DUMPSTER DIVING 101   My Sister’s son is a charming, spiritual, vegan pothead guitar player. He has chosen a lifestyle of living on the streets of Venice California year round, with his guitar on his back (although he is welcome in his own room at her lovely house the one with the Jacuzzi and garden)  He is always chipper, upbeat, no depression, no cynicism, just a free spirit. And he dumpster-dives for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the alley, (a public space,) behind those lush, overflowing Venice healthfood stores where organic produce and dairy is found in abundance for free. He eats well, that is until the police come along and arrest him for touching trash, and find a joint in his pocket --then he’s forced to eat odious white bread sandwiches with bologna and other crummy JAIL food for weeks on end. Enough of those busts and they demanded he show up at rehab group (unfortunately far from Venice,) and when he didn’t go, they put him in a lock down drug rehab camp for a year.

 

We can learn from this. Never dumpster dive with a gun in our glove compartment or a joint in your jeans.  And if you want to dumpster dive, carry an empty waste paper basket so you can say “Officer, I just dumped my trash in here and now my ring is missing. I think it went in!” And look appropriately panicked. “Could you help me find it?” is guaranteed to get the cop to leave.

 

But DO DUMSTER DIVE. If you’ve ever found a puppy at the pound or some new, best friends in bars, why shouldn’t you get perfectly fine vegetables, (same as the bar pals, sweet, plump with good taste, just a few bruised spots,) out of a DUMPSTER? I’ve found many wonderful things in dumpsters. Wastepaperbaskets, brooms, children’s toys! I put a teddy bear through the washing machine, dried it in the sun and gave it to a litter of kittens!  I also find superb food. Not dirt cheap. Free. Not DIRTY! Because I go daily, as soon as the produce man puts it out there, I’m on it! Try twenty pounds of bananas for BANANA BREAD. (Walnuts are costly but now you can afford them!)  Try a bag of grapefruit. Get it home, wash it off, dry it. Maybe a spot on an edge somewhere; that comes off. The rest gets juiced immediately, put in the JUICY JUICE plastic 64 oz jug. I maybe put half grape juice in. WOW!  The trick with DUMPSTER DIVING FOR FOOD is, only take bagged stuff, nothing touching walls of dumpster and be cautious that you take nothing that flies could get to. Hey,cukes come in trays, plastic covered. Onions in net bags. Most produce is bagged in a 40 gallon black plastic trash bag. I slit these big bags to see the clean, protected foods inside. Reach in carefully not bumping sleeves, elbows wrists or fingers against the metal container, and by going daily, do not touch or try to use food that’s been there two days or twenty hours…and avoid touching the gucky stuff.  THESE were some of my most memorable successes

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ONIONS – Bags of onions, slightly sprouted. They come home, get planted in the garden, bloom with big purple flowers. A really fresh onion was washed and went in produce drawer in my fridge. Onions are 50c an lb now, so I NEED THEM!

DUMPSTER CAULIFLOWER - Simmer broken up chunks of cauliflower for 8min. Meanwhile off to side, fry 4 oz. Bacon or meat in olive oil w. onions, garlic. USE IRON SKILET. When cooked, 2 min, add chopped cilantro and chopped fresh dumpster tomatoes, throw in the cooked cauliflower, stir, cook one min.more then serve with a pair ofcorn tortillas (NO PRESERVATIVES,), heated on fire. ALTERNATE: SQUASH- Chop; yellow/green squash, simmer 8min.

DUMPSTER ROMAINE- Slice off neck, soak in sink l hr, neck inhales water! Then, pick off leaves too fried by heat. Shake crispy leaves, dry in colander, bag up, and put in fridge.

DRESSING: olive oil, homemade seasoned salt, lemon juice, onion slices, garlic squeezed in. or chipped in. anchovy paste. Mayo, chopped cukes.

BLACK BING CHERRIES: Float them, spot bad ones, cut off spots, take rest, soft simmer with sugar, lemon, lemon peel for 5 min. Throw in jars, keep frozen or near freezing. They will rot in fridge. NOTE: My mistake in this recipe was only taking five pounds of cherries when there were fifty in the dumpster. Most every cherry was perfect. The stewed cherries were about three glass jars worth. BUT THIS FRUIT is so unusually tasty and useful! ON TOP OF YOGURT. The juice goes into my freshly made GRAPEFRUIT juice. EVEN though I get dead ripe grapefruits that in fact fell on the ground all around this California valley, with the tree owner’s blessings, THIS FRUIT needs a little sweetening but the incredible cherry flavour is sooooo wow! Try it with RED WINE, as a cherry sangria!

BERRIES and KIWIS become JAM.  In the case of berries, I take the entire flat no matter how rotten and sow it in potting soil in flats, get hundreds of baby berry vines. Then I put them on Craigs list “FREE blackberry vines,raspberry, a dozen for a bag of potting soil. That soil is costly and I need it for starting plants. I get a dozen new friends with every ad. BERRIES and KIWIS become JAM. MIX LEMON PEEL and LEMON JUICE with the fruit. Simmer 5 min, throw into old peanutbutter jars, well washed, lid when cool, keep in fridge. I don’t sterilize. It’s gone too quick!  KIWI/LEMON  BERRY/LEMON  APRICOTS/LEMON  MULBERRIES/LEMON  Lemon juice and rind is the secret of tasty jam.  Nectarine/peaches- Float them. Really rotten fruit sinks. Pick thru the rest, cut off rotten spots, peel, chop. ADD lemon peels, lemon juice, sugar, simmer five min. Jar up, freeze or near freezing. In fridge they mold after five weeks but not in freezer.

BELL PEPPERS and CHILE PEPPERS are the most often found items. They lie in little coffins of plastic, with film over them, and none are corpses. All are perfectly delicious and fresh. MAYBE ONE has a spot. The store saw that spot and threw away the whole package. Sheer lunacy! These bells LIVED for us, and someone interrupted the process? I find thousands of them, wrapped neatly, inside of a big black trash bag, which when ripped open with a fingernail reveals a field of plenty! Heat olive oil, slice, eviscerate, (saving seed for the garden next spring,)fry with onion, garlic, then the meat goes in, served all in a delicious melange. Let’s hear it for PEPPERS!

CrookNeck yellow squash. Simmer in water with onion pieces, cilantro. In separate pan, fry olive oil wi. Onion, garlic, throw vegies in it, use your homemade seasoning salt, melt a few week old garlic jack cheese cheese pieces on top.It melts and freshens up,so keep old cheese around. Hey, in FRANCE, they keep cheese in a cellar for years, you think six months in your fridge is a deal breaker?

APPLES- I feed possums nightly. They love apples. They go to their little dish in the woodpile and eat well. If I have left over foods of any sort, it goes to them as they’re omnivores. Hey, if there’s ever a recession, I’d eat the possums before I ate the mice and rats! Lastnight, my cat Salty had a big fat rat in his mouth. I couldn’t stop him, it grieved me, but hey. Meat is meat. He’s tired of the chickens I boil up.

My favorite recipe with red apples is juice. I save 64 oz jugs so the kids don’t know it was made with real, healthy fruit. They only trust pasteurized crap with lots of corn syrup in it. Green apples turn into baked goods with cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, sugar.


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Our POSTER is ANITA SANDS HERNANDEZ, Los Angeles Writer, Futurist and Astrologer. Catch up with her websites  TRUTHS GOV WILL HIDE & NEVER TELL YOU, also The  FUTURE, WHAT'S COMIN' AT YA! FRUGAL LIFE STYLE TIPS,  HOW TO SURVIVE the COMING GREAT DEPRESSION, and Secrets of Nature, HOLISTIC, AFFORDABLE HEALING. Also ARTISANRY FOR EXPORT, EARN EUROS....* Anita is at astrology@earthlink.net ). Get a 15$ natal horoscope "my money/future life" reading now + copy horoscope as a Gif file graphic! No smarter, more accurate career reading out there!

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