6 December 2013

GUEST BLOG: Making a mash of it

By guest blogger HELEN ROADHOUSE

On Wednesday, we ran our last Love Food Hate Waste session of the year in partnership with Recycle for Greater Manchester, this time at the ucan centre in Halliwell in Bolton. A few of the participants were regulars from ucan, and they made it clear that they were looking forward to the sit-down-and-eat bit of the session!

On the menu was tagine and mash - perfect for the current cold snap - and Kim got everyone chopping and peeling while she explained that you don't need to peel veggies if you don't want to. As well as saving you a job, it saves on waste too if you don't peel. Kim also explained just how versatile a tagine is as you don't have to use just the veggies in the master recipe. It's ideal for those veggies that are 'on the turn' - you know, that tomato or carrot that starts to get a bit soft - as you can't tell in a tagine once everything's chopped and cooked. Saves money and wastage, perfect!

We had a great interactive chat about the Love Food Hate Waste ethos, discussing shopping with lists, and sticking to them, only taking the amount you need to spend so you can't overspend, and of course never shopping when hungry - that's asking for extras in your shopping basket! The participants were split into three groups for the quiz, which really got people thinking. Once participants started visualising their cupboards, the floodgates opened and all three groups had lists of ingredients, including long-forgotten oddities. One participant commented that she was pleased it wasn't just her with daft things in her fridge, and she was so right! All the groups were brilliantly creative, turning their ingredients lists into some really great meals and everyone said they now had some ideas on how to use up the random bits and bobs in their cupboards.

The guys who spend a lot of time at ucan really enjoyed the session as they admitted they didn't cook much at home. They loved the tagine and couldn't believe how tasty it was, especially as it didn't contain meat! Of course, they could add meat if they wanted to when making it themselves at home (which they said they would), but there's really no need as it is delicious - and cheaper - without. I really felt they benefitted from this session and felt confident enough to make the tagine themselves. 

We had quite a bit more tagine and mash than expected, but not one scrap was wasted - that's how good it was. This was a lovely group that interacted and asked a million questions, and really participating in all the Love Food Hate waste discussion and ideas, which is exactly what we wanted. Another resounding success!

This was the final Love Food Hate Waste session of 2013 - but fear not, we're back in the new year with another round of nine sessions! Sign up for FREE on our website or email tracey@crackinggoodfood.org.

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