Food waste. How much do you throw out?

I’m finally feeling better after being sick for a month with a couple colds.  It feels good to be getting a full nights sleep and being able to focus at work.  It has also been nice to get back into the kitchen, which was hard to muster the energy for most days.

Some of the things on the menu this week were an Indian-Style Braised Butter Chicken (Key’s to the Kitchen) and a German Chocolate Cake (Beekman 1802 Heirloom Desserts).  I had some trouble with the cake (cakes hate me) and it didn’t rise at all, then the icing took forever to thicken.  I think the recipe had an error as there was no thickener listed, so I whisked over the stove for over 25mins (should have been 12mins), then finally put some corn starch in to force it to thicken up and it did pretty quickly.  It ended up tasting good, but the cake should have been twice as high and much more airy.  The icing has pecans and coconut in it.  It was yummy!

The butter chicken was awesome!  It was a great recipe and Dave and I both agree that it is making repeat visits to our home.  It took a bit of time to make, but we have 4 leftover portions out of it.

Speaking of leftovers, I’ve been reading this book recently called American Wasteland by Jonathan Bloom, and it is shocking how much food waste the States (and I’m sure Canada) creates.  Almost to 50% of food that is produced is wasted.  Staggering!  From the farm to the grocery store to the kitchen or restaurant.  

What keeps surprising me is how much Bloom talks about people not eating leftovers and the misconception around how long things are good for, or if you can even eat leftovers the next day. Dave and I live for leftovers and I’m getting really good at using up everything in the fridge to make new meals.  For example, tonight we are making eggs our of 4 egg whites (plus a couple fresh eggs) from the cake recipe from Saturday.  Omelettes anyone?  They were beautiful free range eggs and definitely not something to waste.  Maybe it is just me, but I don’t like throwing food out.  Even past the best before date.  (Which just means it isn’t at it’s peak anymore, but still edible.) There has to be chunks in the milk, more mould than cheese and the greens need to be going brown before I won’t use them.  Sorry if I turned anyones stomach there! 

What about you?  Do you doggie bag it at restaurants?  Do you throw out your plate scraps?  Do you pack up your leftovers, but end up throwing them out?  How long will you keep milk after the best before date? I don’t know if there is a different mentality around waste in Canada than in the States, or perhaps it is just me, but I would love to hear what you honestly do with leftovers.

I got the sicks…still.

It has been a pretty slow year so far.  Since Dec 28th I have had a cold.  Not just one, but two.  The first one was all about the throat and coughing, and the second one, that overlapped the first, is all about the nasal congestion. So I have been pretty low energy and tired the past three weeks.  Blah!  Thankfully, I’m at home today, having a bit more of a rest after a busy weekend.

I did find a little energy to make a sweet potato pie (recipe from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook).  I have never made pie using a veggie, but it was delicious.  Probably because there is a lot of brown sugar in it.  I did get to learn how to make a burnt butter sauce, which was something I thought was going to be difficult in my head, but turns out it is pretty easy.

Tonight I made a Balsamic Caramel Chicken with Turnip and Sweet Potato (Key’s to the Kitchen).  It too turned out pretty good, just need to make a couple tweaks when cooking turnip, they take longer than the sweet potato!  The skin was delicious though!

Well that is about all the energy I can muster.  My nose doesn’t seem to be able to take in any air and my head is in a fog.  I think it’s time to nasal spray it up!