Fall has officially started in my part of the world! It’s about time; I’ve been waiting for it. I love this time of year.
By now many of us are starting to think about our Thanksgiving preparations. One of my friends has been dreaming about the new kind of stuffing that she is going to make for almost a month now! I’d like to share with you three ways that I like to use those items you might not always think of saving for your Thanksgiving Dinner and meals later on.
1. Stale Bread and Bread Flops
Bread going stale isn’t normally a problem for me, but bread flops are. I get in a creative mood and decide to make a new kind of sourdough, sometimes it turns out great and sometimes it doesn’t. Or it’s one of those days that I lose track of time and I let my bread rise WAY too long.
Of course I bake it anyway and it turns out flat, what was I to expect? So I try not to lament, instead I save it in the freezer for a special project. Stale bread and bread flops are great for making stuffing, bread pudding and croutons.
This time of year I normally save mine for making stuffing. Who needs a box mix when can use your own homemade bread?
Cut your bread into small cubes. Scatter them across a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 45 minutes. The bread cubes are ready to be made into your favorite stuffing!
2. Turkey Bones
These are a real gem! Turkey bones are one of the things I get most excited about when I make a turkey. No joke! Bones are a full of a wealth of nutrients that are essential for your health. I always save my bones to make nourishing bone stocks; I save my eggs as well for the same reasons.
Bone stocks are delicious, frugal, make the best soups and are so good for you! Turkey bone broths (as well as other bone stocks) are rich in gelatin, sulphate, glucosamine, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, silicon, phosphorus and trace minerals that are easily absorbed into the body.
I used to only make one batch of stock from my bones, but after reading an article recently I now use them to make three batches. The first batch is bursting with flavor. I use this to make tasty soups. The second and third batches are less flavorful but still full of nutrients. I use them in soups where the flavor of the broth is not being showcased or for cooking my rice/barley. Over time, the bones will start to disintegrate . Don’t worry; this is normal.
This recipe calls for fresh carrots and celery but you can always use your scraps and peelings too. Save them in the freezer each time you cut or peel something and pretty soon you’ll have enough scraps to use in your broth. Vinegar is added to pull the nutrients from the bones. It doesn’t impart an acidic flavor.
1 Turkey Carcass with some meat left on the bones (including the neck)
4 celery stalks with the leaves, cut in half
2 carrots, cut in half
4 cloves of garlic
1 small bunch of parsley
1 medium onion, cut in half
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Put everything in a crock pot or sauce pot and cover with water. Cook over low heat for 24 hours. Strain the broth, cover with water again and cook for another 24 hours. Strain and repeat a third time. Or if you are really adventurous, cook them again. I’ve heard of doing this up to five times!
Here are a few links to great articles on bone stocks and recipes:
Those pumpkins on your front porch and table aren’t just for decorating, they’re for eating too. Even if you didn’t buy a pie pumpkin you can still use them to make fall treats. Last year I used a regular old pumpkin to make a delicious pie.
Any sweet squash will do, I love kabocha squash. Buying canned pumpkin puree may be easier, but without much extra effort you can make your own. By making your own puree you also get a better quality product and avoid BPA, a toxin found in most canned products.
What are ways that you like to use foods that people would normally throw out?