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Save That!


Smithy
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The door of the freezer part of our refrigerator has a series of cans with labels as to what type of rendered fat they contain.  Why would you throw out bacon fat? or schmaltz? and I've never had schmaltz at home rendered with onions - that's German, not Jewish.  As for schmaltz as music, I think you mean Rudolf Friml.

Well, until relatively recently I threw out bacon fat because I was no longer cooking with it, unless it was coming straight off the bacon I was cooking at the time. I've seen the light now, and once again keep some around.

I have never saved, much less cooked with, schmaltz. (I must admit that even as I write this I envision whirling around the kitchen, waving my spatula, Friml playing in the background.) When and how do y'all cook with schmaltz? What do people use it with?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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My favorite trick is to save the milk solids from butter when making baklava.  Usually it takes a pound of melted butter and the butterfat clings to the pastry brush I use so the milk solids are left in the bottom of the measuring cup I melt it in.

I freeze the solids (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) and add them to spaetzle:  it's like adding the flavor from a pound of butter but includes very little fat.  You could do the same to add flavor to vegetables.

I love this idea. I'm forever sneaking bits of the scum that floats to the top when I'm clarifying butter, and then savoring the bottom bits, but I never thought of saving them and actually adding them to something I'm cooking. We're going to be needing another freezer! :laugh:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I counted 42 tubes in my lipstick drawer, so I'm plainly not frugal about everything. I am, like most of you, frugal about food. The can in the freezer stuffed with mushroom stems, chocken and veal bits, and pretty vegetable scraps is the number one destination for kitchen heldovers. The compost heap gets the rest.

But is it frugality we're talking about here, or our daily effort to cook better food? I would like to present the example of my mother, a child of the Depression but a big spender on such things as fox boas, Georgian silver, and Armani blouses. She is also one of the best cooks I know, with the means to buy anything she likes at the butcher, the seafood place or the cheesemonger.

She never wastes good food. My brother (a caterer) was there for dinner and said: "Mum, you got any breadcrumbs?" She opened the freezer and offered him the soft fluffy kind, the fine toasted kind, brioche crumbs, croissant crumbs. Croutons. He shook his head and said: "Only in this house!"

Opening the freezer in the basement is like Alladins'Cave: Chicken stock, beef stock, lobster stock, poundcake crumbs, ground gingersnaps, the top layer of an unofficial neices's twenty-year old wedding cake--a fruitcake, of course. Hambones. Eggwhites. All immaculately dated and labeled.

My mother isn't being frugal--she's tring to have the best ingredients easy to hand.

Edited to add: I save bacon grease in a coffee can until it's full, then I toss it. What am I thinking? Duh. And I love the idea of saving butte rwrappers.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Opening the freezer in the basement is like Alladins'Cave: Chicken stock, beef stock, lobster stock, poundcake crumbs, ground gingersnaps, the top layer of an unofficial neices's twenty-year old wedding cake--a fruitcake, of course.  Hambones.  Eggwhites. All immaculately dated and labeled.

My mother isn't being frugal--she's tring to have the best ingredients easy to hand.

You are absolutely right, goddess. I save this stuff because it seems like such a shame to toss things that are delicious and have a place in the kitchen. It's not about frugality.

But, when my MIL found the top of our wedding cake in her deep freeze, some 20 years after the fact, we declined the offer of delivery, and suggested that perhaps the trash would be just fine.

(and, you have no idea of the small scraps of wonderful quilt fabric that I have saved, and used, to glorious effect.)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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My paternal grandmother, who was PA Dutch, fried her chicken in a mixture of vegetable shortening and schmaltz. She said that if it turns out a little greasy, it still tastes like chicken. She also used a little in her pie crusts. Her cooking career started as a cook for itinerant harvest crews in the midwest during the teens, so that's probably where it came from - use what you've got.

By the way Smithy, is the North Shore of Lake Superior otherwise known as Da UP?

Edited by Dr. Funk (log)

From Dixon, Wyoming

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What? Surely I'm not the only one who saves the water from steamed veg, to reuse for the next few batches of steamed veg and eventually to be added to soups or sauces or stocks.

Don't forget those last little dribs and drabs of sauces -- eventually they will enhance another sauce or soup.

Cheese rinds, check. Going to use my "cheese stock" tomorrow to make risotto.

And I was aghast at the farmers' market recently when someone buying a bunch of beets said she didn't know you could cook the leaves. Okay, I could see not knowing that the stems by themselves make a great pickle (see E. Schneider, Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini, but to not know about beet greens? :shock: Well, you can be sure I set her straight! :laugh: Right now I've got a collection of leafy-vegetable stems just waiting to become . . . um . . . something or other. :raz: But they mostly will, I promise.

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I too have my "bag of frozen garbage" in the freezer for the next time I make stock. Along with frozen chicken carcasses - I usually don't have time to make stock when I roast a chicken, so after we've eaten I pick the carcass reasonably clean, throw it in a ziplock, and toss it in the deep freeze. Any leftover chicken meat also gets frozen (unless I have an immediate use planned). Then when I'm in the mood for stock making, I have LOTS of things to make it from.

I've tried freezing chicken and turkey fat, but I usually forget to use them, and eventually toss them. That's one of the things I've come to accept over the years - yes, there may be a use for such things, but if I don't actually use them, they are only taking up space and become a liability rather than an asset.

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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I've also been buying my chickens (whole) at the local Asian market, where they come complete, with heads and feet. I'm not sure what to do with the heads, but by cutting up my own, I end up with all sorts of cool little pieces that are great for stock. Stock without feet, in my book, isn't stock. Add to it all of those extra bits of skin, ribs, neck, wing tips, etc. Wonderful stuff. And, occasionally, there's another farang in their, who wants their chicken cut up for them, without all of the stuff I want. The ladies at the meat counter, after cutting up said chicken for said farang, will just give me the leavings. Gold. They can't speak English, and I can't speak Hmong, but they know I know the good stuff. And, that I'm a good customer.

Plus, it's an adventure of an 8-year old boy to help pick out the chicken with the "prettiest face" and to learn to cut up a chicken.

Edited to add: I've got a bag of frozen chicken heads. What do I do with them?

Edited by snowangel (log)
Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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By the way Smithy, is the North Shore of Lake Superior otherwise known as Da UP?

I'll answer this one. Da Up is that part of Michigan ABOVE the lake.

Well, er, that depends on which lake you mean. The Upper Peninsula, fondly known as the UP (pronounced " Da Yoop") is indeed that part of Michigan north of Lake Michigan, but it's on the south shore of Lake Superior. If one imagines Lake Superior to be a wolf's head (facing left, mouth every so slightly open, just readying itself to swallow another ship - sorry, but it IS the anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and I did need to work in something to do with eating) the UP is along the wolf's throat. I live just above the nose, and work up toward the eye. If you go inland just a little bit, you'll be on the Iron Range, fondly known as Da Raynche. Culturally similar to da UP, come to think of it, but don't tell that to the natives.

Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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By the way Smithy, is the North Shore of Lake Superior otherwise known as Da UP?

I'll answer this one. Da Up is that part of Michigan ABOVE the lake.

Well, er, that depends on which lake you mean. The Upper Peninsula, fondly known as the UP (pronounced " Da Yoop") is indeed that part of Michigan north of Lake Michigan, but it's on the south shore of Lake Superior. If one imagines Lake Superior to be a wolf's head (facing left, mouth every so slightly open, just readying itself to swallow another ship - sorry, but it IS the anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, and I did need to work in something to do with eating) the UP is along the wolf's throat. I live just above the nose, and work up toward the eye. If you go inland just a little bit, you'll be on the Iron Range, fondly known as Da Raynche. Culturally similar to da UP, come to think of it, but don't tell that to the natives.

Well, of course, The (excuse me, Da) Lake is Superior. In many, many ways.

And, Da Raynche.

We drive through Cloquet, Eveleth, Cook, and turn off at Cusson (just try and find that on your map!). We have stopped, camped, peed, eaten and had car work done in all of these Raynche cities. Rumor has it that there is a good Jamacian restaurant in Gilbert.

As I got in the car this afternoon after working at Peter's school, noticed that the wind had dramatically increased, and the temp decreased. Turned on the radio to hear Gordon Lightfoot singing none other than "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Gave new meaning to the Gales of November.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled program. Smithy and I have had our fun.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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We drive through Cloquet, Eveleth, Cook, and turn off at Cusson (just try and find that on your map!).  We have stopped, camped, peed, eaten and had car work done in all of these Raynche cities.  Rumor has it that there is a good Jamacian restaurant in Gilbert.

As I got in the car this afternoon after working at Peter's school, noticed that the wind had dramatically increased, and the temp decreased.  Turned on the radio to hear Gordon Lightfoot singing none other than "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."  Gave new meaning to the Gales of November.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled program.  Smithy and I have had our fun.

One more thing before resuming the program! I just want to affirm that there is, indeed, an excellent Jamaican restaurant in Gilbert, of all places. If you ever manage to set aside enough time, plan to go eat at The Whistling Bird. Great food, in a very unlikely spot (Jamaican chef married a Range girl, and they moved back up here eventually). If you're very lucky you'll get to meet the chef, who likes to come schmooze with the customers. Listening to him describe the meals is a sensual experience, worthy of anything you'll see in the best food blogs here! And the place is so hot that reservations are recommended if you don't want to wait in the bar too long for a table.

OK, now I'm done. I still want to learn more about what people save! I'm learning lots here, and I found the schmaltz threads, too.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I am not much of a saver but this thread sure has given me some new ideas!

A few years ago I dutifully saved chicken carcases and other chicken parts (like the neck) in the freezer, for future stock making. A year later I could not figure out what was what in my freezer so I tossed it all.

Yesterday for lunch I had "mystery stew" - another freezer item that I neglected to label. I have since learned to label my freezer stuff!

Oh, and I enjoyed reading that others here remember the bacon grease container that my mother always kept. How things come around again!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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The door of the freezer part of our refrigerator has a series of cans with labels as to what type of rendered fat they contain.  Why would you throw out bacon fat? or schmaltz? and I've never had schmaltz at home rendered with onions - that's German, not Jewish.  As for schmaltz as music, I think you mean Rudolf Friml.

We should keep this thread on topic, but you may want to check out or participate in this thread re: american jewish traditions and onions in schmalz.... (this is where I learned about it).

Sample quote:

Fat Guy @ Dec 2 2003, 09:12 AM

I think the learned rabbi makes a good move in focusing on the onion and gribenes aspects of schmaltz. Too many people think schmaltz = rendered chicken fat, when, in reality, rendered chicken fat isn't true Yiddishe schmaltz until it receives the blessing of the onions and gives forth the gribenes.

You'll all be pleased to know that Rabbi Ribeye (yes he is a real rabbi) will be comtributing regularly to The Daily Gullet.

Also, here's a recipe from a jewish food web site: click

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Snowangel: I throw the duck heads into the stock, so why not chicken in theirs? Just a warning, though: they have a tendency to float to the top and stare out of the pot. Maybe it's the air in the sinus cavity or something.

Thanks. Stock is on the stove, chicken heads staring at me. Peter (age 8) will get a real hoot out of this when he gets home from school. Cheap entertainment, as it was.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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...when I roast a chicken, so after we've eaten I pick the carcass reasonably clean, throw it in a ziplock, and toss it in the deep freeze. Any leftover chicken meat also gets frozen (unless I have an immediate use planned). Then when I'm in the mood for stock making, I have LOTS of things to make it from.

I feel like my universe just opened up a tad wider after reading this. And I'm also feeling pretty stupid for never having thought of it. :wacko: BUT THANK YOU! Just another reason I love eGullet!! :wub:

"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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Yesterday when I was cleaning out the fridge, I looked at a quart jar of chickpea juice (the cooking liquid left over from cooking them, that is). I'd been saving it for a week, not with any definite purpose in mind but thinking it would come in handy. In light of a recent discussion about not saving pasta water due to bugs growing in it, and because I hadn't thought of a use for it, I opened the jar and emptied it into the sink..and watched a beautiful, gelatinous liquid, almost as thick as my best thick chicken broth, disappear down the drain. :shock: I had no idea it had set up so much! It *must* have been useful for something, but I wasted it! :angry:

What could I have done with that chickpea broth? What can I do with future chickpea broth, and how long can I save it?

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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  • 2 years later...

After finishing an orange at lunch today, I saved the peel to dry it and put it into a container of mulling spices.

It made me wonder what other things that normally would be discarded, could be saved, and used?

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If not buying fresh, I always save the liquid (oil/brine/vinegar) that olives come in and use it to thin out sauces, since it has all of that awesome olive flavour.

"Olive Broth" is also a good braising liquid.

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The oil from jars of sundried tomatoes, artichokes etc for salad dressings. Although - surely no-one would throw this out.

This thread reminds me of a tragic incident a few years ago when Christmas dinner was at my sister-in-laws. They are NOT "foodies" (or whatever appelation is not offensive to you). Another friend had given us a recipe for turkey marinated and cooked in milk, and ever since then we have all used it almost exclusively as it is fantastic and keeps the turkey moist. My husband, who happened to walk into the kitchen at the exact moment, saw his brother in law pouring all the milky, meaty, turkey-y cooking liquid DOWN THE SINK. He almost could not tell me about it for fear I would cry on Christmas Day.

Whatever is left from this milky turkey essence after making the turkey gravy makes the most unbelievable soup. I could still weep even thinking about it.

The in-laws did serve some sort of gravy with the turkey that year. I dont know what they used to make it with. I ate my turkey sans gravy that year.

At least Christmas is at my place this year.

I'm sure I will think of a lot more for this thread - I am a "flavour miser". I need to go and mourn that turkey juice for a while first.

Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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