Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Waste Not Want Not
I do understand the rationale behind replacing herbs and spices every six months. I've read for years about how the flavor and quality diminish significantly past that time span. I've never been able to bring myself to pitch out anything that wasn't at least two years old though. And that I put in my compost pile.
I guess I don't like being told to throw things out. I know I am supposed to replace my toothbrush every three or four months as well. I don't always do that, either. When I do, I apparently have to hang on to the old toothbrush "just in case" I need a teensy scrub brush for those really small clean up jobs. Rest assured, if we have a series of tough to get up tiny spills around here I am ready. With backup.
Anyway, I have no intention of throwing away any of my spices or herbs just yet. On the contrary, yesterday and today I found myself filled with resolve to try to use up everything everywhere I could, in my spice cabinet, my pantry and in my refrigerator. Call it a gesture in honor of the turning of the seasons. Here's something more fun - let's call it a contest - The Pantry Challenge - Me versus Father Time. Using up everything I have on hand before it spoils proves I am a vastly superior human being and that I win. (What do I win? The contest between me and Fr. Time - pay attention and please try to keep up.)
Here's a quick inventory of what I have on hand to use up in the next week or so:
past ripe bananas
going soft organic Granny Smith apples
a bag of organic carrots trying to turn back into carrot plantsone ready to bake pie crust
remnants of a honey jar that is crystallizingI also have all this in the cabinets spice/herb wise. I can't reasonably use it all up in a week but I will try to use up whatever I can whenever I can. I will also (pinky swear) try really hard not to buy anything new until, say, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an exception, normality wise. Agreed?My plan? Roasted Eggplant Soup. Applesauce. Banana Bread. Savory Carrot Biscuits. Herbed honey. Apple Empanaditas. Roasted pepper mayonnaise.
That takes care of everything but the lemon and limes. Who will win the Pantry Challenge? Stay tuned...