Saturday, June 30, 2012

Look Mum, no waste

Tonight, on TV7 (screening for the very last time thanks to the idiots in charge of TVNZ and its funding), I saw a documentary about the incredible amount of food wasted in the USA. And I have to admit I felt reprehensibly smug, because I'd just had a delicious dinner made almost entirely of leftovers.
        I don't quite know where I acquired my horror at wasting food. Certainly we didn't waste much at home, but I think it also came from being married so young and trynig to produce good food as cheaply as possible - which meant not throwing anything away.
         For a midwinter feast last weekend, we had a roast of pork (I'll write about that later). Although it wasn't enormous - about 2.7 kg, including a small bone - there was a lot of meat on it. Five of us ate our fill to start with, then I had a cold meat dinner, and the next night I and a friend ate slices heated up in the gravy (which was particularly good, because I made it with pork stock from the French pork and potatoes dish). Then I had to go away unexpectedly (more about this tomorrow on Elsewoman), so I cut up the rest of the meat and froze it. 
          I got back today, and thought about what to have for dinner. It's been the coldest day of winter so far,  barely getting to 9C at best, so the last thing I wanted to do was go shopping. I got out half the frozen pork slices and left them out to thaw (didn't take long, as they'd been so recently frozen). Then I put the oven on to 160C (fan forced), poked holes in a Red Jacket potato, coated it lightly with oil, and put it straight onto the oven rack about an hour and a half before I wanted to eat it. I had leftover rhubarb, too, so I made a little crumble topping and sat that in the oven, near the bottom, while the potato cooked.
           The pork, some leftover bread, and some onion got ground up separately in the food processor, along with some garden herbs - parsley, sage, thyme - that I dashed out into the cold for. I used all this, plus two eggs, a bit of flour, a dash of chili sauce and plenty of salt and pepper, to make rissoles. I had some leftover red cabbage and apple, cooked with apple juice, apple syrup and balsamic vinegar, so when everything else was ready, that got heated up in the microwave.

The rissoles were terrific (and I've got more for later), the potato was perfect and the sweet-sour cabbage was great  with it all. I had just enough cream left to go with the crumble (half of that left for later too). 
         I know the prospect of leftovers can sometimes feel dreary, but honestly, it was one of the nicest little dinners I've made myself this year.

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