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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Recession Buster

In an attempt to reduce the number of miles we travel taxiing our children to and from their afterschool activities we decided to eat out in the hour and a half we had between dropping off one child and picking up another. So we picked a nearby hotel / restaurant which we knew did good, reasonably priced food.

When we checked with the landlord if he was serving food the reply was 'sort of'. He went on to explain that he really wasn't busy enough on a Monday and Tuesday evening to employ a chef so there was just him on his own to do everything. So he had set up a new initiative. On Monday and Tuesday nights he was serving what he called a "builders' supper" for the overnight guests. His guests would 'get fed' but they would 'get what they were given' so on the Monday night he had served cold beef, cold pork, bubble and squeak and salad to use up the meat and veg left over from Sunday's carvery. Last night's offering was spaghetti bolognaise served with garlic bread and it was going to be ready in fifteen minutes. Perfect! The upside for his guests was that it was just £5 a head. "And that," he said. "... is my recession buster."

Out came two large bowls – one of spaghetti, one of bolognaise - a smaller bowl with freshly grated parmesan and a bread basket piled high with garlic bread. The plates were in a pile by the side and everyone helped themselves to what they wanted and went back for more when they wanted. Delicious!

With the price of fuel these days and the hike in food prices I thought we probably couldn't have driven home and back and cooked spaghetti bolognaise for much less than £10. With the spotlight we've had earlier in the year on the 4 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK every year initiatives like these should be praised. Next week I will probably be eating pasta salad served out of an old ice-cream tub in the car reading my book, but I think before long I'll be back for a builder's supper.

Read more about food waste.

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