did have some good saves too.

Thrown out:

2 cabbages that had soured, a small bag of collards, a couple of small eggplants, 2 tomatoes and a handful of cherry tomatoes (all these from the garden). I also ย threw away 1/2 a container of salsa that I’d gotten from Sam’s Club that we didn’t care for, some black bean and corn salsa that I’d been eating on for a week, 1/2 a jar of homemade strawberry syrup that looks like a spot of mold got on it, 1/2 a carton of whipping cream (out of date), 2 slices of Swiss cheese that were suspicious, and worst of all 2 quarts of home made yogurt that is too grainy because I overheated the milk. *sigh* ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s shameful all this waste!

Saved:

A very ripe tomato was sliced and added to dinner plates one night, a couple of very ripe bananas were topped with peanut butter for a snack, some salad lettuces from the garden were on the verge of going that were saved by having dinner salads, some black beans were frozen for later use, some home made rolls were processed into bread crumbs and frozen for later use. Some celery was diced and frozen for later use. I did use up 2 flour tortillas by making breakfast burritos one morning.

This is bound to be the worst Food Waste Friday I’ll have…I know I can do WAY better than this. If you would like to participate in Food Waste Friday, click on the logo above to get the html code to add to your blog…or just tell us about it here in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to slice home made bread

How to slice home made bread

If you’ve ever attempted to slice home made bread and ended up with smooshed, too-thick slices, or too-thin slices then this post is for you.
I love to make home made bread. It’s far more delicious and healthy than store bought, not to mention much more cost effective. The only thing that ever really kept me from baking it more frequently was the slices. I wanted to be able to use it for sandwiches, toast, you know…normal bread things. But, somehow I always ended up with less than fabulous looking slices. And then, I discovered the best tool in my kitchen to use was my electric knife! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚
First you need to make sure that your bread is completely cooled. If you want to slice off a piece to butter right out of the oven, that’s ok, but for slicing the whole loaf…wait until it’s completely cooled.
To make sandwich slices line the knife up about the size that you recognize a store-bought slice to be, then zip through it. I like to start the slice and then hold the slice onto the loaf while you continue to slice. It keeps the bread intact a little better.

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Take your time and go through the whole loaf.

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I store mine in a gallon zip top bag. They are now ready for some amazing sandwiches! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Food Waste Friday

FoodWasteFriday In an effort to be more mindful of using up food in the fridge instead of letting it go to waste, I am participating in Food Waste Friday starting this upcoming Friday 7/19/2013. This is where I will post embarrassing pictures of food that I have to throw out. I expect it will force me to rethink throwing it out if I have to be publicly accountable. ย If you want to participate in Food Waste Friday on your blog, just visit The Frugal Girl blog (the link is in the margin on the right, or just click on the logo). She shares the code for this logo and leads the crusade in being more mindful or our food waste.

Using a Pressure Canner

Using a Pressure Canner

I was recently given several pounds of carrots. Most people would scratch their heads and wonder what in the world they were gonna do with more than 6 pounds of carrots! If you have a pressure cooker/canner you can very easily store them for later. Which is what I did.

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I also have been getting quite a lot of snap beans (green beans) from my kitchen garden. I planted a mix of wax, green, and purple beans. Aren’t they pretty? I never tried the purple ones before this year. I was amazed to find out than when cooked they look just like any other green bean. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since I don’t really want to have green beans every night of the week, and I don’t want all of my efforts in the garden to go to waste, I can them for later use. It’s really very easy to do. You only need a few items: jars, lids and rims, salt, canning tongs, and your pressure cooker/canner.

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1. Wash the beans and snap off the stems/ends if you like. I usually snap them in half too, but you can process them whole as well if that’s your preference.

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2. Put them into clean, sterilized jars. I am using pint jars today. Be sure to really pack them in as tight as you can!

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3. Add 1/2 tsp. of salt to each pint or 1 tsp. per quart.
4. Add hot water to each jar leaving 1″ of head space at the top. Then, use a slim rubber spatula to gently remove air pockets from the jars. Add more water if you need to.
5. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth. This step is important! If the rims are not clean, your jars may not seal properly.
6. Put the lids/rims on the jars. Do not over tighten them, just close them like you would a jar of mayonnaise.
7. Load the jars into your canner with water coming up about 1/4 way on the jars. Close the canner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use it.

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8. I add the weight for 10 pounds of pressure and wait for the canner to start making it’s jiggling noises. That’s when you start counting the processing time. For green beans you process them for 20 minutes in pint jars, 25 in quart jars.
9. When the processing time is up, turn the heat off and wait for the canner to cool down. This takes awhile…mine sometimes takes about 40 minutes to an hour to cool enough. When it’s cool, remove the weight and lid from the canner carefully. Let it stand open for about 10 minutes, and then remove the jars to a towel with the canning tongs.
10. After your jars have sat for 12-24 hours, remove the rims, wipe the jars, and mark the lids with the contents and date. Store them in a cool, dark place until you’re ready to use them.

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