Wednesday, 4 March 2009

LFHW day 3 - the F word

No, not food. And certainly nothing to do with Mr Ramsay. Freezer!

In the campaign against food waste, the freezer is a staunch ally. It takes the rush and repetition out of having leftovers that need using, and lets you take advantage of all those BOGOF bargains to help keep the shopping bills down.

We had a (planned) raid on the freezer tonight. Dinner was a warming sausage casserole (very welcome - it was freezing as I cycled home), with the stars of the show being some rather tasty venison sausages from Pickering's. Now, there are two great things about Pickering's. One, they have an incredible selection of unusual and delicious sausages, and two, they always seem to be doing "buy 2lb get 1lb free" on their Norwich Market stall. (Oh yes - and they wrap them in paper! Make that three great things. I'll have to ask about containers next time...) No matter how much of a banger fiend you are, you'd be pushed to get through 3lb (about 21 sausages) before they went off, so this is where you need your trusty freezer. It would be an absolute crime for these sausages to end up as food waste.

We split the 1lb packs and find that 3-4 sausages squeeze perfectly into a takeaway carton, which stacks nicely in the freezer. Margarine tubs are also OK but they can get brittle when frozen so take care. You can write on the top with a chinagraph pencil to remind you what's inside (you wouldn't want to mix up your Aunt Ednas and your Cornish Tiddlers, would you?) and what date it was frozen. As you can imagine, 6 lots of sausages lasts us a while!

Our freezer holds all sorts of goodies. There are frozen herbs from the summer, lemon juice, bread, home baked cakes for the week, and even grated white chocolate from some previous cooking adventure. In the autumn there were stewed apples ready for making crumble, and I've also done bananas when there has been an end-of-the-day bargain on offer. Sometimes it also holds meals where we've deliberately made double. If I'd thought to get two lots of sausages out to defrost yesterday we could have done that tonight! And the best thing is, your freezer runs most efficiently when it's full. So get filling!

Just time for a quick overview of today on the food waste front:

Breakfast: same as Monday, porridge/cereal and tea. I also found that one of the oranges had gone mouldy in the fruit bowl (only bought on Saturday), so I halved it - ate the good half with breakfast and composted the mouldy one. Tasted fine!
Food-related waste: a teabag, half an orange.
Packaging waste: empty honey jar, seal strip from new one.

Lunch: Back to my usual salad today. Unfortunately the outer stems of the new head of celery are not good - hollow and brown inside. I salvaged the top half of two, and will see what the rest is like tomorrow.
Food-related waste: veg peelings and seeds, 2 half celery sticks.

Snacks: lots of home made cake marking a colleague leaving for 2 months. Due to the cake I didn't eat all my fruit and nuts today :)
Food-related waste: banana peel.

Dinner: See above!
Food-related waste: leek trimmings, green bean tops and tails, garlic skin.
Packaging waste: stock cube foil wrapper, bean tin (plus paper sausage wrapper at the weekend), beer bottle and lid.

Compostable food waste: 340g
No food waste to go in the bin.
Recyclable packaging: 625g - glass, metal lids, tin and foil. Actually the jar and lid will be saved for reuse during jam season!
No non-recyclable packaging.

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