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Friday, January 10, 2014

This is what happens when I get busy and forget what's in the toaster oven

I was doing some mending in the dining room, when I smelled something like roasting potatoes. I just ignored this, thinking it was the pot of soup I had on the stove. Then it hit me. I had a pan of potato skins in the toaster oven, making a nice and frugal snack for myself.

By the time I checked the little oven, this is what it looked like. Yep, burnt to a crisp. Sigh. I picked out the less burnt pieces, then composted the rest. Another time, perhaps.

Do you do anything with potato peels? I usually toss with oil and Italian seasoning blend, and toast until NOT burned to a crisp, but just a bit toasty. They're yummy, full of minerals, and reduce waste -- most of the time.


  1. Good morning Lili

    Don;t you hate these 'old' age moments? It is the same with me, but usually it is forgetting what I was looking for or doing until I am busy doing something else!!! I started doing this a couple of years ago when making mashed potatoes for dinner (or freezing). I bake the potatoes instead of peeling and boiling. When they are done baking, I let them cool until I can handle them comfortably, the I cut them lengthwise in half, scoop out most of the potato innards to mash , etc. With the left over skins, I place on a pan upside down (to keep the 'boat' shape) and freeze. This way whenever I want potato skins or even double baked potato (I can use some of the potatoes I froze earlier), I can pull a couple out and bake. Shazaam! Instant snack or side dish! Have a great weekend!


    1. Hi Lisa,
      Your frozen potato shells sound like a great idea, to both reduce waste and make something for the freezer for instant dishes! Yum!
      Hope your day is off to a great start!

  2. I am chuckling--I'm not the only one who gets distracted and has minor cooking accidents occur! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I just can't believe that even with a cue that something was going on (smelling the roasting potatoes), I still forgot what I had in the toaster oven!

  3. Oh, you are so not alone in this. Since I dry herbs in the oven, I now have to leave a note to myself that the they are in there so I don't burn them up. And I really like that you said "compost" instead of throw away.

    1. Hi Judy,
      Glad to hear that I have company in this absent-mindedness.
      I do use timers a lot around here. I sometimes set the timer when I'm preheating the oven, or bringing something to a boil, because I'll get distracted, leave the room, and completely forget I had something going on in the kitchen. I put eggs on to boil the other day, for egg salad, and I totally forgot about it, left the room, and about 45 minutes later came back to a pot with most of the water boiled away. I immediately cooled the eggs, and in the end it turned out okay, but still, I forgot that I had the stove on!
      Oh yes, we compost as much as we can -- free fertilizer, and far less garbage to be collected (we have 1 can per month service).

  4. Lili, when I have a moment like this, I remind myself of all the things that I'm managing well. One or two minor glitches is all. You're doing well with your role.

    I'd never thought to do anything with the potato peels. An interesting idea that I'll have to try.

    1. Thank you, Delores.
      I need to remind myself of the things that I'm doing right. Hopefully there are more of those than goofs.

  5. You certainly aren't alone! And you have reminded me to do something with potato peels! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Ruthie,
      It's so reassuring to hear that this happens to all of us at one time or another!

  6. Oh my... that's totally something I would do.

    So, in terms of potato skins - I LOVE them, but I've heard that non-organic potatoes are sprayed with something really toxic to keep them from sprouting. So, I've been buying organic potatoes lately. In the rare case that I end up with the conventional variety I peel them just to "be safe." I do wonder how true those claims are, but I fear I am quite susceptible to "food fears."

    1. Hi Cat,
      The organic vs non-organic question is a valid one. Organically raised produce will most certainly have been grown under less toxic conditions. But not everyone can afford the high price of organic produce. It's a decision that everyone has to make for themselves.

      As for the sprout preventative spray, from what I've read, the spray is very diluted. A thorough scrubbing, under running water, may remove a substantial amount of surface chemicals. I'm actually more concerned for the workers than the consumer, with these sprout inhibitor sprays, as the spray is more of a mist.

    2. Now there's a novel approach - research the issue rather than react blindly! Seriously, I have no idea how valid the concern is or isn't, and there's a HUGE price difference between organic and regular potatoes, so it's awfully tempting to bring home one of those 10 pound bags for a dollar - though it would take me a LONG time to eat 10 pounds of potatoes.

      Of course, there is another side to this argument. The last time I mentioned something about organic potatoes to my step-mom (who is a physician) she proceeded to launch into a tirade about e coli in the manure used as fertilizer.

      Eeee gads! What's a paranoid like me to do?

    3. Your step-mom is right about e-coli (and salmonella) and organic (probably non-organic, too, depending on where it's grown) produce. But, a thorough washing/scrubbing will remove these bacteria. What I've heard is don't wash your produce until just before using. And then give it a thorough washing, especially anything that came in contact with soil (root veggies and melons).

      For non-organic potatoes, they are on the dirty dozen list, but far down the list. I've read that they pre-treat the soil with insecticide, treat the potato "seeds" with fungicide, spray the plants with herbicide, to speed die off for harvest, then spray with the sprout inhibitor after harvest. Root vegetables absorb whatever is in the soil -- pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. So, while you can scrub off the sprout inhibitor, its the other toxins that are more concerning to me, as they are on the inside of the potato.

      Nows there's the other side of my mind that says, eating lots of vegetables, organic or non, is better than not eating as much produce, because I can't afford to buy lots of organic. And for anyone who gardens, at least we can control what we put into the soil for our own garden. So, for my family, I figure that we're doing well, as about half of the produce that we eat, we grow ourselves (and I'm just too lazy to do anything like spray with pesticides).

      I think these discussions are good, even if someone can't afford organic. There's hope for future agriculture if people keep discussing how our food is raised and grown. 20 years ago, the organic section of our supermarket took up about 4 square feet (about a 2 X 2 section), and had apples, oranges and occasionally cabbage, and that was it. Now, there's a wide selection of organic produce available. Same thing with meat. I'd never heard of free-range chickens when I was growing up, but now that's an option available in suburbia.


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