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How much food do you waste?

We live in a country of plenty — plenty of foods, drinks, clothes, conveniences and in general plenty of everything.

The question is, do we appreciate everything we have or do we just take it for granted ?

I was born after World War II but my parents along with many relatives and friends in Greece lived through the occupation when Nazi Germany had taken over the country. I was told that food was very scarce and limited and many children and adults were not receiving the meats, veggies, eggs, milk, bread and things that our bodies need in general.

With the ending of the war, life started to improve and I recall growing up that my mother always wanted me to finish all my food on my plate and not be wasteful (this was because she could recall the very lean times during the war).

Of course, our three children were born and raised in America and when they were young and growing up, I would never let them leave the dinner table until they had finished all their food. This of course was a carry over from my mother when I was growing up, even though we live in the country of plenty.

I will share with you a cute story that took place (George) our first child, I use to over stuff his little mouth with food all the time and one summer my mother was flying in from Greece and we had dinner before going to the airport to pick her up. Once again I stuffed his mouth full of food and he had kept that last bite of food all the way from our house to the Wood Country airport. When I discovered he still had a mouth full of food, I learned my lesson for the future never to do something like that again to my child. I also recall his pediatrician (Dr. Bailey) telling me that “when your kids get hungry they will let you know”.

It is a fact that unfortunately here in America we waste an unbelievable amount of food when so many people in the world are starving and thousands dying daily from starvation.

Have you ever stopped to think about how much food you waste weekly or noticed how much food are left on peoples plates at different restaurants. I know that a tremendous amount of waste takes place in especially buffet-type restaurants. People pay one price and pile up their plates because they are hungry and when they get full, leave half the food on their plates, which becomes a major waste of food.

When I see these things, my thoughts always go to all the people that are homeless, hungry or do not have the means to purchase foods. Sadly, I am also guilty of being wasteful, but I make an attempt to waste as little as possible.

Who ever thought that we would live in days where so many children depend on their schools to feed them breakfast and lunch, and I am told that for many children that is the only meals they will get.

You see many signs all over the city for “HELP WANTED.” If I had children that were hungry, I would seek employment anywhere regardless of what job in order to feed my children. It is not a shame to work, but a privilege. Many people that would like to work, but can’t for health reasons, etc., then we as a community need to see that their needs are met. However, the ones that are able to work, are too particular as to what they do is unacceptable when they are in need. Like many people, I have done many things in my life that I really didn’t want to do or even like, but found it necessary to succeed my standard of life. Till next week:

Save The Dates:

For the whole month of March, I have been asked to be a celebrity chef at the Blennerhassett Hotel Restaurant. During this month only, I will be cooking my favorite dishes that I used to cook at the former Olympic Deli, only during dinner hours. Many of you remember the Olympic Deli and will be able to enjoy a few of my Greek dishes and desserts from there.

Telethon Sunday, March 8, I will be on air 5:30-6:30 p.m. to take your pledges.

Spring/Easter Celebration and Egg Hunt (Sponsored by Elks Lodge 198) Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. on PHS front campus.

11th annual Easter Parade April 4 at 2 p.m. in downtown Parkersburg with a theme of “Old Fashion Easter.”

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Shrimp Stroganoff

1/4 cup minced onion

5 tablespoons butter, divided

1 1/2 pounds shelled, raw shrimp

1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, quartered

1 tablespoon flour

1 1/2 cups sour cream at room temperature

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

pepper to taste

cooked yellow rice

artichoke hearts, quartered

In a large skillet, saute onion in 1/4 cup melted butter until softened. Add shrimp and saute for 3-5 minutes or until pink and just cooked. Transfer mixture to a heated dish and keep warm. In the same skillet, saute mushrooms in remaining butter over moderately high heat until browned. Sprinkle mushrooms with flour and cook mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to moderately low and stir in the shrimp mixture, sour cream, salt and pepper. Cook mixture, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are throughly heated. Do not let mixture boil. Serve immediately over saffron rice tossed with quartered artichoke hearts.

***

Shrimp Newburg with Green Rice Ring

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

pinch of red pepper

5 tablespoons Madeira wine, divided

1 cup whipping cream

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 pounds peeled, cooked shrimp

Melt butter in top of double boiler. Stir in flour and cook several minutes. Gradually add milk and stir until smooth and thick. Add seasonings and 4 tablespoons wine. Beat together cream and egg yolks. Gradually add cream to wine sauce. Cook over boiling water for 15 minutes. Add shrimp and remaining tablespoon wine. Pour shrimp Newburg into center and around green rice ring and garnish with parsley.

Green Rice Ring

2 cups cooked rice

2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 cup chopped parsley

1/2 cup butter, melted

3 eggs, separated

Combine the rice, green onion, parsley, butter and slightly beaten egg yolks. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour mixture into buttered 1 1/2 quarter ring mold and bake in a 350 oven 25 minutes. Unmold on a hot platter.

***

Cold Marinated Beef

2 cups water

few drops lemon juice

dash salt

1 large onion, sliced in rings

15 large mushrooms, sliced

1 1/2 pounds cold cooked roasted beef, thinly sliced

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed marjoram

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup salad oil

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Bring to a boil the water, lemon juice and salt. Drop in the onion rings; remove immediately and drain. Place onions and mushrooms on top of meat slices. Mix together the remaining ingredients, except the parsley, and pour over the meat. Refrigerate until time to serve; then sprinkle with parsley.

***

Steak Diane a la Richard

2 rib eye steaks, well trimmed

1 tablespoon butter

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons Cognac

1 tablespoon dry sherry wine

2 tablespoons butter

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon hot English mustard

2 teaspoons chopped parsley

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Saute steaks in butter over medium high heat to desired doneness, adding salt and pepper as they cook. Reduce heat and add Cognac and sherry. Flame. When flame dies, remove steaks and keep warm in oven. Add remaining ingredients to pan juices. Heat to bubbling and pour over steaks. Serve immediately.

***

Barbecued Beef Cubes

5 pounds beef, cut in 2-inch cubes

oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons vinegar

4 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 14-ounce bottle ketchup

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

1 cup water

1 cup chopped celery

salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef cubes in small amount of oil in heavy skillet. Drain and set aside. Brown onion in butter. Add remaining ingredients, mix well and simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Pour sauce over beef cubes either in Dutch oven or casserole. Cover and cook in 300 oven until beef cubes are tender, about 2 hours. Good served over noodles.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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