The mashed potatoes, they are finished.

Food Waste Friday is over at Simply Being Mum’s today, but since I missed last week due to Black Friday, I thought I’d just put up a small food waste update.

As you read earlier this week, I had some leftover mashed potatoes to deal with after Thanksgiving.  I’m not a huge fan of reheated mashed potatoes, so I usually try to come up with some other way to finish them off.

I did eat a big bowl of them topped with gravy and leftover roasted Cornish game hen, and Sonia ate some reheated, but I still had more left.

So, I made potato bread.

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You guys, every time I make this, I wonder why I don’t do it more often, because potato bread is so lovely and soft.  In fact, it’s so soft, it takes a little bit of effort to carefully get it out of the pan after baking.

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We might have eaten an entire loaf at lunch yesterday.

So, I am resolved to make potato bread happen more often, especially if I have potatoes to use up.

A few of you asked about what sorts of mashed potatoes can go into potato bread.  Regular salted, peppered, and buttered mashed potatoes somehow turn into bread that doesn’t taste particularly strongly of mashed potatoes.

And potatoes that have a lot of butter, cream, or cheese added to them shouldn’t be a problem either.  Generally speaking, you don’t want to overload yeast dough with fatty ingredients (that can inhibit rising), but the potato bread dough has so little fat to begin with, and the potatoes make up a fairly small proportion of the dough, so even super decadent mashed potatoes don’t usually pose a problem.

I might pause if you’d added something like garlic or bacon to the potatoes, but then again, if you wouldn’t mind having a slight garlic or bacon favor to your bread, carry on!

I also used up the leftover pumpkin, but before we get to that, I need to tell you that we decorated our tree.

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Why is this significant?

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Well, it means that in every photo I take between now and January 1st, I will purposely position myself in a way that optimizes my chances of catching Christmas light bokeh in the background.

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Like so:

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It will probably even happen with food waste photos.

Actually, the real point of that photo is to say that the extra canned pumpkin turned into pumpkin pancakes.

I used our leftover Thanksgiving meat and leftover gravy by making extra gravy and then pouring it over toast for dinner.

(A UK reader wrote to ask if we really do put this on toast, since she thought that sounded gross.  And then she told me that she likes to put baked beans on toast, which sounds really unappetizing to me.  So funny.)

Basically, all I have left from Thanksgiving is a little bit of gravy and some cranberry sauce, which I think I might freeze for future use.

What other food waste news do I have?

Hmm.

I did a super-de-duperly-detailed fridge cleanout yesterday.

(I washed the shelves, even! I kind of feel like I might need a prize for that.)

But for some reason unknown to mankind, I neglected to take a photo of what I threw out.

I know there was a moldy orange or two, a serving size of crazy old fruit salad (how did it get behind the pickles????), and a small old piece of chicken.

I feel like there was something else, but cannot for the life of me remember.

I should have taken a picture.

Anyhoo!

My fridge is nearly sparkling in a literal sense at the moment and I am filled with hope and optimism that I will keep it that way.

(We all know I won’t, but let’s not talk about that right now.)

If you have food waste tales to tell, go visit Simply Being Mum.

Also….PSSSSTTTTT!

(Are you paying attention??  Ok, good.)

Do pop back in this afternoon because I am doing a giveaway of Third Day Natural products, which are blow-your-hair-back awesome and also utterly natural and you really should have them in your life (and possibly in your stocking).

Especially the lip balm.  You might not know this, but I’m the president of the Third Day Naturals Lip Balm Fan Club. ;)

Anyway.  Come back this afternoon to win lip balm, soap, sugar scrub, and more, and also to get a special coupon code just for FG readers.

A fridge photo, butternut squash soup, and a little bit of waste.

Every week, I post a picture of the food that has gone bad over the last seven days. Why do I do this? Because in March of 2008, I finally got fed up with the amount of food I was wasting, and I thought that showing my waste to other people would motivate me to use up my food instead of wasting it. Because this often embarrassing practice was so helpful for me, I invited other bloggers to join me in posting their food waste photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

How about we start off with a photo of my fridge?

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Mine can NEVER compare with Simply Being Mom’s lovely, empty fridge. I was chatting about this on Instagram this week with some of you…I just can’t seem to get my fridge very empty without running out of important things.

I don’t know how Jo does it! (although I think she has a slightly smaller family than I do, so perhaps that helps a bit.)

Anyway, here’s what went bad in my fridge this week:

-some roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

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(There were other, far more appealing leftovers, so these got skipped!)

-a few grapes

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(My kids love grapes, but these got into the back of the fruit drawer by accident and were forgotten.)

This isn’t waste yet, but my butternut squash apparently has a bruise, which is going south.

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I think there’s still plenty of salvageable squash here, though, so I’m planning to make and freeze a batch of butternut squash soup.

squash soup with cream swirls

If you haven’t tried that soup, you really should! At least, if you like butternut squash.  It has just the right amount of butter, oniony goodness, and it tastes ridiculously good considering how few ingredients it has.

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How was food waste at your house this week?  Any sad losses or brilliant saves?

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P.S. The winner of the Toys R Us gift card is commenter Erin W.  Erin, you’ve been emailed!