Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Restaurant scrounging, Part 2

Blessings Darlings!

More ethical ways food is available to those who work in restaurants.

We cut off the heels of whole loaves of bread before slicing the bread for things like French Toast.  Those heels often come home with me - they are great for stuffing, for croutons, for bread pudding.  The heels of the sweet breads (like banana bread) are cut off before we slice it for serving, too - those can be taken home as a sweet, or even made into ice cream sandwiches!

Menus often change in restaurants like the one I work in (a national chain of family restaurants) pull some items from the menu every quarter or so.  Restaurants can find themselves saddled with products in dry stock that they are no longer using.  In the past year, our chain has stopped using a multigrain pancake mix, a dry mix for French toast, a dry cheese sauce mix for a cassarole, etc.  The unused mixes were given to workers who wanted them. 

Have a garden, and need mulch/compost ingredients?  A prep cook has the nasty outer leaves of leaf lettuce, and the stems, to contribute.  I can take home the rinds of melons after I've diced the good stuff.  Maybe the stems of broccoli that was cut and portioned for cooking.  Servers are going to have access to used coffee grounds.  The nitrogen level of those coffee grounds are amazing when added to a compost pile! 

Some of my previous coworkers took home the peels/top/bottom of pineapples.  They'd throw them in a pot with water, add sweet spices like cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some sweetener, and make a tea (if served hot) or pineapple ade if served cold.  Very high in potassium, they found that it was a tonic for legs after having spent an 8 hour shift standing.

We serve pot roast.  Out of a container in a steamer.  When the container is empty of pot roast, it often has a cup or more of a fat/au jus mix left.  I chill that, peel off the heavy layer of fat, and bring the au jus home to use as soup stock, or to cook barley/rice/whatever in, or use as a base for the stew mentioned above. 

All these are ways I get a 'second use' out of good foods that would just get thrown out at work. 

OTOH, the restaurant gives left over rolls/biscuits/some pies/etc to feed those in ... uh ... more need than its workers.  Since those items are NOT being thrown away, not going into the waste stream, those I don't mess with. 

Frondly, Fern

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