Wednesday, 31 December 2008

The last of the leftovers

I did a thorough blitz of the fridge this morning to find out what needed finishing up and what was beyond redemption (a turkey liver, and some rather manky parsley and spring onions that had slipped the net). That's not too bad but there's a fair amount of other stuff that will need using up over the next few days, most notably some very good goose stock, assorted bits of cheese and various root veg.

As we're already feeling stuffed and dying for some spicy fresh-tasting food I've decided to have a batch cooking session and freeze the results. On the agenda, a chestnut and lentil soup, a quiche (have already made one this Christmas) and a banana bread or cake. I might also freeze some of the stock for risottos and some breadcrumbs and grated cheese for gratin toppings.

I've managed to resist the temptation this year to stock up with those 'just in case' purchases that one rarely needs but need to guard against plundering the shops later this week for reduced Christmas goodies like puddings and panettone or cut price turkeys. Do we actually want to eat turkey or Christmas pudding again before next Christmas? Absolutely not. Do I need to nibble panettone after a week of stuffing myself? No, likewise.

And my new year's resolution? To keep my fridge and cupboards tidy. Tidiness is not something I'm noted for, my family will tell you, but it's impossible not to waste food unless you know where things are and when they need to be used up.

So have you made any food-related resolutions and if so, what are they?


Jean said...

Happy New Year to you Fiona.

A very commendable resolution - one of my resolutions should be to use the leftover food instead of leaving it to go mouldy in the fridge :-(

My main food resolution is to stick to a monthly budget for food, and plan our meals ahead to make shopping easier. I'm going to be on a very tight budget this next year, so need to tighten the reins even more!

Fiona Beckett said...

Happy New Year, notSupermum. A monthly budget sounds a good plan. Let me know if there are any particular ingredients or types of dishes you'd like me to feature on the blog

Anonymous said...

I am determined to make more use of my slow cooker. I can get family-size packs of meat from the French supermarkets and once the slow cooker is filled, there's enough for 2 immediate servings and 4 freezer-servings, cooked at cheap rate electricity!
Beat that!
Bonne année!

Fiona Beckett said...

Hi Claire. I'll try that when we go over to France later this month. Slow cookers are great, especially at this time of year. Bonne année!

Jean said...

I've got a slow cooker and don't have a clue what to do with it, so any recipes for that would be brilliant! And any recipes for using pulses - they're so cheap and tasty.

Thank you!

Fiona Beckett said...

OK, will do my best NSM!

Career Misfit said...

Last year we found that planning evening meals for the week made us more efficient in selecting and using our food. While we haven't sat and worked out the numbers I conservatively estimate it's saved us around a tenner a week in wasted/unnecessary purchases. We've been a bit flexible with it too and succumbed to the odd splurge, but it's definitely been a revelation compared to 2007.

Food resolution 1: Buy more loose vegetables from the local grocer. This has proved to be a good way of picking up veg that are cheaper and less heavily packaged than from the supermarket, and that get bought in the right quantity at the right time. I didn't do it as much as I should've in 2008 and it isn't uniformly less expensive to do so; nevertheless it reduces waste and that's a good thing.

Food resolution2 2: Think about portion sizes more and cook in batches to reduce time in the kitchen later. It felt like I spent too much time cooking last year and not taking advantage of refrigerating/freezing surpluses. In fact, much of the time we usually end up eating extra quantities AS WELL AS the rest, gluttonous pigs that we are. ;o)

What I'd like some help with in 2009, if you've got some good suggestions Fiona, is how to make some quick, frugal, interesting packed lunches for the working week to stave off that depressing feeling at 9:30 every evening when it's time to do it all again for tomorrow. Ugh.