Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reduce, Reuse...Romaine!

WAIT!  Don't throw away the stem end of your leaf lettuce this week.  Make it work again and again for you and get your creative juices flowing.

First up, if one head of lettuce is just never enough.  Then re-grow your lettuce from the stalk scraps.  Just place the stem end into about a half an in to an inch of water in a container deep enough to keep the stalk from just falling over sideways (I used empty jam jars, but soup mugs or even plastic butter containers would work great).  Then place in an area where it will get some nice indirect light, like a windowsill, and watch over the next few days as your lettuce begins to grow again.  It's ALIVE!!!!  Keep an eye on the water as you'll want to change it every few days to prevent it from getting gunky, and make sure you don't fully submerge the stalk as it will rot.  You want just enough water to cover the stem portion and that's it.  In the photo below you can already see the center of my lettuce starting to sprout.  Plus, this is also a great trick for continually re-growing green onions!

Don't want to wait till you've grown a whole other bit of lettuce?  Want instant lettuce scrap gratification?  Then use that veggie scrap as a sustainable stamp!  Pat the it dry to get rid of any excess moisture, and then grab an ink pad (or if you're still hanging onto the beets from a few weeks ago, use beet juice for a natural dye -- though this would work best on fabric, not on a paper product since it would be too wet) and start stamping away.  I had a whole roll of brown butcher paper that I patterned up and I plan to use for gift wrap this year.  Plus I even had some matching card stock, so ta-da wrapping paper and blank note cards to match.  Changing up the ribbon colors and gift decorations means you can use a wrap like this all year round. If you've got some apples that have started to go soft, you can even slice them in half and dip those into a fabric paint and design up some canvas totes for gifts.  

So start looking at your kitchen scraps in a different light and think about all the ways you might be able to reuse them, save yourself some cash, fuel your creative juices, and maybe knock a few holiday to-dos off your list in the process!

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