Saturday, March 28, 2009

Vindication of frugality

Through the years I have received "the look" that said, "Really!" when talking about things I did around the house. Some things for example:
  • Catching the water potatoes were cooked in during draining to use in soup, gravy, or for cooking other veggies in.
  • Catching the water pasta was cooked in during draining to use in soups and gravy.
  • Taking old towels and cutting them down into wash cloths and hemming the edges. Or making a smaller towel to use as a hand towel out of a bath towel.
  • Remaking clothes to fit smaller bodies.

Now I have been vindicated! I was reading "Nature's Place," a free magazine distributed at Food Lion grocery stores. There is a mini article that I will quote below:

savings, al dente
Has a large pot of pasta water ever seemed too heavy to hoist? Don't laugh - mericans cook around a billion pounds of pasta a year, and besides muscle, we use lots of energy and water to do it.

So here's some welcome info: you can cook pasta in about half the water called for. Save energy and water (and your strength) by using three to four quarts for a pound of pasta. Gradually add it to boiling water, stir until water returns to a boil, and cook to your liking, stirring occasionally. Besides tasty noodles, you'll end up with thick pasta water you can add to sauce. Even better, use whole-wheat pasta; it's nutritious and results in flavorful water for sauces and pestos. (Selected Sources. "How Much Water Does Pasta Really Need?" by Harold McGee, New York Times. 2/25/09, "How to Cook Pasta," www.savvyvegetarian.)

Now the funny thing about this whole article is simply that I always felt that the amount of water called for in the directions to boil your pasta was too much, so I have NEVER used as much. Yes, my water was kinda thick, but that was so much better for my later uses of it.

So get cracking, folks, and save your strength using less water and save your pasta-water to use later. You'll be glad you did. You'll be being frugal - by not wasting ANYTHING - and you'll get every smidgen of good out your food products.

Rethink what you are throwing away! Save the water any veggie is cooked in. You can use it in soups, sauces, etc. You'll be glad you did.

And while you're thinking pasta, you might want to look at The National Pasta Association website.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rolling the "r-r-r-r-r-r's" a bit on an old song.....

As we step into the month of March, we see all about us signs that the Irish and their green clovers and other green items are everywhere. Why, you'da thot we was all Irish in these United States of America. However, that is not the case. But I'll agree there is a bit of the Irish in a heap of us. Myself included. You see..... my granny said that on "her" side of the family they were Scotch-Irish. Now whatever does that mean? Well, I'll be tell ye all, it means that on some songs you tend to roll the "r-r-r-r's a bit. On some tunes you feel your step lighten or maybe jig a bit. In fact, you might even be inclinded to wear a bit of green around the middle of March like all the real Irish will be a-doing. Anyway, here are the words to an old hymn. Now I don't know from whence it came; but whenever we sang it in church, I'd feel the "r-r-r-r-r's" rolling, my voice had a special lilt, and I felt the music roll over me in a way that is hard to describe. I can't find the midi file online so you can hear it, but see if you can get the cadence of the words.......

To Jesus ev'ry day I find my heart is closer drawn;
He's fairer than the glory of the gold and purple dawn;
He's all my fancy pictures in its fairest dreams, and more;
Each day He grows still sweeter than He was the day before.

His glory broke upon me when I saw Him from afar;
He's fairer than the lily, brighter than the morning star;
He fills and satisfies my longing spirit o'er and o'er;
Each day He grows still sweeter than He was the day before.

My heart is sometimes heavy, but He comes with sweet relief;
He folds me to His bosom when I droop with blighting grief;
I love the Christ who all my burdens in His body bore;
Each day He grows still sweeter than He was the day before.

The half cannot be fancied this side the golden shore;
Oh, there He'll be still sweeter than He ever was before.
by--- W. C. Martin

You know, folks, it just might be the Scotch in me that loves the song so much. Who knows?