My Compost Overfloweth

16 Dec


You might think that between going Christmas shopping, attending and hosting parties, baking, going to Mass and Confession, writing cards, and studying for exams (not me, thank heavens) that there would be less time for cooking, and consequently compost.  You would be incorrect.


Remember the Bible verse from Proverbs, “Raise up a child the way he should grow and when he is old he will not depart from it.”  I’m keeping my fingers crossed on my kids’ moral and spiritual futures, but as far as food is concerned, even my pickiest sugar fiend who routinely stops for a dozen “Hot Doughnuts Now” on the way home from school (truly he has the app on his phone) wants to eat at home.  That means smoothies and eggs for breakfast,  lunch on their own (often packed by me) and a hearty dinner with lots of veggies.  Phew!  It tires me just thinking about it.  But honestly, I love to cook, especially with food from our garden.  Sadly, I have not had much time to document it.


So, here are the last week’s buckets with the quick odd comment and a goal to be more timely with my trash talk  in the coming holiday weeks…


Sunday Supper: This required two photos since there was so much food, including Beef Brisket, Chili & Ginger Glazed Carrots & Turnips, and of course Mashed Potatoes.  Dessert was cookies from a dear friend’s cookie exchange party the same day.  My contribution to the exchange was Gingerbread Thumbprints with Eggnog Frosting & Crystallized Ginger.  What you can see (clockwise from top):


  • turnip greens (they look fine here, but trust me there were wilted, and I was not in the mood for any more greens, plus I kind of hate turnip greens)
  • carrots scrapings
  • turnip root tips
  • russet potato peels
  • photo #2 yucky on the other side iceberg lettuce (that could not wait till Toss It Tuesday)
  • photo #2 banana peel
  • photo #2 red onion skins & stem ends
















Many cups of tea (for studying), smoothies and a quick Spaghetti Carbonara with Swiss Chard.  If you’ve never made carbonara before it can quickly become your BFF for nights when you have no clue what to make for dinner.  Trust me.  You can’t ruin this recipe and you have to eat it the minute it is finished.  But, typically if it’s a carbonara night everyone is standing around the island waiting to fill their bowl.  (Recipe says it serves three but I can serve three hungry teens AND me, so it’s hearty.)  What you an see in the bucket (clockwise from the top):


  • brown banana peels (if it’s a weekday, there are bananas in my bucket)
  • teabags (and several more hidden underneath)
  • lemon halves (to go with the tea)
  • colorful Swiss chard stems (one day I will get around to pickling these, probably when chard is out of season)
  • spent spider mum petals (lasted less than a week from my supermarket eco-friendly, higher priced  “green bouquet”.  No, that does not make me happy.)
  • eggshells (we go through at least two dozen pastured eggs every week in case you were wondering)






This “bucket” (or paper towel, which I toss on the compost pile too) is nearly as pretty as the finished Sausage and Kale Strata I made to eat after one of my daughter’s Christmas choir concerts (she sings in both church and school choirs).   Add raw milk, challah and fontina cheese to the stuff below and you’ve got dinner!  Full confession: I actually made two strata (strati?), one with spinach and sausage, one with just kale for my sausage hater.  Not sure which was better.  We ate both with lightly dressed local hydroponic salad greens and celebratory sparkling apple cider.  What you can see (clockwise from the top):


  • lemon halves
  • kale stem ends
  • red onion skins & stem ends
  • a dozen eggshells






Gosh, I hate wasting the tops of leeks!  Every recipe and even cookbooks ignore them and I’ve ranted on this before, but with a spare ten seconds I searched the internet and found, voila!  You can use them to make stock (technically a broth, since there are no bones.  I may actually do this since I’m always in the market for a good veggie broth and boxed ones are bleh!).  You can also sauté or even frizzle them.  Who knew?  And as this article points out, it’s likely the dark ends are the more nutritious part anyway.  Let me know if you already cook these or if you give it a try!  Anyway, I made Potato Leek Soup to celebrate my boy getting home from college unexpectedly early (woohoo!).  What you can see (clockwise from the top):


  • green leek tops
  • potato peels (lots hidden too)
  • onion skins




And that’s it for my week … what ended up in your compost pile this week?



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