One Simple Thing: Examine the Next Thing You Trash

| December 22, 2015 | 5 Comments

The thought of replacing everything we discard with something that’s reusable, renewable, or refuse-able is a noble goal.  And the thought of taking it all on is absolutely overwhelming, even to me. Sure, I can spend hours sourcing cheese not sold in plastic, finding someone who recycles #7 plastics (think strawberries in a clamshell), and choosing restaurants who don’t send home leftovers in polystyrene. I like that stuff, I don’t mind. But it’s time-consuming, and I’m a girl with a 50 hour job, a garden, a household, and a sideline writing this blog. Sometimes it’s just hard to find the time.

That’s when I play the Next Thing Game. The next thing that I am just about to reflexively lob into the trash can under the sink is the thing I’ll research.

This week it was a metal lid from a glass jar of mustard. The glass can be recycled, but the lid? I hunted around online for about 5 minutes (google “metal jar lid” and “recycle”) and found a site not too far from our community: http://www.ecocycle.org/dirtydozen . They specify that the lids NOT be on the jars, but they can be loose with the metals. Done and done.

A better option is for me to just make some more mustard. It’s about the simplest thing ever, and approximately a zillion times better than anything you can buy in the grocery store, no kiddin’. Here’s a new recipe I’m trying, if you want to try it yourself, with my thanks to The Beeroness for the yum:

Homemade Beer Mustard

mustardPut these in a glass container together:

  • 1/4 cup mustard seeds ( I use a mix of brown and yellow)
  • 2 T mustard powder
  • 1/2 cup beer – IPA is a good style
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Let it all sit & soak for a day at room temperature. Pour it all in a strong blender with

  • 2 tsp cream style horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp honey

Pulse and whirl until it’s as smooth or as chunky as you like it. I like to have some whole seeds in mine. I store it in a pint jar in the fridge. Nothing to throw away or recycle, and it’s delicious.  We’re having it in a roasted brussels sprout salad for Christmas.

What’s your Next Thing? What can you do about it? I’d love to know – it might be MY next thing!

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Category: Cooking, Food, One Simple Thing

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  1. Stacy McDonald says:

    I love this! You’re so smart!!

    • greenhedonist says:

      Thanks!! If by “smart” you mean “lazy,” then I agree! 🙂 If I were Superwoman, I’d have every single thing figured out by now. But I’m happy to continue making progress one little bite at a time.

  2. Megan S. says:

    I’m going to try this mustard recipe once I get through the current jar, thanks for posting! In other jar related news, I just washed out and kept the glass jar that held jam bought from the store, and now plan to make dressing in it (with use of lid) or drink whiskey out of it (without lid!).

    • greenhedonist says:

      Yay Megan! I love jam jars, mason jars, any kind of glass jar. I have a strange fondness for them. I almost feel bad recycling them – glass is such an amazing invention to my kid eyes. Clear like water, but not liquid! Strong but lightweight! You can melt it and use it again! We were gifted a box full of swing-top brown glass bottles and I was all big-eyed and oooooooooooooooooooh.

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