Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ice (sort-of) Magic

I have, over the last few days, been making serious efforts to reduce the amount of food in the freezer in the run-up to Christmas. This means using it, rather than throwing it away. I was rather perturbed to read the following advice in a magazine supplement about preparing for Christmas;
"Make space in the fridge, freezer and kitchen cupboards by throwing away anything past its sell-by date"

According to, a third of the food bought in the UK is already being thrown away uneaten, and I think deliberately setting out to advise people to throw food away seems rather irresponsible. Better, surely, to find ways of using things up (ideally, before they reach their best-before) and to encourage readers to plan their shopping and meals to minimise waste. While 'use-by' dates must be strictly adhered to for safety reasons, many 'best-before dates are merely a guide to quality and thus can, within reason, be ignored, rather than throwing away bagfuls of food. Changing our attitudes and habits regarding food is a really easy place for us to start reducing our environmental impact. I feel so strongly about this that for the first time ever, I wrote a 'letter to the editor'.

The only slight downside of this has been that I have had to deal with some, shall we say, interesting finds, mainly from the section of the freezer containing spoils from Hubby's bargain-hunting . Most of these, at least lately, have been meat portions in odd, so-called 'flavour glazes'. They seem to be something that the supermarket adds to perfectly good meat in order to 'add value', but which seem, rather inevitably, to be sold off for 9p a pack just before going out of date. Fine to freeze, though and an economical way to feed the family occasionally. This, coupled with using up the end of last week's veg box before the new one arrives tomorrow means that dinners this week have been a bit Ready Steady Cook chez nous.

Last night's we had turkey, purporting to be 'Chinese Style', which I cut into strips and stir-fried, to be served with parsnip chips, steamed curly kale and basmati rice. Tonight the boys and I were on our own for dinner, so I cooked some 'Smoky B-B-Q' Pork Steaks and served them on top of a pile of my homemade baked beans. I told the boys that it was Cowboy Pork 'n' Beans and Christopher wolfed it down so fast that I don't think it even touched the sides!

We finished our meal off with a slice each of a really damp, tasty banana cake that I bought from my cake stall at the BFN bash last Saturday. Lovely, lovely, lovely. And I'm getting my hair done tomorrow!

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