Waste not, want not

Or should that be waist?! I’ll explain that in a minute.

Firstly, here are my second lot of birthday flowers. They arrived a day after my birthday and are from my parents. I have them upstairs in our bedroom, and the ones from Sarah are still going mostly strong downstairs.

Apparently I am not alone in trying to waste less food during these times. I think it started before lockdown when we saw a few empty shelves in the supermarkets. It made me not want to fritter away what we had, but also I wanted to avoid having to go back to the shops any time soon.

Whilst sharing my Ocado slots with my parents it means we sometimes shop for two weeks +. I’ve always shopped once a week and also topped up in between. It takes a bit of planning, but I have to say I am enjoying this feeling of getting loads of stuff in and then hunkering down in our little burrow. I feel a bit like a medieval family who has got a pig that will last them through the winter.

I am making the bread last longer by dividing each loaf into two and freezing it in separate bags. That way I only defrost one half at a time. I also had a successful attempt at freezing mashed potato the other day and I would probably do this again. I had lots of spuds that were about to go off so I boiled them up and mashed them with a little bit of butter. I had no milk in the house at the time. I froze the dryish mash and then a week later defrosted it and heated it up with a bit more butter and milk and had an instant topping for my homemade fish pie. So it was also a time saver when I made the pie, a win win. I never thought I’d say this but I am also quite a fan of Waitrose essential frozen mashed potato as that is really useful to keep in the freezer for an instant pie topping, and you don’t even need to defrost that, just lay the little pieces on top of your pie and cook in the oven and voila!

Yesterday was “Earth Day 2020” I was reminded by Green Redeem, the site that used to add up our recycling points when we put the right bins out. I may have lost the plot a bit here but I have started following some of their video tips for regrowing your own veg from scraps at home. I’m not sure if you will be able to access this if you don’t have a Green Redeem account, but here goes.

So basically you can put the roots of your old spring onions (now known as salad onions for some annoying reason) in some water in a glass and regrow them like magic. You can do the same with a bit of sprouting garlic and use the green shoots like some sort of chopped up onions I guess. You can also do lettuce or celery. I am trying the lettuce…

You cut off the root and put it in warm water and wait 10-12 days for new lettuce leaves to grow. This is the point at which I think I may have lost the plot. One can only realistically expect a few lettuce leaves to grow with this method, but I’m giving it a go and saving the earth or something. I’ll let you know my progress. I don’t even like lettuce that much but in a way that’s a good thing as I only need a few leaves to make up my tomato based salad/sandwich. I know you’re all probably thinking you could find a far better use for this wine glass, but these are our spare party wine glasses so don’t panic, I won’t have to wait til the lettuce has grown to be allowed a sip of wine! That would be some extreme diet, would it not?

How is your food waste going? Are you eating any out of date food yet? I have had yoghurts one or two days past their use by date. I have used overripe bananas for my delicious banana loaf. But I am not a saint and today I threw away two stale hot cross buns and a three day overdue Ginster’s Cornish pasty from the back of the fridge. I could have made some bread and butter pudding or something with the hot cross buns but I couldn’t be bothered, and I don’t really like bread and butter pudding. The pasty might have made me ill. I should have frozen it before it went past its date. After my soup meltdown a few years ago I try not to beat myself up too much about such things. From then on I have tried to be a bit kinder to myself if I do occasionally have to throw some uneaten food away. I also believe that if you put yourself under pressure to eat up ALL the leftovers ALL the time you are not really saving the planet, you are just in danger of getting really fat… (me with two extra hot cross buns and a Cornish pasty as a mid morning snack a few days ago, I don’t think so!). Of course the best thing to do is to plan out all the meals before shopping, which I do, but it doesn’t eliminate ALL waste, however hard you try.

What an old waffler I am. How’s it going for you? Any speedy tips for using things up at the last minute? And are you remembering to be kind to yourself in lockdown, having some treats and looking after yourself? You are probably more stressed/shocked by it all than you realise. Here are the serene photos of the day…. and relax! x

Published by thewindsorwaffle

I love food and cooking (and eating). I live in Windsor, Berkshire with my husband David.

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