Hi everyone. I have been feeling a little guilty lately : I have been advising you all to store vegetables and many other items in ziploc bags. My sister, Alice , has scolded me for this. She has been hard at work creating a “green” program for her office. It is so hard not to use them, as they are so helpful in storing ingredients in the fridge, pantry and freezer. Plus, they are so luxuriously inexpensive at Costco. The temptation kills me! Not as egregious a behavior as Eliot Spitzer’s but it’s not a competition.
As we all know , however, plastic is bad for the environment so I am making a concerted effort to reuse my bags. I reuse them by washing them out, turning them inside out and drying them. I then reuse them for food or if they are a little nasty, I use them to enclose a dirty diaper, yucky food slop, or other any other slimy thing that I don’t want loose in my garbage pail. Everything in moderation-there is no need to give them up, just use them wisely and reuse them wisely.
Again, some non-cooks or novice cooks may feel we are being wasteful when we shop for ingredients and don’t end up using them. It may be easier , we feel, to just buy prepared food to avoid the waste. Let’s not be fooled! We can cook AND not be wasteful.
As an example of thrifty cooking behavior, I made my friend’s recipe that she got from her grandmother that calls for 2 cups of strong coffee. I had a huge amount of Starbucks coffee , leftover from a meeting I had in my house, and I was thrilled to not have to pour it down the drain. This cake is from a great “heirloom recipe” that makes my friend feel connected to her grandma whenever she makes it. Even I think about her grandma when I make it and I’ve never even met her! I hope you like it!
P.S. www.blueegg.com is a great website that can help you learn how to help the environment in little ways throughout your day.
Grandma’s Depression-Era Dark Coffee Cake
Pre-heat oven to 325 and grease a 9×12 baking dish
-1 box seedless raisins
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-2 cups strong black coffee
-1 1/2 level tsp salt
-4 cups sifted flour
-2 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp ground cloves
-2 tsp cinnamon
-1 cup shortening
-1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1) Put all ingredients (except flour and baking soda) into a large pot and bring to boil.
2) Remove from fire and stir in baking soda (it will foam up so this is fun for kids to help with!) Allow to cool.
3) Add sifted flour and mix well.
4) Turn out into greased and floured 9×12 baking dish. Sprinkle top with some sugar (optional).
5) Bake in pre-heated oven for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean.