Times like today when I am trying to hold onto the last bit of losing my nerves. My youngest two have been ill since three days now.
While Wise Man (my second child) braves his illness nonchalantly, Darling (my littlest) looks fazed to be feeling the way he has been.
On days like these, when I feel lost, helpless or too drained, I immerse myself in house chores- sorting my kitchen or simply doing laundry. I feel this helps in clearing my head and the works get done faster.
Sprucing up the kitchen requires a bit of chopping and marinating foods I can cook beforehand, straightening out my kitchen tools or dusting the shelves. And making sure I save food to reduce wastage. While at it, I decided to list a few simple things that could prove helpful to you in the kitchen.
1. Using Coriander Stems:
We usually dispose away the stems of coriander leaves and use only the top part for our garnishes. But, a decade into marriage and since I began cooking, I’ve learnt to save the stems and reuse them in making chutneys or soups. Either I grind them to a paste or finely chop them to steam off in soups. Trust me when I say that the stems are taste enhancers and you’d now regret the times when you discarded them.
2. Over Ripe Bananas:
Little Man (my oldest) practically winces when he finds spotted bananas and refuses to even touch them. That’s why I either use the ripened bananas to serve the kids milkshakes or bake delicious banana loaves to pack into their lunchboxes. I often make banana pureè to add into Darling’s porridges too.
3. Bread Heels:
The two ends of packaged slice bread are also declared inedible by the kids in our house. But I insist on not throwing them away. Instead, I toast them and later make breadcrumbs and store for times when I have to coat chicken drumsticks before deep frying. The crumbs lend a hearty crunch to the fried chicken.
Another way I use bread heels is to soak and mash them while making kebabs. It adds to the quantity and helps in binding the kebabs well.
4. Rotating the leftovers in the fridge:
When you have kids, you are bound to have half-eaten foods and leftovers to deal with. Instead of throwing away or letting the food rot in the fridge, I store and refrigerate them in plastic containers, placing the containers on top shelves. That way I can remember to use the leftovers first and the food gets eaten sans wastage 🙂
5. Wrinkled Tomatoes:
When it comes to shopping for veggies, I usually buy in bulk from local vendors. I cook a lot and it feels convenient to stock up instead of making short trips to outdoors frequently. While stocking up on veggies is a good idea, it also means I have to be prudent and check for softened/ripened vegetables from time to time before they go bad.
For instance, before letting the tomatoes rot, I use them to make an easy sauce and store for baking pizzas or cooking pasta later during the week.
6. Fluffing Up Cooked Rice.
It may feel counter-intuitive but I make extra quantity of rice so that I can reinvent them into fried rice or tempered khichdi for the next day. The kids and hubster love the spruced up rice and I have one less thing to decide for meal planning.
As much as I’d love to prepare tomato pureè, herbs or ginger-garlic ice cubes, sew kitchen napkins or towels and grow fresh basil plants on my window sill, I know I can only do so much. As they say, “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything”. I guess, it just makes a lot of sense.
Having said that, it does go a long way when you decide to incorporate a certain level of sustainability in the kitchen. It deters the burn in your pocket and you contribute to an environment-friendly earth in your own miniscule way ☺
I’m tagging this post as my third entry into the #SuperBloggerChallenge2018.
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