On a Sunday afternoon I had returned from a harrowing journey to the supermarket, ready to unpack my painstakingly selected items, only to face another situation of a distressing nature- my refrigerator. The vegetable drawer contained at least one nearly liquefied half of a cucumber, along with a selection of what I believed to be turnips- languishing near the bottom. There were a bunch of carrot tops…. and it appeared someone also left a single heal of stale bread in here too!
Not only was I faced with the challenge of figuring out where to put my groceries in this amalgam, I was also feeling a bit guilty about what could have been used, what had gone bad, and what I just didn’t know what to do with. I consider myself a pretty good cook, but sometimes using everything in my pantry is a challenge for me.
Does this sound familiar? You are not alone. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, Americans waste an estimated 31% of the food available in the US… This is the equivalent of 133 billion pounds of food, worth $161 billion, in 2010. That is a whole lot of food and money to waste!
The good news is that we don’t have to keep living this way. There are a lot of strategies that we can utilize to not waste food, and one of my favorites is a method of cooking called Root to Stalk (sometimes also known as Nose to Tail). Root to Stalk cooking champions the age old practice of “using every part of the buffalo.” This type of cooking isn’t a new concept. It is an integral part of the culinary traditions of many cultures, and many Americans who lived through the lean years of the Great Depression are familiar with these techniques.
Do you have a mass of carrot greens left over? They are quite tasty chopped up in a salad, or blended into a pesto. What about all of those turkey bones leftover from your Thanksgiving dinner? Consider making a beautiful rich stock to make delicious soups all winter long. The possibilities are really endless….
To help inspire you to explore these endless possibilities, the library will be hosting a Root to Stalk Cooking Presentation, on Tuesday August 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm. The presentation will be given by Tomas Saez, Executive Chef, cooking expert, and Greenburgh Library Board Member. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn Tomas’s delicious tips and tricks for using stems, peels, seeds, skin, bones, and more. Learn how to make something delicious, while saving both food and money! No registration is required.