Waste not. Want not.

  A few months ago, I made the comment to my daughter Becky that we have so much wasted food.  She said, "That's because you still cook like there are seven of us!"
  Hmm.  Perhaps she was right. For years, I've made a menu for the week and bought accordingly.  My husband and I eat leftovers for breakfast(me) and lunch, but sometimes, were it not for our vast assortment of animals, some would still go to waste.
  At one time, I could "only get away with" a maximum of one new dish per week.  Now, Tom, is more open to new foods, so I'm cooking a little differently.  We grow our own beef, so there's always that in the freezer.  We also buy a pig and butcher, annually. I can tomatoes, red beets, and green and wax beans. We have our own frozen peas and corn in the freezer, plus, sometimes, venison.  We make our own sauerkraut and freeze it, too. We have red, white, and sweet potatoes in our root cellar, and onions, before they go bad.
  So, here is my latest methodology:  At harvest time, I had some leftover ham in the refrigerator.  I also had cauliflower in the garden.  So, I typed  ham and cauliflower casserole into google.  Voila!  It never fails.  Don't feel like a casserole? How about ham, cauliflower and parmesan frittata? Ham and caulfiflower soup is a possibility for those chilly days, as well. Actually, the possibilities are endless!
   We had leftover mashed potatoes in the refrigerator today.  So, I added an egg, diced onion, cheddar cheese, and some celery seed.  I like celery seed because it reminds me of my late father's stuffing.  But, parsley, oregano, or basil could be added, instead, I'm sure, depending on your tastes. I then fried it in olive oil spray and served it with butter.Delicious!
   The other day, I noticed I had one loaf of frozen bread dough; something I don't use very often.  So, you guessed it, with a little research from google, I was able to use it, leftover frozen Thanksgiving turkey, frozen peas, mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese to make a delicious dinner. Our potatoes are beginning to sprout, so I'm using quite a few.  Once they dwindle, I will use more rice and pasta.
   This past week, I was able to buy all my groceries locally, instead of traveling a half hour to reach a shopping district. That was a pleasant suprise. I don't expect to repeat it often.  Even better, we will be butchering in February, and my diligence in trying to use up things I find in the freezer is cleaning a spot for our 2016 pork.
   I realize that not everyone has the things at their disposal that I have. But, I still think with a little bit of creativity, plus google, you can, at least occasionally, use up some of the things in your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer, to make a delicious meal. And, if you are like me, gain great satisfaction at the same time.


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