Sometimes Trash is Just Trash

Malia pictureYesterday, my Brownie Troop helped out at our school’s recycling center. The recycling bins are set out on Friday afternoons and then taken away on Saturday around noon. From nine to noon each Saturday, one of the school’s employees, a recycling guru and cafeteria lady extraordinairre, mans the recycling center with student volunteers. Yesterday, being the first Saturday after Christmas, was especially busy.

Now, I could never be in charge of this recycling thing because I’d drive myself crazy over all the very well intentioned but uninformed people who show up. Some people are bound and determined to recycle everything. And I’m here to tell you, as much as I’m fond of recycling, sometimes trash is just trash.

  • When you bring me a garbage bag full of plastic yogurt, cottage cheese and milk containers that have not been rinsed out, you’ve brought me trash.
  • When you bring me used, cardboard pizza boxes, you’ve brought me trash.
  • When you bring me unopened vegetable cans, you’ve brought me trash (or possibly a contribution to a food pantry).
  • When you bring me boxes that once contained shiny new toys from under your Christmas tree that still have all the plastic twist-tie thingies and a mile of tape around everything you’ve basically brought me trash. (Because what’s left of the “box” after I’m through pulling all the un-recyclable stuff off of it is rather paltry.)
  • When you bring me a trash bag full of used wrapping paper including bows that are still stuck on, once again, you’ve basically brought me trash. The bows can’t be recycled nor can the shiny, metallic papers.

The thing we had the most of, that was truly recyclable? Cardboard.


This bin is packed full of cardboard. It got so full that we started putting the cardboard into the paper bin.

Now, there is the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. Someone brought by some books. Our recycling guru set them out for people to take instead of tossing them. (Actually, a few were hardcover and couldn’t go into the bins away.) Among them was a set of cook books called Meta Given’s Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. Modern equals copyright date of 1959 for the revised edition! One of our scout moms picked up one and found some good looking cookie and cake recipes. I picked up the other and found:




I think Ginny’s got some hound dog in her. Maybe I can teach her to hunt? Who wants to come over for dinner?


Filed under by Malia, life as a domestic goddess, Rant

5 responses to “Sometimes Trash is Just Trash

  1. Meta Givens? I would have given my eyeteeth for that set!

    My friend at Retro Food has had a ball cooking up those recipes (though not the possum).

    Shame, shame on me for not bringing our recycling by.

  2. Malia

    This volume has a whole chapter devoted to “game” meats. In addition to possum and squirrel, there are beaver, rabbit, muskrat, pheasant, raccoon, woodchuck and turtle recipes!

    And when I realized they were a set and not just two separate cookbooks, I really kicked myself for not picking them up earlier! Oh, well. The one I came home with does have some good chapters in it besides the game recipes!

  3. So yucky! I was recently reading a cookbook from the 60s that was supposed to be ‘simple, quick recipes for the women who hate to cook’ – and yes, it specified women as the sole cookers, but virtually all the recipes would take forever to make. I guess they were quickER than the average recipe of the day though. Still, it amused me to read through it (and then not make anything I found in it). 🙂

    I don’t think I could volunteer for recycling day – you are a better woman than me! 🙂

  4. June Morgan

    The Meta Givens cookbooks were my first instructions re cooking when I married in 1955. I think that they were from a special discount offer, perhaps from the Ladies Home Journal. They were my cooking bible for years but the bindings and pages finally fell apart. As I got more sophisticated(?) I acquired many more cookbooks and gave the Givens books away, probably to Goodwill. Recently, I realized what a treasure that they are, and acquired both volumes again through the internet. Already, I’ve found some “downhome” recipes not in any other of my many books.

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