Jonathan Bloom's query
At WASTED FOOD, he asks readers in his post, Turkey Week Project, for suggestions--"Yet, with all of our abundance, though, comes the threat of waste. That’s why I’m hoping you guys will submit some advice here and on the Wasted Food Facebook page about how you plan to avoid waste at Thanksgiving." I had started this post when he posed his question. This post is timely in more ways than one.
Celery is the one thing I waste the most. There, I said it, "My name is Linda, and I waste celery." Okay, now that I have that burden released, I will share how I try to handle the celery problem all year long. I have vowed I will not waste the rest of the Turkey Day celery as I am want to do. I would say I usually waste about a fourth of my edible celery. Shame on me.
I always justified my waste while cringing at wasted food and wasted money by saying, "Chickens need food, too. They love celery." And, they prefer it chopped!
Thwarting celery waste
Every time I buy celery, I am in great danger of letting some of it spoil. The most beautiful head of celery is awaiting my thrifty ways and a really sharp knife. Since there is only me, it is hard to use the whole head and not let some of it go to waste.
I will not actually eat celery raw, even with dip. It has to be diced small as in tuna salad for me to eat it raw or cooked. The taste of celery in cold salads or cooked foods is something I desire, so I keep buying and wasting celery.
By prepping my celery for Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey and dressing, I will have only spent $0.44 cents on celery for each day since I will not buy one head of celery each holiday. If celery goes lower than $.88 cents/head, I will buy another head, dice, and freeze for next year.
Of course, celery does make good chicken food when it goes South---NOT my intentions.
Prepping celery for Thanksgiving and Christmas
I will wash and dice up most of the celery for making dressing for Thanksgiving AND Christmas. Since I don't make much dressing for just me (9"x9" pan) but want it chock full of celery, the one stalk will do for two small pans of dressing. The rest will be cut into 4" or so pieces to be used while cooking the turkey breast I will have both holidays. I will just throw several pieces of frozen celery stalk into the turkey cooking bag. (I know they are plastic and wasteful.) (Okay, possibly toxic.)
|Christmas celery prep on L,starting prep for Thanksgiving on R|
The white plate has a scant two cups of diced celery which will be frozen for Christmas. On the same plate are two pieces of celery that will be frozen in the same bag as the diced celery. Those two pieces will cook with the turkey breast. The one piece of celery in front of the cup will go into a single serving of turkey salad next week. Pie pan contains chicken food. White dirty plate holds compost. Whole celery stalks are what I will prep later today or Saturday for Thanksgiving (my cooking will be on Sat.) and will be the same as the prepped Christmas celery. I use an old Corelle plate for dicing, chopping and cutting.
Onion is not so hard to use up before it turns. So, onion is never wasted. Today, I was going to chop onions and celery for Thanksgiving and Christmas and freeze all. But, I became tired and lazy. The Thanksgiving portion of onion and celery will just wait patiently until I cook my dinner on Saturday. Thanksgiving Day will be spent in the company of friends in Birmingham.
No toxic celery leaves for my hens
The hens may not get the celery leaves, and I don't use them. Celery leaves have the highest concentration of pesticides; the stalk has much less. My hens don't need the leaves since I eat the eggs. Plus, I just don't want my hens to eat pesticides!
Celery leaves go into the compost until I can find organic celery. Pleeease, don't tell me I am making poisonous compost.
Buying only what I will eat...unless...
Since I only eat the breast of the turkey, I will buy a turkey breast for my Saturday Thanksgiving dinner. I am unwilling to eat anything but the breast. However, if I find a turkey at the right price--really low--I will buy and cook the whole turkey, sharing all but the breast with a friend who helps me with things I cannot do around the house.
Waste after Thanksgiving?
Do you mean the dinner? Not a chance! I love Thanksgiving food to the end! I am sad when there is no more gravy for the dressing. Actually, I can make a meal of just my tasty cornbread dressing.
Visit Jonathan's blog. And tell me, are you a celery-waster all year like I am? What is the one thing during the year that you waste? What do you waste at Thanksgiving? How can you avoid this waste? Okay, off to chop celery and onions!