Eat your Compost

This is for you Gen-X, locovore, enviro-freak composters. Stop wasting your compost!


Take all those lettuce, kale, celery, parsnip, onion, carrot, pepper, beet, cauliflower, broccoli, bean, turnip, chayote, kohlrabi and salsify trimmings and boil them for cooking stock. It wouldn’t hurt to experiment with orange, canteloup, kiwi or paw paw peelings, if you are at least as adventurous as a couch jockey checking out a new Netflix series. If the result is not what you want for your smothered-chicken gravy, try it in a stir-fry.


Don’t be afraid to use the brown (but not the furry) trimmings. If it doesn’t smell like your bathroom after your sister-in-law used it, it will be fine after several hours of simmering.


After you have made the broth, unless you included chicken, beef, turkey, emu, pork, or llama bones in the broth, you can still throw the drained remains on your compost pile. If your broth includes anything that did not have a terrestrial attachment when living, throwing what is left in the pot on your compost heap will attract unpleasant critters and cause your neighbors to hate you.


You don’t have to get out your stockpot every time you make a salad. Toss the trimmings in a freezer container or bag and accumulate them in your freezer until you have enough make a decent-sized pot of stock. Use just enough water to cover the solid parts and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat to the lowest setting that will still produce steam when you lift the lid. Allow at least four hours at low heat for maximum flavor.


I save the bones from several chicken dinners in my freezer before I simmer them – and, no, I am not too fastidious or proud to rescue the KFC bones from the plate scrapings after the meal. You can facilitate bone-recovery by putting a bone dish on the table during the meal. Some skin, fat, breading and the occasional bit of cole slaw will not hurt the end result.


The broth or stock you make yourself is not just free – it is 1,000% more tasty and interesting than the chicken-, vegetable- or beef-flavored water you buy at Publix or Costco.


John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200

©2017 John B. Payne, Attorney

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