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Monday, 9 September 2013

Day 7 of Zero Waste Week

Day 6 waste:

A big fat zero!

BUT...  I made a flask of tea, so I think the tea bag must be still in the flask.  Whoops.

We did eat, I promise!

At various times, Junior Daughter, Senior Daughter and I all had a portion of the reheated lasagne, which was a big success.  I'm so glad I wrote down what I put into it for this blog, as it is certainly going to be made again. Though, I'm told it could have more tomato and less cheese for JD's taste (despite being the best veggie lasagne she's ever eaten).

The Iceberg lettuce is still keeping it's colour.  There's not much left now but it is 8 days since I first cut into it.  Each time I've used a bit, I've changed the water - I'm treating it better than I treat my cut flowers!  It seems to work.

The best 'use it up' last night was three quarters of a bottle of rosé wine.  I was on my own, so I needed a plan, because I wouldn't have drunk it own my own! But a quick text, found me a willing helper, and I trekked off down the lane with bottle of wine and a torch.  It is Zero Waste Week, after all.

We are out to dinner tonight with family, so we offered to bring pudding.  I've got a jar of mincemeat to use up.  It is still in date, but I always think uncooked mincemeat looks a bit iffy, so I'm going to make the pastry, cook one mincemeat tart and then if it doesn't taste nice, I'll use the pastry for jam tarts.

Lunch was a cooking experiment: omelette and salad.  Senior Daughter is investigating cheap, fast, healthy meals for her forthcoming second year at uni, so she made a cheese and spring onion omelette for the two of us. We finished up the iceberg lettuce with hardly any waste, thanks to our new @myzerowaste way of storing salad in water like cut flowers.  We added cucumber and grated carrot. JD slept.

Food waste from lunch

*** Later ***

As it was the day of reckoning for my collection of jars and the weather was a bit iffy, we had a cook-in this afternoon, to use up what we could before the big chuck out.

JD joined us after her sleep catch-up and made a ham omelette with an interesting addition of paprika.

The tester mince pie was a success, so we made a mince and apple tart to take for tonight's dinner.  We tried the remaining jar of unidentified chutney and concluded it had a bit of excess vinegar which I poured off.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.  That's probably why it didn't get eaten.  SD came up with a plan.  I made more pastry, SD caramelised some onions  and I grated cheese.  JD did maths.  The caramelised onion and cheese tart is now sliced up into a tupperware for lunches and snacks.
Green tomato chutney (we think), cheddar cheese and caramelised onion tart
Tart recipe: short crust pastry (100g butter, 200g flour and around three table spoons of water - if you want to make it yourself), one nearly full jar of unidentified chutney, 125g grated cheese, 3 small onions (and a bit of brown sugar to caramelise them).

Roll out the pastry into a rough rectangle, spread over the chutney, sprinkle on the grated cheese and then sprinkle the caramelised onion over that.  Cook at around 200°C for about 20 minutes.

While I was puzzling over some kind of sweet and sour mustardy chutney looking thing, JD came up with the idea of using it with some chicken and rice.  So we put that to one side for tomorrow night.

Senior Daughter also made some flapjack, using up a packet of dates and some seeds.  When rummaging for the dates and seeds we found a packet of mixed seeds had spilled and there was a spillage of couscous in the drawer too.

We took everything out of the drawer and went through what was there and then tipped out the spillage to the birds.  I didn't think to weigh it, but it was about a handful.

I already knew I needed better storage for dry goods such as pasta, couscous, rice, seeds and dried fruit,  so I've been gradually collecting up glass storage jars.  I keep these on the kitchen window sill where I can see them, and that means I always know what I've got in stock and what I need to replace when I shop, as I get a daily visual reminder.  And I think it looks nice too!

Improving storage has helped me reduce food waste

We made a cherry and coconut loaf cake to use up the last of a packet of coconut which still hadn't made it to a storage jar.

Cherry and coconut loaf cake

The remaining jars amount to a salad dressing, which we've realised my dad might use up, a jar of mint sauce, so we'll put some lamb chops on the menu for when Mr Pitt returns and a jar of red current sauce, which we're going to have with baked camembert to account for the one that's on the use it up shelf.

Oh, and there's the guacamole.  Sorry, but that's going in the (food waste) bin!

Food waste day 7.

52g eggs shells
8g stub of the lettuce
16g onion peel
22g remains of half a lemon
44g tea bags
a bit of stringy skin from the outside of the spring onions (too light for the scales)

also... going to the garden for the wildlife
20g carrot peel and an apple core
a handful of seeds and couscous

240g guacamole

That brings us to a weekly total of an almost full food caddy.  My food waste goes on my compost heap so, the food caddy has been topped up along the way with kitchen roll, the packet from some sugar, bits of dust/cat hair swept up from the floor etc.  These bits make up the 'brown' material needed along with the 'green' material for the compost.

So, it's still food waste, but it isn't really being wasted.  By this time next year it will be well on the way to being usable compost and might be growing the following year's veg.

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