This story is part of with tips on the best ways to manage the holiday season.
I have so many childhood memories of standing next to my mother at the kitchen counter and helping her pick the leftover meat from the turkeys before I put it in a large pot with a mix of bones, herbs and vegetables. Make turkey soup . I always hated the gigantic pot of soup – namely the effort it took and how the apparently bottomless pot meant that we ate turkey for a week. But now that I'm grown up with my own groceries, I appreciate the ingenuity of my mother's soup ritual. It is a delicious and inexpensive way to make leftovers.
The idea of cooking with little / no waste is nothing new. Economical chefs have long found ways to get creative with leftover ingredients instead of throwing them away (my mother's turkey soup is a repeat of my Russian-German great-grandmother's chicken soup). Thanks to innovative environmentally friendly products and easily accessible recipes for every type of ingredient, it is now easier than ever to make a waste-free Thanksgiving meal.
Choose the right equipment
Environmentally friendly equipment because the big day can make a big difference.
Instead of using a disposable turkey pan, consider investing in a meat roaster that you for many will serve the coming years. A frying pan such as this not only reduces waste, it also provides a better cooking experience. The solid stainless steel racks circulate the heat and the meat is drained while it is cooking, while the handles make it easier to lift out of the oven.
A set of glass containers offers a versatile, waste-free solution for cooking smaller side dishes and storing leftovers. Pyrex glass is dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, preheated oven and freezer safe; which means you can use the containers to cook food and to store leftovers – thanks to BPA-free lids. Unlike plastic food storage containers of yesteryear, Pyrex glass and lids are non-porous, so they never absorb food odors, flavors or stains.
Whether you bake cookies for dessert or roast vegetables to go with your turkey, waive made of aluminum foil in favor of parchment paper. However, what most people do not realize is that ordinary parchment paper is not recyclable or compostable. Use a biodegradable parchment paper that is unbleached and certified compostable to minimize your waste.
Even if you think you have enough storage containers, there are always a few dishes left that need to be packed (hello, 20 pounds of turkey carcass). Instead of using plastic wrap that ends up in the waste once it has served its purpose, store a stock of reusable food foil. Try Bee & # 39; s Wrap, an environmentally friendly reusable food wrap made from organic cotton infused with sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin. Bee & # 39; s Wrap is available in various cute patterns and keeps your food fresh without the use of plastic. Easy packing, washing with mild soap and reusing.
Speaking of soap and washing things, consider cleaning up environmentally-friendly cleaners and environmentally-friendly products that help reduce paper waste in the kitchen, including cellulose sponges and reusable paper towels.
Don't waste, don't want to
Use (almost) every part of the turkey and don't throw away your vegetable garnish – but compost what you can't cook.
Much of the food we regularly eat makes a long journey before it arrives in our store on our plate. Reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing ingredients that are produced locally. Whether you shop at the market of your local farmer or supermarket, take your own reusable bags with you to transport home products and other items.
Veggie garnish freeze for stock
Although your first impulse may be to throw these less than desired parts of the bird, don't. They are full of taste. Use the neck bone and gut to make the perfect gravy with this recipe that uses a mix of vegetables, kosher salt, fresh sage, rosemary, and whole peppercorns.
Prepare the entrails for your four-legged friends
While the neck bone is forbidden (the bones pose a choking hazard), the entrails (including the liver, kidneys, heart, and gizzard) can provide a nice treat for your dog. Remove the intestines from the cavity and / or their packaging and rinse with water. Put the entrails in a small pot and cover with water or broth. Place on the stove and bring to the boil. Reduce to medium and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the viscera is cooked. Remove from heat and allow to cool before serving to your grateful puppy.
Make Bone Broth
If turkey soup is not your scene, you can still use the carcass to make great bone broth (this Instant Pot recipe for bone broth is a great place to start). Freeze in smaller portions so that you add this nutrient-rich broth to your savory stews, soups, and chillies after the holidays.
Give a meal to a friend
The easiest way to ensure that food scraps do not disappear is to give away. Check in with your social circle. Do you have friends who could not go home for the holidays? What about an older neighbor who can use a hot meal? Show your gratitude this season by inviting others to experience the premium. The more you share, the less you have to reuse and freeze.
This story was written by Simone Paget.