Tuesday, 29 January 2013

One rasher of bacon and half a tomato. Now what..?

Christmas pudding.  At Easter...?   Ermm...

So anyway, I was having a rummage at the back of the fridge and guess what I found.  Christmas pudding. Checks calendar; end of January.

I try to keep rummaging to a bare minimum these days.  When I feel the urge to rummage, it always goes horribly wrong.  The freezer is my worst offence, apparently.  I tend to put stuff in the freezer where there is space.  This, as all sensible freezer users know, is a serious lapse of judgement and needs to stamped out vigorously.

The conversation usually moves around this area.

'You've put a loaf of bread in the middle draw!'
'Well, yes, because there was space there and the bread draw was full...'
'You can't put bread in the frozen veg draw, halfwit...'
'But as the bread draw was full I thought...'
'Well move things around in the bread draw then and make some space...!'
'But there is space in....'
'And there's a pack of mince with the frozen fruit...I mean...are you deliberately dense...'
You get the idea.  Logic is a troublesome thing when rummaging takes hold.  It's at least comparable with my inability to stack the dishwasher.  But I've droned on about that before on here so there's no point in raking over old ground. Anyway, I try to forget these things because you certainly can't rationalise why you can't (apparently...) put forks upside down in the cutlery box, thing in the dishwasher. Or knives. Or spoons. And why are there always less teaspoons to come out of the dishwasher than went in? The airing cupboard is another source of significant irritation, but I'm moving off the point.

Christmas pudding. In January.

So, moving a pack of cheese in the fridge, carefully to one side which was a risk in itself as the cheese was off limits and not housed in the bottom half of a plastic box reserved for cheese and cheese-based products on the top shelf, there sat a small black plastic bowl.  And in the bowl, a morsel of Christmas pud.

It's been there, languishing in the cool of the fridge for a month, hiding behind a marmalade jar mostly, but latterly, as we've just heard, a block of escaped cheese.  Now the reason why there's a bit of pud left when it was only a bite-sized thing in the first place, is because only my wife likes it in our house. She helps herself on Christmas Day after a drizzling a drizzle of rum from a bottle that was bought when Lesley Judd was still presenting Blue Peter at a guess.  She's the only one to like rum too, so the bottle is probably a hand-me-down.

I've tried to like Christmas pudding.  We've tried to be grown up about this - me and the pud - and air our differences, get hang-ups out in the open, talk it through sensibly, to no avail.  There's no meeting of minds.  I can't stand the damn thing, full stop.  And for reasons I can't explain, my wife never thinks of cracking open a tin of Ambrosia and enjoying the last remnants.  She seems programmed to only eat it within a narrow window, late December.

Easter will come and go and I bet you anything that fruity concoction will still be there, shuffling behind pots of jam to avoid attention.

OK.  Now what..?

Food waste. Why not, will not.

Anyway, this all begs the question of what to do with scraps and bits?  We heard just last week on TV news about the staggering millions of pounds worth of food  that never makes it to the plate either because we buy to much or because the supermarkets deem that carrot to be too ugly.

I do try to be careful as I am the food shopper in our house.  I try not to buy in excess and I hate throwing away odd bits of food just because it's an odd bit.  A chicken carcass never leaves the premises until it's released its chicken stock.  I've just had to throw about a third of a cucumber away because it was on the verge of composting.  Heartbreaking.  Seriously, I have a real problem with food waste.  I buy 'value' range of veg from supermarkets just to make a point.  I'm happy, delighted in fact, to buy a bag containing carrots of vastly different sizes and shapes.  As I'm chopping them up most of the time, who cares?  I buy mushrooms that just been plucked from their composty, soiley beds.  Why? Because I am also happy to buy oddly different sized mushrooms that I trim myself in a second or so, because I'm clever like that.

So.  Odds and bits.  I'm thinking of throwing this one open, as they say.  Let's attempt to get sense to apply here.  That day when you find two rashers of bacon and three mushrooms left or half a can of baked beans in the fridge.

What do you do?  You know what I'm talking about, we all find one tomato or slightly off-perfect pepper.

What do you do with the odds and bits that - I'm really sad to say - many people would simply dump in the bin to avoid the question?
Not 'mushroom' for this in your meal..?

What do you do..?

It seems a trivial matter this, but it's not really.  It matters a lot. When so many people struggle to put a healthy meal on the table or eat at all - please, I'm not trying to be overly melodramatic - then we really should all take a minute to think before we chuck.

If you'd like to comment here, that would be great.  I've not tried anything like this before, but I'm interested in what you have to say.  Or you could continue the chat instead on my Facebook page at mikegetscooking.

As for the Christmas pudding.  Well. It looks rather relaxed to me knowing that, unlike the hapless cucumber, it's the SAS of foodstuffs and can hang on in there surviving low temperatures without a second thought.

I could mention this to my wife, of course, but she'd accuse me of rummaging.

Let's not go there.  I think I'll go and reorganise the airing cupboard again.  Just for laughs.

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