I have always loved food and cooking I confess I spend a considerable amount of my time either thinking about what I am going to eat or actually in the kitchen making it. I haven’t always been good with left overs in fact if I am honest left overs wasn’t something that I gave much thought to.
I was great at meal planning my mum used to find it scary that I could not only tell you what I was eating the next day but the day after that and the day after that. I was the Queen of meal planning. And in many ways that was great as we ate well and enjoyed what we ate. But the wastage was huge and I am ashamed to think about the food that we wasted over the years it makes my toes curl up with embarrassment. I wasn’t a clever meal planner I was a food waster!
Then the economy changed belts had to be tightened and at roughly the same time we stopped shopping in mass supermarkets and instead shopped as locally as possible. Many people have asked if this hasn’t increased our food bills but on the contrary it has had the opposite effect reducing them dramatically. As you can only carry so much shopping by foot. We now buy the fresh goods that we need at the time we need them. In addition I have learnt to not plan so far in advance and look first in the fridge and then the freezer to see if there is food we can use.
This has meant that I have discovered the joys of left overs. It has been on my mind this week as by close of play on Sunday night I had a full fridge of left overs. Firstly leftovers from a barbecue with friends on Saturday night which became a salad for Monday night. And secondly on Sunday we cooked the last of our 2011 pigs a huge shoulder of pork. This has not only kept my daughter and I well fed with delicious sandwiches all week but has been re invented . Tuesday night I tried out the Hairy Bikers (dieters book) and tested their Korma recipe with a twist adding creme – fraiche instead of cream as I had just the right amount sitting in the fridge. I did it with home-made flat bread and it was delicious. Then last night we had pork fajita ideal Wednesday night food. So by last night the fridge was bare apart from a few pieces of celery and some mushrooms. Result very little wastage. And tonight we are eating our Thursday night favourite home-made pizza.
I have changed my habits and for the better. It is easy to use left overs and reinvent them into new dishes Google is a great way of doing so you can just type in the ingredients you have and it will come up with great recipe ideas! And just incase you think I am now a paragon of virtue I have indeed reduced my food bills but still need to work on the new clothes habit! A life time of buying clothes and I still can’t stop! Mail Order is an addictive thing!