27 October 2012

Waste not, want not #5

More from our current round of sessions being run in conjunction with Love Food, Hate Waste...

Ashton session – Thursday 25 October at Dukinfield Town Hall with Alison
Tonight we found ourselves in the wonderful building that is Dukinfield Town Hall. We had a full house of attendees from the local area keen to spruce up their cooking skills and learn some really important facts about food waste and ways we can reduce it. We got on with preparing for the curry straight away and everyone gave themselves a job to do. We had a quick demo on finely chopping garlic and chillies, which impressed the group, and we talked about all sorts of ways you can reduce your food waste, saving you money and trying to reduce landfill! Everyone was really chuffed with their Love Food Hate Waste containers and we filled them up with curry and rice with some fresh chopped coriander sprinkled on top for everyone to take home.

Bolton session – Monday 22 October at St Elizabeth Church Horwich with Gideon
As with the previous Love Food Hate Waste cooking sessions, the participants came together to cook a vegetable curry and broaden their knowledge of careful food management at home. Everyone got stuck into preparing vegetables for the curry and were soon chatting about the food they make at home and using up leftovers. The vegetable curry is an ideal dish to use up those limp veggies sitting at the back of the fridge which might get thrown away, as is a hearty soup as suggested by one of the cooks. All were interested in using pulses such as lentils, beans and peas as a great way to bulk up a meal and as an alternative to meat in dishes such as a puy lentil bolognese and lasagne. The most popular and practical plan we discussed was for a roast chicken dinner, stretched to include two more meals. A risotto or chicken curry, followed by a soup and maybe even some extra stock from the last remnants of goodness from the bones. By this point we were all very peckish, but fortunately the curry was ready so we all tucked into a delicious, healthy, nutritious and frugal meal.

Oldham Session – Wednesday 22 October at East Compton St James Parish Rooms with Gideon
With the autumn evenings drawing in, we gathered a group of keen cooks together in a church hall to make a delicious vegetable curry and pass on tips and knowledge of good food management. We discussed using up leftovers and avoiding wasting food by carefully planning meals and writing a shopping list. We also talked about avoiding the supermarkets to find better value ingredients in the quantities required rather than having to buy a whole bag of vegetables such as carrots and ending up throwing half of them away. The group was keen to share their experiences and to learn more, and at the end of it we all sat together to tuck into a delicious vegetable curry.

Rochdale Session – Friday 19 October at The Hub with Gideon
The evening's participants began to arrive and we got on with the preparation of the vegetable curry. We made two versions of the curry, both containing the same ingredients but with a different spice mix in each, one with curry powder and one with garam masala. Before the spices were added, we passed them round the table for all to smell the heady scents, and several people commented on the sweetness of the garam masala. We then went on to discuss the best way to store spices in an air-tight container to maintain the flavour as long as possible. The discussion continued to include discussions of using leftovers and thrifty cooking techniques. After all the talking, the curry was ready and we all tucked in together.

There are more photographs from these sessions on the Cracking Good Food Facebook page here.

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