The whole World is in deep crisis, overwhelmed with terrorism, chemicals and technology evolution. In Beirut’s case, garbage is one of the biggest problems.  An increasing majority has taken up serious recycling and composting. Wherever I go, I hear about creative ideas not to ‘WASTE’ anymore. While some people are still focused on the problem and forgo the little acts that can help in the long-term,  lots of efforts have been made lately.

Since this blog revolves around food, I present you today with some ways to reduce food waste this Christmas. We’re lucky to have a meal planned for Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day so let’s act responsibly. There goes:

  1. Never throw leftovers. Ross didn’t go through the “my sandwich” crisis for nothing. We learnt to try and top Monica’s sandwich with Turkey leftovers every 26th of December. Keep including that turkey in your post-Christmas meals until it all disappears.
  2. You’ll be surprised how many things you can freeze for as long as 6 months. For example, if you’re keen on making a pumpkin pie but the pumpkin you got was so big that there are leftovers, cut them in squares and freeze them in sandwich bags. You can then make a nice soup in January.
  3. Try to buy only the exact quantity of ingredients you need to make your recipe.  During our Christmas food shopping, we tend to exaggerate the ingredients’ portions because of all the promotions we see at the supermarket. If you know you won’t need that much, just don’t.
  4. Check what you already have in your freezer. Chances are you once fell for that buy 1 get 1 free puff pastry and you kept them both in the freezer. So no need to get new ones. Just use what you’ve got. Plan dishes around stuff you kept in your freezer.
  5. All real cooks have at least one edible plant on their balcony. Before those basil or rosemary leaves die in winter, use them to season your meals. If you also happen to have a small raspberry tree, why not make this cheesecake? You won’t have wasted all that good natural produce and also saved yourself some extra bucks.
  6. If you have lots of leftovers and can in no way finish them all , call the Lebanese Food Bank. They’ll be more than happy to gather your food and give it to people in need.
  7. It’s okay to continue having the same dishes after Christmas. So on a quiet night after the Holiday, just pour yourself some leftover wine (if any), and finish that cheese in front of the TV. Oh, and don’t forget that bite of baguette!
  8. After your family Christmas meal, prepare a small Tupperware for everyone. You can make it all cute and tempting for the next day. That way, you’ll have taken care of their next day lunch.
  9. Do not go to the grocery store again until you have cooked a meal with all the ingredients you bought for Christmas. They’re called “use-it-up” meals.
  10. When cooking, do not throw away stems, extra leaves and potato skin. They can all be used to make extra side dishes that turn out as delicious as the bigger dishes.
  11. Store food properly in the fridge afterwards. For instance, if you served nuts and crackers before the meal, make sure they’re in sealed airtight containers right after everyone leaves. You can use them for other gatherings later on.
  12. Compost! Convert food waste into useful resources. Put them in your backyard, or, if you don’t have one, give them to someone who does. I’m referring to those potato skins and stems that you might not want to cook with.
  13. Study your menu well. You don’t need to make loads of dishes to show your hospitable side. It’s all about a nice and warm atmosphere after all.

pumpkin

Sobremesa topic: There are so many more fascinating ways to reduce waste. If each one of us pays attention and develops these new habits, we can be on the way to a better world.

Happy Christmas Shopping! 🙂

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