July 2015
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Coming through the drought of the mid 1970’s, I brought many water-saving tricks into the present day.  Most of us don’t have to put bricks in our toilet tanks and install reduced flow shower heads because low-flow products are pretty much standard now days.  And many of us are experts at the 5 minute or less shower.

However, the current extreme drought has reminded me to be even more water-wise.  My car is a color that displays every little spec of dust as if they are part of a brightly spot-lighted art exhibit.  Nixing the weekly car wash, I bought a dust mop made just for the job.

I catch warm up water in the kitchen and bathroom for use elsewhere.  I wipe most of my veggies with damp to wet wash cloths that I purchased just for the kitchen.  And I scrub potatoes with a wet brush and wipe them clean with those kitchen cloths.  I thought I was doing a pretty thorough job.

Reading an article by a local food writer really got my attention.  She decided to experiment with a bounty of vegetables by using only one pot of water.  She filled the large pot with water and some salt.  When it came to a boil, she tossed in green beans for four minutes, then removed them with a flat slotted spoon.  Next came potatoes, simmered til tender.  Then spaghetti, cooked al dente.  Then she placed eggs in the still hot water, covered the pot and let them sit for 20 minutes.

Not done yet.  Next she set a colander in the top of the pot, brought the water back to a boil and steamed zucchini.  Then followed  sliced carrots and broccoli spears.  Tasting the remaining water in the pot, she ‘deemed it delicious’.  She strained the cooking water added new potatoes, some left over pulled pork, and peppers.  Cooking them together, then pureeing it all with an immersion blender.  Quite an accomplishment with one pot of water.

I have learned to cook many veggies in my microwave with just a spoonful of water.  They are as delicious as the many veggies I oven-roast, using no water. But now when I boil potatoes or cook pasta, you can bet I will find creative uses for the ‘leftover’ water.

For water-saving tips and drought status check out www.saveourwater



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