A significant part of budgeting is learning how to re-purpose, reuse and not waste. Now that Thanksgiving has passed and I still have a ton of food in my fridge, I need ways to make sure that it doesn’t go to waste. Here are three foods that I have reused from my Thanksgiving meal.
1. Heavy Cream
It is hard to beat homemade pie with homemade whipped cream. Depending on how much whipped cream you use on your pie, there might be some heavy cream leftover. If you have a mixer (and I would hope you do if you made homemade whipped cream!), it is remarkably easy to make butter from the leftover cream. Leave the cream in the mixer for a few minutes longer than you would for whipped cream. Eventually the liquid (buttermilk) and solids (butter) will separate. Once separated, turn your sink on to cold, pick up the butter and squeeze it under the cold running water. What you want to do is remove any remaining buttermilk from the butter. When you are done you can salt, wrap in parchment paper and freeze or use immediately. As for the buttermilk save it for delicious buttermilk waffles or pancakes on the weekend!
2. Egg Shells
If you have a dog, egg shells can make an excellent mineral supplement. Every time I use eggs, I place the shells on foil in my toaster oven at 250 degrees for about 10 minutes. Then I place them in a ziploc bag in my freezer to eventually process. I use a Magic Bullet to grind the shells into a fine powder that I then sprinkle over Desi’s breakfast or dinner. This is a great way to avoid buying expensive supplements for your dog.
If you don’t have a dog, egg shells can help make great compost!
3. Cheese Rinds
Again, if you have a dog then cheese rinds or slightly old cheese make excellent dog treats. I almost never buy dog treats anymore, Desi just gets the old bits of cheese that I don’t want to eat as his treats. This is an easy and cheap way to give your dog healthy treats.
If you don’t have a dog, cheese rinds can be added to soups to add some additional flavor to the broth. Often it will just dissolve into the soup. This works especially well with hard Italian cheeses such as Parmesan.
Do you save your veggie scraps and chicken bones for making broth?
We compost our veggie scraps. We do usually use the older looking veggies for our stock (if some of the carrots or celery have started looking wilted we use these first).
For chicken bones it depends. If we bought bone-in chicken breasts and then remove the bones before cooking, we freeze these bones for later. Also if we make a whole chicken we will freeze the back for later. However, if we do chicken legs/thighs we don’t usually keep these bones because we usually eat the meat right from the bone.
Once we have a good stockpile of breast and back bones in the freezer we make stock with them using whatever veggies we can find in our fridge (onions, carrots, celery, fennel, leeks, etc) and if we have some older fresh herbs they can get thrown in too (especially thyme or parsley). We also have been buying chicken stock soup kits from our local chicken farm and these include some backs and feet. The feet make the stock even richer and then we know we are using the whole animal :o)
What do you do?
We rent, so we can’t really compost. So, I save some of my scraps for veggie broth. I find that the really green scraps make for a very vegetal broth. So, I’ll use that for something like a pureed pea soup.
I save all the chicken bones, because the stock is going to boil for hours, so it doesn’t bother me that they’ve been chewed on. I’ll break them in pieces so that the marrow is exposed to water too. It’s the type of stock that congeals when it’s cool, because of the gelatin.
I’ll have to keep an eye our for chicken feet!
Thanks for these suggestions Sharon. With it not getting above 20 degrees for a few days it’s been difficult to take our vegetable scraps out to the frozen compost pile so I think we are going to start freezing them for chicken stock. We also used some chicken breast bones that we has leftover from chicken earlier in the week in our latest batch of stock. Thanks for the ideas 🙂