Monday, 31 March 2008

Waste Not Want Not

"Waste not want not" is something I was always being told by Mum and it rings all the more true today as we live our eco-life. Take last night's dinner. Simon had made a pasty with left-over pastry but there were two of us. A quick look in the fridge revealed half a tin of tomatoes, some kidney beans and a pot of left-over mash. So dinner without waste became half a pasty each plus beans, onions and tomatoes topped with cheesy mash - it tasted great, it was really cheap and it was made from odds 'n sods that too many people would have thrown away. And on the subject of beans I'm having a big bean cooking session at the moment, boiling them on top of the woodburner whilst we still need it on and then freezing them in old marg tubs. That's an hour of gas saved every batch I make and the opportunity for plenty of low cost meals over the coming months.

One of our volunteer hedgelaying couples have a young lad and they were only too pleased to take a couple of bags of outgrown boys clothes I had been hoarding. Whilst I expected nothing in exchange I was more than happy to accept a large bag of their home-grown apples and a promise of some raspberry canes. Half the apples have already been made into crumble with blackberries I'd frozen in the autumn and the first few rhubarb stalks. I also sent them on their way with some rhubarb plants, having found even more in the old veg patch and a box of wine. Items into landfill = 0. Happy People = 5.

With the clocks changing I was able to take the dogs out after putting the boys to bed - like Simon said, the verges are so beautiful at the moment and having recently unearthed my copy of "Food For Free", my walk took on a whole new meaning. Wild garlic (ramsoms), dandelion, nettles and chickweed might sound like weeds to most people but to us they are scrambled egg flavouring, salad, soup and a tasty spinach subsitute. With the veg patch yet to get into full production we're still able to have some free, albeit foraged food.

Wild Garlic amongst definitely not edible Lords and Ladies and Ferns

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