What remains

This week, whilst the rain falls from the sky and the wind howls I have been using up some left-overs – in the kitchen and on my hook.

Much more delicious than sour milk

Much more delicious than sour milk

Since I don’t drink milk, Mr Snail has been bringing the stuff back and forth in a cool bag for the weekends. Last Sunday, however, there was a small amount left that was aging and not worth transporting back, so he left it with me. I put a few drops of lactase enzyme in it so that it wouldn’t upset my digestion and kept it in the fridge. Then yesterday, when I ran out of bread, rather than making myself a loaf, I made a cheese scone (I can eat hard cheese in moderation, as it has little lactose in it).  Scones are always lighter when made with sour milk, so it’s a great way to use it up. Mr Snail is not a big fan of cheese scones but I love them, so it’s ideal to cook them when he’s away. When he’s home, I use sour milk to make waffles, which also benefit from it as an ingredient.

Mr Snail's new hat

Mr Snail’s new hat

And then I moved on to left-over yarn. For Mr Snail’s laptop case, I bought three balls of yarn but only used two of them. Since he liked the self-patterning effect so much, I decided to make him a hat with the left-over ball. He’s not here to model it and this post will be the first time he’s seen it. I’m rather pleased with the way it turned out. I didn’t work from a pattern – just made it up as I went along. It is worked entirely in half-trebles (UK terminology). I’ve also been using up some left-over cotton yarn for another project, but that’s a gift for one of you out there, so I won’t share the picture until after it’s been received.

So, have you made anything interesting with left-overs this week?

 

Every last bit

For anyone trying to live a sustainable life, avoiding food waste is really important. But it’s also important for anyone on a budget or wanting to save money. I have written before about this issue of throwing food away, so here I’m going to share a recipe for using up bits and pieces.

I don’t mind giving scraps to the chickens, as that just converts one sort of food to another (although I prefer them to eat snails, slugs and weeds), but I much prefer humans to eat food from the kitchen (and garden). And so, I regularly find myself making Glamorgan Sausages. Now, although I do eat meat, these sausages are vegetarian. For them, you require breadcrumbs, cheese, onion, sage and an egg, plus salt, pepper and mustard if any of those things appeal to your taste buds (I tend not to add any of them).

First, whiz up some bread (any sort, with or without gluten, just nothing sweet) in a food processor. To the bowl, add onion (I usually manage to have half an onion hanging around that needs eating up or I use onion tops or spring onions from the garden) and some chopped cheese (fine if you have a piece of cheese that’s gone slightly dry) and whiz it all around again. Then add some fresh chopped sage or dried rubbed sage and give it a quick pulse to mix it before breaking in an egg (or two if you’ve made lots) and whizzing it again until it’s all combined (adingd seasonings at this stage if required). After this, divide the mixture up and roll into sausages before shallow frying.

Glamorgan sausages with garlic potatoes and lettuce

Glamorgan sausages with garlic potatoes and lettuce

I usually serve them with potatoes (especially good with boiled new ones), lettuce and apple chutney, but you can have them with baked beans, vegetables or in a bun. The mixture is brilliant for making vegetarian Scotch Eggs too. The only problem is that I never measure quantities, so you’ll have to be creative! I can say, however, that I always use a relatively small amount of a strong cheddar cheese.

They are, in fact, too good only to make when I have stale bread and elderly cheese and quite often, chez snail, they are made from fresh ingredients… and they always go down well.

 

 

Réchauffage

No too bad for 'left-overs'!

Not too bad for ‘left-overs’!

We used to have a friend who detested left-overs… he simply would not eat them. He probably would have died of starvation in our house as ‘left-overs’ comprise a remarkably high proportion of the food we eat. But when I come to think about it, many of our left-overs are created deliberately, they are not the result of an accidental over-estimate of the food required. Like Sam Vimes, our food does not need any favours.

‘Needs eating up.’ That was a phrase of Sybil’s that got to Vimes. She’d announce at lunch: ‘We must have the pork tonight, it needs eating up.’ Vimes never had an actual problem with this, because he’d been raised to eat what was put in front of him, and do it quickly, too, before someone else snatched it away. He was just puzzled at the suggestion that he was there to do the food a favour.

Terry Pratchett. Thud!

I like cooking enough on one day that I have something to eat the next. It’s not about using waste, it’s more about planning ahead. In this world of ours where ready meals are so popular (according to the BBC, ready the meals industry is worth £2.6bn in the UK alone), I quite like making something myself that can be quickly heated up.

I can always find a container in which to freeze or store left-overs

I can always find a container in which to freeze or store left-overs

A rather strange programme on the BBC last week, Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen, encouraged us to make and freeze our own ready meals, Although growing your own durum wheat with which to make your pasta (as they did) seemed an unattainable starting point for anybody watching the show, I was hopeful that the subsequent demonstration would provide some good ideas for viewers. Unfortunately, Nigel Slater got carried away and made 30 small lasagnes, each in their own foil tray. Hmmm… in our house, we would have made a large lasagne in a Pyrex dish, cooked it, eaten some of it and frozen individual portions in reusable plastic tubs. OK, this would require portions to be transferred out for reheating in the oven, but since most folks reheat in a microwave, there’s really no issue.

I regularly make a big pot of spaghetti bolognese ,or of soup, with the specific intention of having food for the next day or for the freezer. And if you have one of those discerning individuals who does not like to eat ‘left-overs’, just assure them that you have made Réchauffage; after all, the French are great cooks, so it must be good!

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