Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thrift Week – January 22, 2012

Between 1916 and 1966, the United States celebrated a week-long event called Thrift Week.  It always started on Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, January 17th and the government used the week to promote smart consumerism and saving practices.  As Benjamin Franklin said, “A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned,” so this seems a great week to begin my site with the first post and a great way to make use of things headed for the compost heap.

Vegetable Broth

One of my favorite ways to take advantage of vegetable scraps is to create a tasty vegetable broth.  My husband and I get a bi-weekly box of local and organic produce delivered to our house.  I find that since we both work long weeks with many additional evening activities, it is important to prep as many of the items from the box soon after they arrive.  I usually do this one weekend day after the box arrives.  I clean and prep salads, can tomatoes, pop and cook beans and onions, bake sweet potatoes and prepare soups and muffins to freeze in individual containers for weekly meals.  All the fresh scraps during the day are placed in a large pot and as it fills, I cover all the items with water and boil until the vegetables are cooked to mush.  

During the warm months, I add fresh herbs from my garden like basil, thyme, chives and parsley to the pot.   Also, I like salt and pepper to taste, but it isn’t necessary.  In the winter I add dried herbs if I have not brought any herbs indoors.  I always add a clove or two of garlic (they can go in skins and all) and any shallot or onion left in the fridge as well.  The best broths are made from a variety of vegetables (and some times even fruits – apples are great) where no one taste is too pervasive.  You can throw in seeds, skins and any unused parts; just make sure you have cleaned the vegetable items to avoid dirt.  After I finish and cool the broth, I pour it through a sieve and the mushy vegetables make the very best feed for our compost worms.  I pour the broth into muffin tins and freeze making ½ cup portions that I pop out by running warm water over the bottom of the frozen tins.  I keep the ½ cup portions in labeled and dated freezer bags to pull out as needed for recipes.


  1. I was ready to try this recipe until I found out you have to wash the vegetables....

  2. Here is the Cuban Version: You do have to peel the veggies :). Plantains, Sweet Patato, Malanga ( a hairy starchy vegetable) found at Krogers or at Cuban grocery store, onions. Makes a rich sweet broth. Take all the veggies and mash, sautee fresh garlic in good olive oil and pour over the top, delicious

    1. Yum, do you serve with anything like rice?