A Waste-Free Turkey-Feast
Posted by Samantha Miller on
Hey there, fellow foodies!
FoodCycler wishes you a delicious - uh, I mean delightful - Thanksgiving weekend!
Hark! Hereth comes the day of steaming pies and gravy-slathered turkey legs (all together now: "I'm Henry the Eighth I-am I-am-") and we are so excited.
Well, we're Canadian, which means we were excited for our own Thanksgiving about a month ago, and are now vicariously enjoying a second Turkey Day via our southern neighbours - hiya neighbours! (And thanks a munch!)
How are the two Thanksgivings different, you ask? Well... we didn't know that, so, out of curiousity and in the interest of workaday procrastination, we looked it up:
1) The Dates: American Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday of November, while Canadian Thanksgiving is on the second Monday of October.
2) The Holi-Daze: Americans (lucky buggers) get two full days off across all fifty states, while we poor, demur Canadians only get one (optional in the Maritime provinces... get it together, ya hozers).
3) Football: Canadians sometimes like to gather 'round the ole noisebox to experience the Thanksgiving Day Classic rather than discuss politics and compare gravy recipes with Aunt Marge. Perhaps it's our natural Canadian pre-hibernation shyness peeking through, but it is a bit of a red flag to think that the only time Canadians are truly gung-ho about football is on Thanksgiving. Sneaky Canadians.
4) The Food: While both holidays are signified by their autumn-themed bounty, our classic recipes do vary a teeny bit. For example: Canadians usually mash there sweet taters, while Americans often bake theirs with marshmallows on top (really, American? Can you stop outdoing us for once?)
5) The Shopping: We hardly need to remind you that it's Black Friday weekend, right? While Canadians are sittin' pretty, burrowing deep into our Canadian Winter hibernation chambers and cuddling with our pet moose (mooses? meese?), Americans are strapping on the shin-pads and goalie masks to take on their fellow shoppers for some rad deals.
(Black Friday PSA: Play it safe, kids. Remember, sharing is caring.)
There are some things, however, which we North Americans share across the board (or table). You may have guessed it already...
THANKSGIVING WASTE (duh-duh-duuuuhhhh)
We understand the struggle: the whole point of Thanksgiving is to join together to feast the harvest bounty (I mean, that's what it is traditionally - now, most of us join together to share in a group turkey-coma and find ways to avoid awkward front-door-greeting hugs from your least-liked relatives. *cough* Marge *cough* *cough*)
But part of being thankful is appreciating the food we have, and honoring our good fortune by not throwing it away. For example: we're not exactly giving thanks for our bounty by hauling ten pounds of perfectly edible food to the curb the day after Thanksgiving dinner, now are we?
How can you help?
Glad you asked, fellow turkey-gobbler. Glad you asked.
- Pantry Recon Mission (or Pant-Recon - don't say this out loud, you will sound like a creep): If you have it, don't buy it. Pretty simple, eh? Or, if you're a little forgetful this time o' year: No Doubles, No Troubles.
- Meal Planning: Take a piece of paper, jot down each dish you'd like to cook/bake. Beneath each option, create a bullet list of all the necessary ingredients. Do you notice any cross-over? Could your extra sweet taters be used in a dessert or side dish, rather than lining your garbage can?
- Guesstimate Nom-Levels: Unless the dinner table will feature relations you haven't seen since infancy, you probably have a decent idea of how much food your peeps will chomp... some much more than others (we're looking at you Marge, you greedy gal, you).
- Past-Date? Ate-Fast: It goes without saying: DO NOT force yourself to eat food that is neither appetizing, nor safe. However, by having a vague idea of how long food lasts prior to and following preparation, you stand a better chance of prioritizing dishes and leftovers. If you're feeling stressed, add the food item and the Best Before date to your calendar, or write it in Sharpie on the plastic packaging for ease-of-view.
- Leftovers Need Love Too: Check out our previous blog post (Clean Your Fridge & Save A Panda) for some nifty tips on re-purposing leftovers and food scraps (and saving pandas).
As the name implies, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives - and more specifically, the bountiful and healthful food to which our society has access. Considering the international hunger levels today, if you have access to food and clean water, that's reason enough to be grateful.
By remembering the true meaning of Thanksgiving (bet you thought we were about to say Christmas, huh? Not for another four weeks folks!), we respect and honor the food we're fed. So, friends, slip on your special Eating Pants, scoop up that last dollop of mashed potaters, and live up to the Turkey-Day Dream: taste it, don't waste it.