Photo by Rob!/Flickr CC
Like dwellings across the United States this past weekend, our home was filled with the aroma of simmering turkey bones. Heritage turkeys, we have learned these past two years, make exceptionally rich, flavorful broth. Part of this golden liquid was immediately used as the foundation of a large pot of turkey-rice soup, made with sage, thyme, carrots and celery. The rest we put into two containers that went directly into the freezer, where we also stashed some of the leftover meat.
Every scrap that was not something a human would enjoy eating we put into another huge pot, along with leftover spaghetti, bread, and rice--this one being doggie stew. About half of that went in the freezer, half in the fridge. Our dog Claire will be nourished by this stew for a couple of weeks. Nothing was wasted.
Such frugality with food comes naturally to both of us and has been fortified by time on the farm. In fact, we are pretty maniacal about it in our household. Our four parents all lived through times of real scarcity and taught us by example to treat food as sacred: throwing leftover food away was unheard of; allowing food to rot before it could be eaten was sacrilege.
Farm life has strongly reinforced this tendency for thriftiness in both of us. Cultivating food engenders a deep understanding of the considerable resources and effort needed to produce it. Because meat, eggs, dairy and fish require taking the lives of animals, wasting nothing takes on even greater significance for those foods.