We cook a lot in our house (at least 4 times a week). Sometime I get adventurous, like the time I made gyro meat and tahini sauce from scratch for homemade gyros. They were amazing, but too much work. Other times it’s a game I like to play called what can I make with the random things in the pantry and fridge, I mostly win. Mostly is the keyword here.
For Christmas I decided to cook my first whole Chicken. I found a rosemary chicken recipe that I was excited to use. The chicken was great so I decide to save the carcass in my freezer for making chicken stock at a later date. And in the mantra of zero waste I started saving the scraps from onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and was storing in my freezer.
Yesterday was the day! I pulled the chicken and leftover scraps out of the freezer. Filled a pot with water and started cooking. About 4 hour later I have almost 5, 24 oz jars of stock.
Instead of throwing away your leftover onion, garlic, celery & carrot scraps put them in a glass jar in your freezer
Do the same thing for meat bones
Substitute the stock for recipes that call for a cup or two of water like rice or quinoa
You can use the onion peals, but it can add a bitter flavor to the broth
Store the stock in the fridge or freezer in a reusable container. These are the 24 oz jars I use which are also great for bulk grocery shopping because they have a wide lid.
Make sure to write the date somewhere on the container
My journey towards Zero Waste started earlier in 2015 so once December had rolled around I had already created some good habits and a minimal waste mindset around what I wanted to accomplish for Christmas. Some initial plans rolling into the holiday season were to make our own christmas tree, focus less on buying things we didn’t need, to enjoy time with friends & family, and to take some time off from work.
Last year we decided that we no longer wanted to cut down a tree. Since we are big crafters making our own tree made a ton a sense and got everyone really excited. This year’s tree was made from upcycled fence posts left over from a project this summer and other items we had around the house.
This year we also focused on fewer gifts. In total we got our 7 year old; a used dictionary (something he requested), an atlas (because he wants to travel the world), a stop motion animation toy so he can create movies, and last but not least a family trip to Hawaii (we found a great deal on flights). Focusing on experiences has been more meaningful to us.
Other Accomplishments included:
I took sometime off from work and the world didn’t end.
I was able to spend quality time with friends and family without feeling like I needed to attend every event that I was invited to.
Decorating the house took about an hour and putting everything away after Christmas was a breeze.
We didn’t purchase a single holiday candy, cookie, decoration, card, or wrapping supplies which saved us money and time.
We didn’t have overflowing garbage and recycling cans.
All and all I am really happy with how the entire month played out. I think it was the first time EVER I wasn’t stressed out about the holidays.