We`ve had some busy days around here, but despite a refrigerator full of produce (farmer`s markets!) and houseguests, we haven`t had much food waste. Last week a big green pepper went all soft and mushy and slimy in the produce drawer, and earned itself a good scolding before it went into the trash. This week, I had to sort through a large bowl of blueberries (highbush local berries) and pick out about a half-cup of gooey ones. I was afraid that the whole bowl had gone off, but I caught it in time.
The rest of the berries, along with some sliced peaches and strawberries that hadn`t made it into fruit salad, ice cream topping, or cereal bowls, went into a very,very delicious sauce for cheesecake. I put all the fruit, along with the accumulated juices, in a saucepan (it must have been about a quart or so) and added a cup of white wine, about a half cup of sugar, and the juice of half a lemon. I cooked that over medium heat until it came to a boil, and let it simmer until it thickened – no cornstarch necessary. The lemon juice and sugar jelled the natural pectins in the fruit.
At this time of the year, with lots of fresh food around, I check the refrigerator every other day and use anything I think has gotten past ripe. There`s no junk food in the house – we snack on fruit and cheese instead.