Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Want to talk about how to keep stuff out of landfill? Here is your place to do it.
LBR
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Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137356Post LBR
Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:14 pm

I bought a tiny fridge some time ago, to help ensure that I'd always use what I have. Nothing would go bad, nothing would get forgotten. I'm getting there.

(I gave away a giant, fancy refrigerator.)

With a little planning and diligence, I intend to have 2009 be a use-food-wisely year. :flower:

Maybe our ancestors' motto: Waste not, want not could be true.

Anyone else on a similar plan?
Last edited by LBR on Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137382Post Rosendula
Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:14 pm

I have been for a while now. I got fed up of throwing away food that went uneaten. Now, instead of leaving food around for people to pick at and snack on (or not, as was often the case), I put it in the freezer and call it a 'ready meal'.

I've also been learning (and breaking) the rules for freezing and reheating food, and I've been trying to come up with new ways of making last night's leftovers into tonight's meal, eg., the remains of a joint are made into a chilli, that sort of thing.

Perhaps we should have a thread about what to do with leftovers?
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137384Post george
Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:22 pm

I also hate throwing food away. I usually freeze leftovers in single portions (even rice and pasta) and then eat them for lunches or dinner when I am too lazy to cook.

I also freeze lots of things in ice cube trays. For example, if I buy a pot of cream for a recipe that only need a few tablespoons, I will freeze the rest in ice cube trays and once frozen put them in a plastic bag. Each cube is then about 1 tablespoon so I can use that next time I need a few tablespoons of cream. I do that with all sorts of things.

I try and freeze things only once raw and once cooked but occasionally I might freeze it more than once but I have never had food poisoning.

I only have a small freezer attached to the fridge, but I would love a chest freezer. However, I don't really buy the usual frozen food to put in the freezer so there is enough room for my frozen leftovers.

I try and empty the freezer about once a year. When that happens I end up eating some interesting "fusion" foods to try and use up what there is left in the freezer! Sometimes they come out nice and sometimes they need a big dollop of sweet chilli sauce to make them edible!

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137387Post snapdragon
Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:32 pm

LBR wrote:...............Maybe our ancestors motto: Waste not, want not could be true.

Anyone else on a similar plan?
I think I've always been on that lol, was brought up with it as a way of life

We just got a more efficient fridge/freezer smaller that the previous, and fridge being at a height where you can see the whole contents even with dodgy hips/knees that dont bend well, should help a lot

Some of our tastiest meals have been leftover based - you just cobble something together and add herbs/spices/sauce that seem to go well.
and keep stock of staples, rice, pasta, chick peas, couscous, polenta, barley, oatmeal, bread
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137391Post LBR
Fri Jan 09, 2009 11:08 pm

It's taken a bit of doing to only buy what I really know I will eat. I was buying produce, intending to cook this or that. I was just putting pressure on myself to eat more healthfully. I'm not very keen on washing and chopping vegetables. My neighbors thought I was "off" and tried very hard to convince me that I needed that giant refrigerator. I'd keep enough grains on hand, for a family. And enough baking supplies for who-knows-what.

I love having an overview of everything in the fridge. I know exactly what's in there. The freezer is too small for pizza or ice cream.

I'm at the stage of life when going to the produce aisle means buying one pear, or two bananas, and some lettuce. I keep potatoes on hand, and occasionally buy some green onions or parsnips, or something else which is a splurge. I usually get whatever produce is in season and least expensive.

When I just let myself be "where I am", the grocery shopping became lots easier.

I've gotten those jars of miscellany weeded out, and can keep two gallons of milk at a time, if I need to.

It takes some adjusting to eating differently getting older. I really appreciate all the good examples from ladies a generation older.

Am getting there. My tiny fridge is helping.

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137393Post StripyPixieSocks
Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:49 am

Yep, we got fed up of throwing out food all the time as well, mostly things like cabbage that we'd cooked to much of.

Some veg will get eaten by my birds as a treat but the rest goes in wee containers in my freezer and we always cook in bulk if we can and freeze the surplus portions for later... unfortunately we are now running out of freezer space lol

Most things in our house now are either eaten, frozen or preserved in some way... it's saved us quite a bit of money, that's for sure!

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137399Post prison break fan
Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:01 am

I have been really trying hard not to waste food for a long time now, particularly if I have grown it myself! Best not to ask what goes in some of my meals, but daughter seems to enjoy them!! pbf

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137408Post Millymollymandy
Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:14 am

I need to start eating up what is in my freezers because they need defrosting! I have a habit of buying things in bulk when they are on promo, which of course is sensible until you need to defrost one of the freezers. :roll:
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137417Post invisiblepiper
Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:40 am

My Mother was a war teenager in Glasgow - east end ( not great). I must have picked up on her thrifty ways with food as we waste almosrt nothing. It does help that we rarely use pre packed foods - and have two hungry wee dogs on hand - but I plan meals roughly and keep my gran's war time cook book which Mum learned from too.
I was quite chuffed when i visited my newly married daughter and found that she was using some of the ideas too! Although I giggle a bit when the book describes 'two pounds of leftover lamb' - LEFTOVER? but the Trench cake and fatless sponges are good - as are the preserves recipes.
Good luck LBR! :thumbright:
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And I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference.
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137440Post Wortle
Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:56 am

That sounds a great book. Can you remember the author and title? Not a Marguerite Patten is it?
Wortle

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137459Post Flo
Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:44 am

Well having looked at the store cupboard, I haven't been to the supermarket for three weeks except for bread (oh and a packet of washing soda to top up with). Sure I still have a few vegetables off the allotment and a few to use up.

I suspect that there will need to be a run middle of next week for small items as I shall need a few extra vegetables to go with the dry stores.

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137474Post Rosendula
Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:32 pm

Flo wrote:Well having looked at the store cupboard, I haven't been to the supermarket for three weeks except for bread (oh and a packet of washing soda to top up with). Sure I still have a few vegetables off the allotment and a few to use up.

I suspect that there will need to be a run middle of next week for small items as I shall need a few extra vegetables to go with the dry stores.
Well done, Flo. I've been trying hard to cut down on visits to the supermarket and have done really well recently. Last time I went was 2nd Jan, so 8 days ago. Before that it was 19th December! I don't know when I'll need to go again.

Back on topic: what really bugs me is when I put something in the freezer (bacon, for example) because I know it won't get used before the use by date. Then someone (OH) takes it out because he fancies a bacon butty. It then stays out for several days because the bacon butty craving passes. Bacon goes in the bin. :cussing:
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137485Post tiggy
Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:53 pm

decided to only do a big shop every other week for the storecuboard stuff and I think that will work ok.the freezer is handy for storing leftovers and homemade ready meals for when nobody feels like cooking.I find the frozen pea a good standby commodity. my hubby bakes all our bread and that is frozen to see us through the week. I always make a big batch of the good old favorites, curry,bolognaise sauce,flans ,pies and pasties.I enjoy making the chutneys and jams and pickled 10kg of onions this year,cooking is I think one of our hobbies.At the moment Iam using up some stuff that was hanging out at the back of the pantry so lots of interesting stew and curry type meals with pulses in

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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137489Post Green Aura
Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:04 pm

What's trench cake, IP. Sounds intriguing - would like the recipe, as long as it's not related to trench foot :lol:
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Re: Use up the food you have: Commitment 2009

Post: # 137495Post LBR
Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:20 pm

IP, is your Trench Cake recipe the same as this? And can you post the name of the Wartime Cooking book?

http://bakingforbritain.blogspot.com/20 ... unday.html

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2005

1916 Trench Cake - Remembrance Sunday

This posting is perhaps as good an example of 'baking for Britain' as you can get. The recipe is from Elizabeth Craig's book 'Economical Cookery', first published in 1948. Ms. Craig was a prolific writer of cook-books from the 1930s through to the 1960s. The necessary restrictions practiced during both World Wars meant that she was in a position to be quite an expert on economical cookery. The recipe entitled '1916 Trench Cake', is no doubt included in this volume as the enormity of both World Wars would still be fresh in the minds of most people, and of course rationing was still in place post-World War II. The cake contains no eggs, and has a modest amount of cocoa powder to add a touch of luxury (and extra calories) to a fruit cake which was destined for the boys on the front line during World War 1.

225g plain flour
110g margarine
75g currants
2 teaspoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
75g brown sugar
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 pint milk
Suggested extra flavourings - nutmeg, ginger, grated lemon rind (I used a pinch of ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line your cake tin (don't use anything too large as the above quantity of ingredients makes up a fairly scant volume of mix - my tin was 18cm diameter and this was a bit too big).
2. Rub the margarine into the flour. Add the other dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Add the soda to the vinegar and milk, and then quickly add to the dry ingredients. Beat well and then turn into the tin.
4. I found my cake was baked in about an hour, but the recipe suggests up to 2 hours.

All parcels sent from home to the trenches in France must have been much appreciated for the contact they gave soldiers with loved ones, but one can imagine how much a young man must also have enjoyed a chance to vary his rations with something as modest, but otherwise unobtainable, as a slice of home-made cake. Food served to soldiers in the trenches generally consisted of bread (stale by the time it reached the front line), hard biscuits (inedible unless soaked), bully beef (similar to corned beef), tinned butter, tinned jam, tinned pork with beans (beans with a piece of pork fat on top). Soldiers may have been able to buy food locally to add to these rations. Those who could afford it had hampers sent out to them from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason(!), but such luxury was beyond the means of the average Tommy.

The army recognised the importance of postal deliveries to troop morale and packages sent from home could expect to reach soldiers in France or Belgium within two or three days, and a week to ten days reach the front line. A fruit cake, well wrapped, would travel well and stay fresh. Such was the comradeship between the men, that the contents of any parcel would be shared out. Cigarettes were handed round, new socks passed onto a man whose own had fallen to pieces, and a cake like this would have been divided up and shared.



To test the keeping power of this recipe I baked the cake last Sunday, and stored in wrapped in foil within a plastic cake box. Unfortunately when I came to taste it I did find it a little dry, but this may well be the nature of the cake. The margarine rubbed into the flour didn't combine too well with the other ingredients, so the sponge was speckled with paler flecks. The small amount of cocoa powder helped the colouring, and the dash of spice lifted the flavour. However, my real reason for baking the cake was not to test the recipe, but as a modest act of remembrance.

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