Monday, January 09, 2012

Use It Up

This year, I am determined to Use Things Up.

You tend to accumulate a lot of food items if, like me, you a) cook from scratch b) shop in bulk c) shop at discount stores d) have a big pantry e) have a lot of people to cook for and f) have Depression-era/Amish parents who taught you that throwing out perfectly good food was right up there with cheating in school and parting your hair on the side.

So. I buy ingredients, either for a specific recipe or because they're cheap, and I use maybe half the bagful, and then they ooze to the back end of the pantry shelves and there they stay.

No more.

I'll post my first two successes in this area and if I have any more victories, maybe I'll post those too.

1. I threw out that one...oh dear, I can't even name it, with Christians starving in Yemen. But the expiration date was 2008.

2. I made cookies. This is the recipe that my sis Margaret always makes when she has leftover stuff to use up. She even emptied the pantry into a batch one day and announced that she was going to sell them at her garage sale the next day. Her husband Chad said, "Naaawwwww," in that skeptical way that only guys from the Deep South can say, "Naaawwwww."
"Wait and see," said Margaret, in her quick snappy Yankee way. Of course, she sold them all.

Famous Oatmeal Cookies

Beat together:
3/4 c. shortening or softened margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1 t. vanilla

Sift together and add to creamed mixture:
1 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda

Blend well.
Stir in:
3 to 4 cups quick oats

Now stir in pretty much whatever leftover bits of ingredients you want. I made a double batch and added 1 cup wheat bran, 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup m&m's, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts, and 2 cups peanut butter chips.

Drop on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes.

Quote of the Day:
Jenny: [leaps off her chair at the breakfast table and engulfs her sleepy brother in a hug]
Steven: Gaaaahhh!!
Me: Jenny, please. The Bible says there is "a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing."
Emily: Wow, you really do have a Bible verse for every situation.


  1. I love the qotd! :)

  2. I thought it amusing that cheating in school and parting your hair on the side are in the same category.

  3. “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without". I'm not sure where this phrase originated, but I try to follow it. One of the blogs I read regularly did a "pantry challenge". The idea was to use up the items in the pantry and buy as few groceries as possible for an entire month. I now do my own pantry challenge. I date containers when they go into the pantry, and if they are still there in January,I plan meals to use them up.

  4. Hahaha! Jenny makes me laugh! I love reading the quotes from your house; I bet there's usually something fun happening there. :)
    ~Rachael (friend of Emily's from Bridgewater)

  5. UWMW is an old Amish maxim. I heard it all the time growing up in Penna. and I'm not Amish. It's used as the chapter title of a book "Money secrets of the AMISH by Lorilee Craker" In it Bishop Eli is quoted as saying, ... " We scrape the bottom of the barrel more than most" My mom would say" we pinch a nickel till the buffalo bellows." etc.

  6. Parting your hair on the side?

    Is that a bad thing? I didn't know!

  7. How about if you were raised by a mom who was raised by Depression-era hill-billy parents? It all amounts to about the same thing, I'm afraid! Awfully sticky dilemma to try to get out of one's system, though it has it's virtues. Between Mom and I, we usually have some solution in some back drawer or top shelf to most any need or break imaginable. :)

    Laughed out loud at the breakfast table story. Chipper and groggy don't usually mix too well... :D

    -PC from VA's daughter from OK

  8. Anonymous 1--I like the pantry challenge idea.
    Rachael--yes, there's lots happening here. Not sure it's always fun, but often it is!
    Charles--I think that must have been a universal saying, back in the day.
    Anon 2--we were expected to part our hair exactly in the middle. I was being a bit tongue in cheek. Of course parting your hair on the side isn't (quite) as bad as cheating.
    PC's daughter--that's the dilemma--I go on a purge and then I need THAT EXACT THING to fix something else.