For some people, St. Patrick’s Day is all about the beer; for me it’s all about the food – corned beef and cabbage of course, and let’s not forget the potatoes. My mom is especially handy in the kitchen, particularly when it comes to potatoes. One food-filled holiday, she peeled her potatoes as usual directly into the sink and rinsed them down the drain assisted by her handy garbage disposal. Not long after, water started bubbling up in the sink and we had to call a plumber. The plumber pulled potato peel after potato peel from our pipes. What a costly mess!
All of this could have easily been avoided with the use of one of my favorite kitchen tools: a sink strainer. Strainers are a chef’s best friend; keep one in your sink drain to catch food scraps when you’re prepping or even when rinsing foods. This way you don’t need your garbage disposal. I know this is crazy talk for some, but the garbage disposal doesn’t really dispose of food, it merely breaks it up and sends it down the sewer pipe where it acts like a binder as greasy water begins to cool and stick to the sides of the pipe. Food that does make its way to the wastewater treatment plant still has to be removed in order to meet regulations for releasing treated water back into the environment. So stop it at the source by using a sink strainer and avoid plumbing issues. Sink strainers range in cost and can be very inexpensive (check the dollar store) but I use this one at home and highly recommend it.
Here are some other “good to do” tips for St. Patty’s Day cooking that are sure to bring you good luck and keep your kitchen green:
- Pour grease in an old soup can, freeze it, and throw it in the trash.
- Never pour grease down the drain.
- Wipe dirty dishes and cooking utensils with a paper towel before washing them to remove and absorb fats, oils, and grease found in dressings, sauces, and desserts like ice cream and icing.