I am getting a little fed up of being constantly nagged by the newspapers about how much food we throw away. I was brought up in a house where it was common to cut the mouldy edges off the cheese before eating it and scraping a blue-grey layer from the top of the jam was perfectly normal, so hardly anything from our kitchen goes in the bin. Now I’m not suggesting that you go that far but here are some of my top tips for using up ‘tired’ food:
1) The sad brown banana
Quite revolting to eat but ideal for turning into banana bread – a gorgeous, not-to-sweet cake that is great mid-morning with a cup of tea (let me know if you need a recipe and I can post it for you)
2) Floppy herbs
The recipe calls for 1 tbsp of chopped coriander but can you buy anything smaller than a whole plastic pack of the wretched stuff? And will it last until the next Thai curry you feel like making? Of course not. Chop it, add a little bit of water and freeze it in an ice cube tray. Do this with any herb and it’ll save you a fortune.
3) Lethal weapon bread
Hard enough to cause serious injury if dropped on a bare toe but otherwise fine. Hack it into pieces, put it in the blender to make breadcrumbs, then put these in the freezer. Ideal for making chicken schnitzel and all things crumbed.
4) Lemons and limes
You bought loads to make the fruit bowl look summery but they never last as long as you’d like. Before they get too wrinkly, chop them into wedges and freeze them. Next step, prepare your gin and tonic, beer, dark rum and coke, or other tipple of your choice and drop a frozen citrus wedge straight in. Chills and flavours, perfect!
Now this is one of those tips I think could be a good idea but have never used. Why? Because it refers to ‘leftover wine’. If you’re anything like us there is never such a thing, however you may be more restrained so I’ll tell you anyway: pour your leftover wine into an ice cube tray, then add the cubes to your stews and casseroles as you need them. Having said that, needing to open wine ‘for the cooking’ is one of my great excuses so feel free to ignore this one!
Anyway, that’s enough saving the planet. I’m off to put tip 4 into practice. Now where did I put that gin……?