Trendy ‘scrap cooking’ is efficient and creative

Published 6:22 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023

By Bonnie Brown

If you are a creative cook (and I’m not), you might be interested in the latest trend of “scrap cooking” which is using leftover “scraps” from dough, veggies, etc. to create another meal or usable ingredient.

In my opinion, this is just a sophisticated way to define leftovers.

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I always thought my mom was the best at using it all up. And she would fuss at us if anything was wasted. I remember that we always had leftovers in some form for the next meal.

Her fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes at lunch became fried potato cakes for dinner. She simply added flour, salt, and pepper, and who knows what else and fried them. They were delicious. And, of course, whenever we had meatloaf, you could count on having meatloaf sandwiches at a meal soon to follow.

Often, vegetables that were presented as a side for one meal became a key ingredient for a soup or stew later. When she made a pie crust, the left-over bit of dough was made into a mini pie and probably landed in my dad’s lunch box.

She always added a dessert item, often cake, to his lunch box. My mom didn’t waste much of anything having grown up in the Depression Era. Why else would she wipe and re-use aluminum foil or use plastic bread wrappers which were probably the forerunner to zip-lock bags, right?

I think we had paper towels but hardly used any of them as there were always dish towels, often home-made ones, to use instead.

I am not big on leftovers myself. One time around is fine with me. However, I do try to be creative occasionally with scraps.

One item that I would ordinarily discard is apricot pits. Who knew you could use them to make ice cream? Yeah, right. So, according to, “You’ll need around 6 pints of apricots to get 50 pits. If you’re buying fruit just for the pits, that would make this an expensive quart of ice cream. So plan to make this after you’ve finished a batch of apricot jam, or simply collect your pits and store them in the refrigerator or freezer until you get enough.”

The recipe states that in order to make this ice cream, you either use a nutcracker or simply bundle the pits in a dish towel and whack away at them with a hammer to get the kernels out of the pit.

The article went on to say that you “may have heard that stone fruit pits contain cyanide, and they do.” To counteract this, you simmer them in milk – twice. You use the kernels as an aromatic then strain them out. Dare I try this recipe?

Another recipe for scrap cooking was to boil the corn cobs once you remove the kernels to get a rich vegetable broth to use in soups or chowders. Now, this one I can get behind.

Another one is to cook a store-bought chicken carcass and use the rich broth for soups, stews, and for dumplings. My mother-in-law always did this with the turkey carcass after our Thanksgiving meal and froze the broth for later.

So, if you are into scrap cooking, there are lots of recipes out there. Or you can simply have a “one and done” meal simply by cooking according to portions so you don’t have leftovers. That’s my style!

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