In the last week, we've run three of our 24 sessions with the Love Food Hate Waste initiative and Recycle For Greater Manchester, addressing the issue of food waste - which hit headlines this week - and offering practical tips about a range of food saving measures. Last Thursday at Duckinfield Town Hall, 13 people attended, preparing and cooking a tasty vegetable tagine with golden mashed potato.
The participants chopped red onions, parsnips, potatoes, peppers and dried apricots, then fried the onions before adding the other vegetables to the pot. A mix of cumin, paprika, cinnamon and mild chilli powder were heated in a frying pan using honey instead of oil or butter, and a lovely aroma filled the room as the spices started to cook. Tinned chopped tomatoes were added with some water, and the contents covered and left to simmer, while the potatoes were put on to boil for the mash.
The group then split into three smaller groups for a fun exercise coming up with three main dishes they could make from the ingredients they have in their cupboards at home. These ingredients could be items they regularly use or odd items that seem to have no use, or are difficult to include in a meal. Some creative dishes were suggested, and everyone took turns to write their ideas down on the flipchart. Discussion and the sharing of information throughout the session was encouraged. Interesting facts about cooking, storage, recipes, ingredients, cooking habits, waste, freezing foods, different tastes and recipes were talked about, and a favourite recipe for mushy pea curry was also shared along with recipe sheets from CGF and recipe cards from LFHW.
The tagine was soon ready to eat, and what a beautiful taste and colour it was. I think that cooking the spices in honey helped the flavour and there was a pleasant mild after-kick of chilli. The pan was emptied, so no waste there, and we took away the vegetable peelings to compost and the empty tins to recycle. This was a lovely evening with a friendly bunch, in a beautiful building.