Saturday, 9 July 2011

Day 9: No Waste!

Remember the cabbage from last week?  Well, I open the fridge this morning, and there, seven days after I bought it, it is frowning at me in judgement.  What's more, it had company up there on its moral high ground: the remains of the  leek, now slightly dried round the edges, and also 5 eggs left to me by my predecessors in the flat, and the 1lb of bacon that I bought last Saturday. 

One of the principles of the frugal kitchen simply has to be No Waste.  I was seriously distressed yesterday to find on my return that the remnant of milk in the fridge was halfway to being cheese.  Had it just been a day or so over date, I could have used it in a scone or a soda bread.  But the thing must have been on its Use-By date even on the day I brought it.  Note to self: check these things when you buy them at the local cornershop.

But now I had cabbage, leek, eggs, and bacon either to use or to store.  I invented a pasta bake for the first two (recipe listed separatedly), then spent half the evening dicing the bacon.  Rather than freeze it all in a clump, I spread the dice out on a couple of baking trays and froze them for about an hour before putting the dice into freezer bags.  There is nothing like bacon for adding flavour, and so I now have a ready supply for the next month or so.  Seriously, I am so impressed by this Lidl bacon bargain. All this flavour for only £1.50!

What's more, the rind is even now boiling in some water on the cooker, so that the whole flat smells of bacon!  My hope is that, as Marguerite Patton's Soup Pot suggests, I can use the water as a stock.  It would work well with lentil soup, I should think.  If I am lucky, fat will also form on the top,which I can skim off and use as dripping for making pastry or frying.  

As for the eggs, they were a day out of date.  So I used my mum's old trick of putting them in a bowl of water.  If they lie flat at the bottom of the bowl, they are fresh.  If they float completely, they are rotten.  But if - like these - they half-float, but with one end still touching the base of the bowl, they are still okay to use.  So I made a chocolate pudding!

So, extremely well fed, but with a kitchen like a bomb has hit it, I am sitting with my feet up and watching the last of my television before the licence runs out next month.  I'll worry about the dishes tomorrow.

Total Daily Expenditure: £1.30  (milk and 2 x bread rolls)

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