Food waste Friday

Filed in Blog by on August 7, 2009 10 Comments
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lemon wearing a fashionable blue coat

lemon wearing a fashionable blue coat

Oh Lord, what with Kristen and her friends watching our food waste over at the Frugal Girl and now Tristram, author of “Waste: uncovering the food scandal” joining the site, I’m feeling a bit queasy!

Still, there’s nothing like all eyes on you to get the best performance out of you, right?

This week, we do have a little food waste, but it’s all compostable and I need your advice on saving one other items before it becomes bird food.

As you might remember, we had an outbreak of fleas.

You’ll be pleased to hear that due to my diligence and belief in the power of mother nature, the fleas have all but left the building.  We used neem oil, essential oils, commitment, a bit of swearing and I read about the use of lemons. Apparently if you boil up lemons in water, seep and infuse the liquid, you’re left with a soothing product to spray on your skin and one which is safe enough to use on animals.

Off to lidls I went to buy a job lot of lemons as Mr Green was suffering from bites and thought lemon infusion could help him.

Well, you can guess what I have in the fridge – 2 litres of unused lemon spray. He felt that other things were more beneficial and hasn’t touched it.

Grrrr.

In addition, that meant my lemon-trees worth of lemons were sitting in the fruit bowl all week until Little Miss green spotted one wearing a blue coat.

I took it out of the bowl and inspected the others; fortunately they escaped their death, and now Little Miss green is drinking fresh lemon juice water every day to use them up. (It’s ok, she genuinely loves ‘lemonade’ as she calls it). I’ll also be making one of our favourites, lemon cake, so all will be well.

I had a couple of potato casualties too. I don’t care what the weather or season is; I love my jacket potatoes and mashed potatoes. They are my comfort food come rain or shine. Unfortunately at this time of year it means buying pre packed potatoes in a plastic bag at an extortionate price.

Add potatoes in a plastic bag to a hot sunny day and what do you get? That’s right! Sweating potatoes ready to walk to the compost pile by themselves. So they did – three of them.

So all in all our food waste this week is 1 lemon and 3 potatoes which could have all been saved with some forward planning. Knowing Little Miss Green and her penchant for citrus fruit she would probably love lemon mashed potatoes or similar.

And onto my look for inspiration. In the cupboard I have three stale pieces of bread. Not soft white bread suitable for a comfort pudding, but ‘good for you’ wholemeal bread with an assortment of seeds and grains in it.

What recipes do you have for me to use the slices up before they go mouldy?

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About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. Poppy says:

    No recipes Mrs G, but you could whizz them in a food processor and bung them in the freezer ready to mix with some cheese for a crunchy yummy topping.

  2. Grandma Green says:

    I heard somewhere that brownbread ice cream is yummy.

  3. Deb from Boston says:

    Grilled cheese sandwiches are good any time of year. Or just butter both sides and grill them. French toast?

  4. sandy says:

    Lemons are good for cleaning the sink, toilet, bath basin etc. and cleaning the fridge with some bicarb of soda. cheese and bread pudding topped with tomatos, is smashing
    good luck with all those lemons

  5. Paula says:

    You could always juice the lemons, put the juice into an ice cube tray and use it for lemonade or whatever when you needed it. I plan to do that this winter when my citrus trees come ripe!

  6. Kate1946 says:

    Grate just the yellow part of the lemon peel or cut off thin strips – freeze. Do this before juicing the lemons.
    In my house all slightly stale bread becomes crumbs – I add them to meatloaf mixtures, use instead of flour for use as coating things like chix, green tomatoes before frying.

  7. Alea says:

    I like to use stale bread to make croutons. I cut them up into bite size pieces, brush with olive oil, then dust with garlic and onion powder. Bake at 350 degrees until they are crunchy.

    You can use the croutons in stuffing (or is that only an American food?).

    I also like to use stale bread to make French onion soup.

    And for little Miss Green:

    Lemon Berry Muffins Recipe

    2 lemons, zested and juiced
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    2 cups chopped berries
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt

    In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, blend the lemon zest, lemon juice,milk, oil, and egg. Mix in the white and brown sugar. Add the berries. Stir in the flour mixture until just moist. Fill pre-greased (or use liners)muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 24.

    * You can use Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour with this recipe.

    N.B. When I make this recipe with raspberries I do not chop them. I have made this with previously frozen berries, but I find they bleed more and my muffins end up a light pink color.

  8. Sarah says:

    I store potatoes in a bag made from blackout material. It has a drawstring and holds about 2.5kgish, depending on the size/shape of the spuds and they stay unsweaty for longer.

  9. I had an orange a while back that looked exactly like that! lol

  10. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: I’ve always thought that sounded particularly nice; I should branch out and try it instead of always topping things with mashed potato

    @Grandma Green: Sounds like an intriguing combination. I think that might go down well; not sure about the seeds in this bread though!

    @Deb from Boston: Mmmm, toasties as we call them – LMG loves those; and I forget to bother with them. WIll dig out the sandwich grill and make more use of it.

    @sandy: Cheese and bread pudding with tomatoes sounds delicious, How do you make that?

    @Paula: Freezing the juice is a good idea. I find it amazing how quickly citrus can go off; you’d think it would last for ages.

    @Kate1946: Hi Kate; I can’t believe I hadn’t considered using breadcrumbs instead of flour. I must admit, coating things in flour is something I don’t do much; but I’ll certainly remember that one – thanks!

    @Alea: Alea the muffins sound fab – especially as we now have blackberries growing in the hedges! And we do have stuffing over here; usually served with chicken.

    @Sarah: I need to be better organised Sarah and unpack plastic-wrapped potatoes as soon as I get them home instead of chucking them on the side and forgetting about them.

    @[email protected] Frugal Girl: Hmmm, there must be something in the air, Kristen!

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