My house is all about no food waste and recycling waste, I can be very honest about that. You will notice what that means for my kitchen and household in later posts.
The use of plastic and the pollution it entails started to irritate me so much that I now reuse my plastic as much as possible. I also do that with bags containing vegetables and herbs that I bought. But due to the corona measures and for hygiene reasons, many shops in Spain no longer accept that you arrive with your own old bag. That is very understandable, and you cannot say very much about it.
In-house we have separate containers for glass, cardboard, plastic and aluminum. Why? Because recycling helps the world. And I hope that many more people will do this too.
Every time I get new ideas on this subject. Not always just about the use of plastic, but also about useless transport and packaging materials. Jars with 25 grams of rosemary, for example. Those jars are useful for many people, but if you as a cook use almost 50 grams of rosemary per week, it makes no sense to buy those small jars. Then it is much better to buy a larger quantity and, if necessary, keep it in a smaller jar.
I often make things a bit too difficult for myself and sometimes have difficulty outsourcing work, but sometimes I just want to finish the day’s work earlier, or just want to be able to cook in one piece more easily. That is why I decided to make spice mixes that I can quickly use in dishes. And because I already do more than enough work in one day, I don’t want to work with a mortar to grind all the herbs fine.
That’s why I thought of buying a spice grinder. Of course my husband thought ‘Gosh, Tatiana, don’t you have enough things for your kitchen yet?’, And I thought it was a good idea to limit the number of appliances a bit. That’s why I ended up with an electric spice grinder in which I can also grind coffee. It took me a day and a half to find one online that met all my needs. It is suitable for wet and dry mixes. When I tried it out and made pistou for my pasta pistou, I only found out what a beast this machine was. My pistou was ready in twenty seconds!
But now I also had to get herbs to experiment with. So I bought fresh and dried herbs for about forty euros at a real old-fashioned grocer. With that I will soon be able to make all ‘fresh’ mixes for dishes. I keep those mixes in reusable glass jars. A big advantage is that I know exactly what is in the mixes. With prepackaged pots of spice mix from the supermarket, the question is what exactly you buy. Spending forty euros on herbs sounds like a lot, but it is certainly a lot cheaper than buying ready-made jars of which you don’t know what is really in them.
So now I have a simple little one kilo device that does its job very quickly. It has two trays, is very easy to clean and does not take up much space. Who knows, I may soon be able to grind my own coffee beans to drink really fresh coffee if I feel like it. And of course I can keep making my own pistou, and all kinds of spice mixes for dishes, and all kinds of sauces I feel like at that moment.
Recycling is not a hype, but limiting waste is broader than that. It starts with ensuring that you get less packaging. By purchasing some things smarter and sometimes doing some preparatory work, you can ensure that you have much less waste without having to worry about cooking daily meals.
We only have one earth, and we have to take care of it. For me, this is also something that I have only been working on in recent years. I too have contributed too much to environmental pollution in the past, so I really want to contribute to the search for solutions. I was therefore happy that they really take recycling seriously in Spain. Walking the dog with the whole family on Sundays and walking past the recycling bins has now become a family outing.
Combating environmental pollution can start small. With spice jars, or with a simple question: How many empty spice jars do you think you’ve thrown away in your life? Which kitchen appliances do you swear by? I am very curious about what my fellow chefs use in their kitchen.