pass it on
Food waste is a crime and I am guilty as charged m’lud.
While lamenting my cooking mojo, contents of my fridge lie in risk of rotting. With a busy week ahead, featuring too many late nights’s home from work, I excavated the nether regions of my pantry to unearth some dried beans. While I was there I threw out the sad culprits who’d more than hit their use by date. In my defence the offending items were ones that I’d inherited when the Significant Eater first moved in many years ago.
Cooking beans is easy. Soak overnight. Drain, rinse and boil the next morning. It seemed to have upset people when I wrote previously that I could cook up a batch of beans before going to work. I do like a leisurely start to the day and am happy to sacrifice sleep for the pleasure of sipping a hot beverage while reading the digital news, wrangling the cat and organising my day.
It’s a Virgo thing.
The aforementioned planning involved making a batch of chilli beans – take a big dollop of homemade harissa, onion and assorted end of the week vegetables (pumpkin, parsnip and a lanky carrot, finely grated), simmer with tomato paste and vegetable stock. Throw on the heat diffuser mat and ignore for an hour or two.
But there was a problem. I’m home alone at the moment and not fond of leftovers. In fact I’ll do anything to avoid eating the same food two nights in a row (with the exception of the gingery tomato-y tofu dish, I think the sugary content makes it highly addictive). So night one was augmented with not-feta and night two, a handful of marinated olives.
There was no way there’d be a night three. A man-size serve remained. But throwing it out seemed criminal. In desperation, I texted my neighbour. Her adult son became vegan this year and lives a few blocks away, was he coming to dinner tonight? It turned out he wasn’t but her husband loves hot food (she doesn’t) and would be very happy for a chilli hit.
One of the unexpected pleasures of passing it on is the boomerang effect. On my doorstep this morning was the plastic container with a note of thanks scribbled on some butchers paper, inside was nestled four of the cutest eggs.
Perhaps my cooking mojo just needs a little bit of neighbourhood recycling to kick it back to life?
Chilli Beans – soaked plus a twist of smoky paprika
Chili Beans – the breakfast leftover version
Eggplant in a Gingery Tomato Sauce
Crew – the Mighty Fridge Fixings
Stripped Back Harissa Paste