The lack of well thought out & useful posts is partly due to feeling like I may have reached a sort of steady-state equilibrium on my low-waste techniques. Less personal revelation probably means it’s time to take on a new challenge – like making my own yogurt or growing my own mushrooms or something.
I have been domesticating and have learned how to bake GOOD english muffins and pita bread from scratch. My single best realization is that when baking from any non-canadian cookbook, one must reduce the listed quantity of flour (from 10 to 25% less). This is apparently due to the closer-to-real-wheat qualities of canadian flour. Practically speaking, things get too dense if you use US-wheat quantities.
With lots of time on my hands, this domesticating and home-economizing has brought me to another simple realization: zero waste happens more naturally when you do things the old-school way. We drink powdered milk, which is ever so much better tasting now than it was when I was a kid. I bake bread, I make stews and spreads from beans, I don’t buy much meat, I use a lot of root vegetables. I now cook much like my grandma did. I praise the vegetable goodness of celery and sprouts. Amazingly, this eliminates many of the struggles – less packaging woes, less expense, etc.
If anyone wants the english muffin recipe, it makes the best eggs bennies you have ever tasted. It’s dead easy, they freeze well, and they will help you avoid many many many little plastic bags and little plastic bag-closers. Props go to the More-With-Less and Extending-the-table cookbook. I love them. If you are fortunate enough to have access to fresh local seasonal vegetables, try Simply In Season.