I was staying with a friend recently and she started looking really sheepish while reaching
for the rubbish bin one morning in the kitchen (I have that affect on people quite a lot).
Her family never eat the crumbled weetbix in the bottom of the bag and they end up getting thrown out.
One of her children loves baking and a quick google found this recipe. Now the crumbled weetbix go in a jar and when there's enough of a stash they get magic'd into a lunchbox staple.
It made me reflect on the weird sense of pride I get in finding ways to use random food scraps. I love that it stops things going to waste, it saves money and there's that intangible buzz of being resourceful.
Whether it's veggie off-cuts, fruit that is past it's best, or those random half eaten carrots that come home in school lunchboxes - they all get thrown in my freezer stash. I then use them for smoothies, soups or sauces.
I have a couple of open containers in the freezer to make it super easy to throw things in and grab them out. They're never in there long enough to get freezer burn.
Despite putting a LOT of effort into lecturing my kids about eating their crusts, we always end up with some. I throw the crusts in the freezer and when I'm crumbing something I make them into panko (pulse crusts a few times in the food processor and bake for 8 mins at 180 degrees).
It takes a bit longer than tipping them out of a packet, but nowhere near as long as going to the shop to buy them. Even better if you make lots at once - store in an airtight jar or throw them back in the freezer.
The Daily Rind:
I always save and freeze rind from ham and bacon - it adds so much flavour to things and means I'm making the meat go way further. I chop the rind up and use it in things like pies, soups and scrambled eggs. A friend also just mentioned she throws it on roast potatoes which sounds like a damn delicious idea.
One small change
As I was writing this, my daughter came into the room and reminded me about how much she loves the fritters I make with the leftover dregs of butter chicken sauce. So much time and resource went into making that butter chicken, I'm stoked I can make it go that little bit further.
Reusing butter chicken dregs, crumbing crusts and rescuing half-eaten carrots might not seem like a big deal - but it connects us to our food more, it activates our resourcefulness, it creates a subtle shift in our mindset and... it feels really good.