Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Waste Not

I hate wasting food, although I do it sometimes.
I might let an ingredient get soggy and unuseable in the fridge. Or I might just make too much of a dish, and not feel like eating leftovers for the next six days. (I need a bigger freezer.)
But I really hate the idea of removing food from food.
Yes, I will trim off stems, take seeds out, peel away rinds. But that's not food.
This came to mind as I was making soup from (leftover) roasted squash today. I thought of Thomas Keller's remark (I got this quote from The French Laundry Cookbook): "Not a single liquid or purée moves from one place to another at the restaurant except through some kind of strainer."
How elegant. Just for once, I would liquify the sautéed jalapeño and spring onion with some chicken broth in the blender, and add it back to the soup pot through a strainer, for some sinfully velvety soup.
After the really wet stuff went through the strainer, though, I was left with a glistening pile of beautiful green pulp that wouldn't go through — on the "throw-away" side of the strainer.
So I threw away that idea, and threw the beautiful pulp into the soup.


ZaZa said...

It's too bad you don't live where there's a little wildlife - something other than Bean Sprout. I've been getting rid of my leftovers, the ones I don't want to eat, by feeding them to the possums for years. Now there's a racoon and a family of foxes, as well. So, leftovers, not a problem. Saves on the kibble bill, too.

Jamie said...

I agree with you. I wonder if Mr. Keller has fiber issues. ;-)

The only thing I like to put through a strainer is blackberries, and that only sometimes.

B'gina has a good point, though, and I suppose one day my future goats will benefit from the remains of our cuisine.

Anonymous said...

i so need to get better at not wasting food. i am just so forgetful. and the fridge is full of stuff from three roommates (sharing food did not work for us).

cookiecrumb said...

Hey, B'gina! I do have wildlife! We're adjacent to a mountain preserve. So as not to disturb the esthetics of my townhouse community, though, I'd probably have to trudge the stuff uphill to the forest. But it's a nice thought.
Jamie: Your future goats... *sigh*.
Vanessa: I'm forgetful too. Cranky is actually "in charge" of the refrigerator.

Jennifer said...

Such a gorgeous shade of green. Very springy.

cookiecrumb said...

Jennifer: Alas, then with the addition of the pureed squash, the soup reverted to a wintry orange. Oh well. Not long until I can work with English peas, eh?
Or, wait: It's asparagus season! Ah.

Anonymous said...

I think my not wasting food may be worse. I always have a pot on the back burner for tops and peels and with any sort of straining I do, If the pulp tastes good I'll use it the next day to stuff something, add to rice or feed it to worms. I'll never go hungry, and I've got the best soil for my houseplants.. but i'm obsessive about it.

cookiecrumb said...

Anonymous: Well, it's fun to be obsessive about it. If you're that kind of person. And you are. :-)