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A new holiday tradition: reducing food waste

In collaboration with Marigold Cooking Collective, we turned to Gracie Schatz, the collective’s executive director.

At Marigold Cooking Collective, minimizing food waste is not just an ecological imperative. It is essential to our ethos and can lead to some of the most delicious and creative dishes we teach. You can use leftover chicken bones to make a nourishing broth, dice chard stems into a vibrant relish, or develop a unique way to repurpose what could be considered waste.

One of my favorite childhood memories is making turkey tamales with my aunt Elva after Thanksgiving. All the family members worked together in an assembly line, preparing the big bags of masa and pack- aging the tamales for each family to take home. This ritual led to many more fantastic meals in the weeks and months after the holiday.

This year, I challenge you to get creative with your leftovers: make pierogi filled with leftover mashed potatoes, a hearty turkey soup with homemade stock, turkey tamales, or a new culinary master- piece. Find ways to transform, share and store holiday leftovers for later enjoyment. This holiday tradition will be good for your palette, wallet and planet, too.

Homemade Turkey Stock & Turkey Soup

Don’t throw away those turkey bones or scraps from your Thanksgiving cooking. Make homemade turkey stock!

For the stock: All the bones, giblets and neck from your turkey

Any vegetable scraps (onion skins, garlic skins, carrot tops, celery, parsley, parsnips)

1 tsp. whole black peppercorns (optional)

3 bay leaves (optional)


Fill your largest stock pot with turkey and vegetable scraps. Submerge the scraps in water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer. If any foam rises to the top of the stock, skim it off and discard.

Once you’ve discarded the foam, add peppercorns and bay leaves and allow the stock to simmer for 6-8 hours; overnight is fine, just keep a lid on it. Remove the stock from heat and allow it to cool before straining. For a richer flavor, keep the fat in stock. For a lighter stock, cool completely and skim all of the fat that rises to the surface.

For the soup:

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 large onions or leeks, diced

6 stalks celery, diced

4 large carrots, diced into ½" cubes

4 large russet potatoes, washed and diced into ½" cubes

1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 bunch of thyme, picked from stems

4 quarts turkey stock

1 8 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup white wine

1 lb. leftover turkey meat

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, melt butter and add oil. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring frequently until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add celery, sauté two minutes; add carrots and potatoes and sauté until they are tender, about 8 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add garlic, thyme and turkey meat and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add homemade turkey stock, crushed tomatoes, and wine and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 15 minutes so the flavors can marry. Add salt and pepper to your liking. This soup will keep for months in the freezer.


In partnership with:

To learn more about Marigold Cooking Collective and its upcoming classes and events, visit

Gracie Schatz is the executive director of Marigold Cooking Collective, a Eugene-based nonprofit with the mission of building a resilient community through sharing skills, stories and food.

Follow us online:

Instagram @wastewiselandcounty/


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