Thursday, December 01, 2011

Bagging the Bags

Culls from our reusable bag collection
Reusable shopping bags is an easy and obvious way to say a little money while cutting down on waste, thus helping our environment in a small way. I've picked them up in all sorts of venues, and over time the collection has grown. My very first, "Old Blue", came from the community dropoff point when I lived in Shorewood Apartments; it's hard to count how many disposable bags its displaced, but it must have been a lot. With its sturdy cotton construction and handles long enough to go over my shoulder, it's extremely practical - and every time I use it, most stores give me a nickel off, so it would have paid for itself many times over if I hadn't gotten it for free.
There is a limit to everything, and that includes the number of reusable bags than can be usefully kept on hand. Tonight after dinner we sorted through the collection, cutting it down to the Top 5 each. We tended to keep the cloth bags, as they lasted longer than the more common mystery-fiber or plastic ones; the exception was the LuLuLemon bag that Kris really likes. Hey - it's a bag - we're entitled to pick what we want!
The culls all fit into the largest bag (an Amazon Fresh delivery bag) and we'll take it to the foodbank tomorrow for reuse by others (there's no sense wasting, now is there?) and ... to be realistic ... start the long process of accumulating another pile of bags. In some sense, I guess they're just another crop!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mutant Turkey Thanksgiving (#ctww)

Mutant Turkey:
Boneless Breast
With Four Drumsticks
Covered In Bacon
Last Thursday we had the best Thanksgiving I can remember, as we invited my family over for the 1st T-day at our new house.
It was really fun! Everyone thanked us for putting in the huge effort of hosting the event, but really, it was not that much trouble; in fact, it was a great convenience since

  • We didn't have to drive anywhere
  • We got to show off our stuff
  • We picked some dishes that were relatively easy to make.

Our best choice was Mutant Turkey. We all love turkey, but the classic bird has some problems. What most everyone wants is a nice piece of breast meat, or maybe a drumstick, but half of a normal turkey are wings and skin and bones; we needed some sort of Mutant Turkey that was all breast and drumstick. Here's what we did:
  1. Get a deboned turkey breast (the store deboned it for us; they have ample facilities for handling the leftover bits)
  2. Cover it with bacon
  3. Arrange four drumsticks along the sides, also covered in bacon.
  4. Bake until done!
The results were awesomely good; the bacon kept the other meats wonderfully moist and flavorful, and every part was edible (except for the gnawed-on turkey drumstick, which I put in the freezer for next week's soup.) Our Mutant Turkey was a complete success and also helped us meet this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:
This week make a conscious effort to waste no food.
Because the breast had been deboned in a place that does something with its scraps (possibly sausage, but at the worst pig feed), I believe that our Mutant Turkey took us a long way toward minimizing food wastage with our main dish, although to be honest it was the flavor that drove our decision. Being environmentally responsible can lead to tasty meals if you're smart!

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