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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Day Two of Zero Waste Week

Yesterday's food waste amounted to this:

2 banana skins
4 tea bags
The ends of some green beans
Skin and ends of 4 onions
Skin of half a squash.

It weighed 524 grammes - I blame the squash!

Day One - Food Waste 524 grammes
Today, we're challenged to 'Use Our Loaf' and also to check out what's lurking behind the yoghurt pot!

So, for me, Day Two started with 2 pieces of toast & butter for Junior Daughter before she heads off to her first day in Sixth Form.  I decided to have toast too, to make a bit of progress on our excess bread (from Sunday's cancelled cricket tea).  With it, I finished up my mother-in-law's grape jelly (which I fished out from the back of the fridge) and I'm now chomping my way through the remaining blueberries from Friday's party.

I checked on my half Iceberg Lettuce which is now resting in a tub of water - cut side down -  and it hasn't gone brown yet.  If you haven't signed up for the daily emails then you can check out Day One here:

Yesterday I made an onion soup, and we usually have this French style with croutons and grated cheese.  So one way to use up some of the bread crusts would be to turn them into croutons for tonight's dinner.  I was also fairly sure that the cheese drawer would be where most of my use it up stuff would be found.

The rest of my spare bread was already safely stowed in the freezer.  I find this is a great way to store extra bread as it only takes a few minutes to defrost just the amount that you need.

Of the ingredients that needed using up yesterday, the only things that didn't go into yesterday's dinner or tonight's soup was some leftover dip from Friday's party and two beef burgers from Sunday night.  I had burger shaped rolls stored in the freezer (from the cancelled cricket tea on Sunday) so I took out two of those to defrost and have with our burgers.

The lettuce was still in good order so there was no waste.  I used the two outer leaves to add to the burgers and I used up the tomato relish on mine and Senior Daughter had some barbecue sauce on hers.  It made a great sandwich.  We had some sliced cucumber with it and I used my cucumber to dip into the leftover guacamole.

Onto the zone behind the yoghurt pot.  Scary!  I decided I'd have to pull everything out of the fridge and see what was lurking at the back.  Most of my lurkers are jars of conserve and pickle or various long life sauces, but I know my worst offence is the cheese drawer.

I'm really the only person in my family who likes cheese other than cheddar or parmesan. For a long time,  I've only bought other cheese when we've had dinner parties.  But still it gets left over.  So now my new rule with cheese is to buy a selection of different cheddars for a dinner party with maybe just a goat's cheese or blue cheese, which is easy to use up in pasta.  I have cut my waste by doing that, but there's bits of cheese in my fridge that are verging on veteran.

Brace yourself, here's the photographic evidence of the fridge clear out today!

I had a collection of cheeses that ranged (from right to left in the picture above) from the pefectly fine, through edible in sauces/soup to definitely straight in the food waste caddy.

The fresh and healthy cheese went back into the nice clean cheese drawer along with the cheddar and butter.  Then I started work on the rest.  I cut up the bits of camembert - there wasn't much left and put it into my onion soup.  I grated up some of the smoked cheddar and put the rind into the soup.  I also snuck in the dodgy cheese slice that was left behind by friends rather a long time ago, but as it's so processed anyway, I figured it'd probably outlive most of my family before going off, so in it went!

But, sad to say, I had to add 408 grammes of manky cheese to my food waste caddy.  Just think how much that would have cost me!  Still, it will serve as a reminder to never again buy a cheese I'm not likely to use up, if my dinner guests don't eat it all.  Who am I trying to impress anyway?  No need - here's to my cheddary future!

As for the rest of the lurkers - just look at that collection of jars!  I've got to get using up some of that.

I went through the jars and put back in the fridge the recent and frequently used stuff like, mayo, pickles, mustard, ketchup, horseradish etc.  But that still left me with a dubious collection.

What did I manage to use up?  Not a lot as yet.  Well, I had about an inch of green pesto left in a jar so I combined that with the remaining oil from my sun dried tomatoes and decided the croutons would be pesto croutons.  Lush!
Day Two dinner - onion (and cheese) soup with pesto croutons.

Other than than I put everything to one side to deal with another day.  But, urged on by my Zero Waste Week email, I made a tough decision that if it was not gone by the end of the week, it was out - forget the aspiration and admit it's never going to happen!

Now, I just need to get creative and find something to create with all those saucy ingredients... roll on Day Three!

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