Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Good to the Last Drop

I hate to see anything go to waste. I definitely inherited this from my father. He grew up with absolutely nothing and the habits he learned in his youth to get by carried over into his adult life. I remember him always making sure he got every penny's worth out of every single thing. He'd rinse the bottom of the spaghetti sauce jar out with a little water and pour it in the pot, just to make sure no sauce was wasted. Usually resorting to a spatula, you have never seen a man work so hard to get every single itty bitty last scrape of peanut butter or jelly out of the jar. He was freecycling way before anyone knew what that meant. He merrily accepted anything someone was getting rid and was constantly coming home with things people had set out on the curb marked as "trash." Okay, so maybe that second part is more dumpster diving than freecycling. Potato. Potahtoe. :) Some people snickered at his extreme efforts to save a dime or get something for nothing, but I always found it endearing.

A couple months ago, my husband came across an article in Readers Digest about ways to stretch your dollar in the kitchen. He chuckled when he showed me the article and said "This is so you!"

You bet your bottom dollar it was! One of the suggestions was to use the last bits of mustard in the bottle to make a vinaigrette salad dressing. Just because you can't squeeze anything else out doesn't mean there's nothing left!

You'll need:

  • a jar of mustard you *thought* was empty
  • balsamic vinegar
  • seasonings and herbs to your liking (I used garlic powder, Italian seasoning & onion powder)
  1. Remove the lid from your mustard container. Add in the desired amount of seasonings. (I used 2 teaspoons of each spice.)
  2. I made a little funnel out of a leftover grocery list. This made adding the spices a lot easier and a whole lot less messy.
  3.  Pour the balsamic vinegar into the mustard container. I added enough to nearly fill the jar, but not quite to the top so there was still room for everything to mix together.
  4. Shake like crazy to combine all ingredients.
  5.  Taste and add more spices as desired.
I'd also recommend labeling your creation. I don't know about you, but someone reaching in the fridge thinking they were getting mustard and accidentally putting vinaigrette on their sandwhich would NOT go over well in my house. :)

We usually buy our balsamic vinegar in bulk so that does help with the cost-effectiveness of this project. Otherwise, I don't think salad dressing really costs much more per ounce than the balsamic vinegar to make this version. Besides just price, I do like that it's using up leftover mustard that would normally go to waste and that there's more control over the flavor to suit personal tastes. I had a little of my creation on a salad at lunch today and it's really tasty!

1 comment:

  1. Hello.. I am a fellow Chicks on Lit member and I can't wait to read your blog. I love your cooking lists. I have been trying to come up with new menu options for my family and can't wait to read about yours!

    XOXO Angela's Anxious Life