Saturday, November 13, 2010

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.

Problem solved.

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?

Frittata anyone?


Summer Beans
Chilli Beans – soaked plus a twist of smoky paprika
Chili Beans – the breakfast leftover version

Tofu and
Eggplant in a Gingery Tomato Sauce

Crew – the Mighty Fridge Fixings

Stripped Back Harissa Paste
Marinated Olives

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Blogger Ann O'Dyne said...

... and is one of those eggs a blue one from an Aracauna chicken?

(I can eat the same thing several consecutive meals, and don't want to know what level of vice it is)

5:28 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

The eggs come from the vegan's girlfriend. Not sure what kind of hens she has but I love the blue one.

The leftover thing is just me. I know. I'm a long time fussy eater.

1:35 pm  
Blogger Johanna GGG said...

I knew someone who lived by herself and ate the same thing every night - I actually got into blogging when searching for new ideas because I like to try new recipes - but I do love putting leftovers in the freezer as long as I can rediscover it before it gets too old.

8:05 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

For me your last line is the problem for me - remembering to excavate the freezer and find any edible gems amongst the cat meat and vodka!

8:56 am  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Have, of late, taken to cooking beans in 1/4 cupfuls, especially those quick-cookers.

And then I go and compound the glut by giving you duck eggs ;-)

This is such a beautifully written post, my Virgoan friend.

9:08 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

I cook a biggish batch of beans, use half then freeze the cooked beans in small takeaway containers. The small round ones make a good single serve.

And as for the beautiful duck eggs, that extra raising power will be perfect for round two of my fritter experiment.

9:28 am  
Anonymous spiceandmore said...

I am with you on leftovers - I hate them! I usually parcel up food and hand out to guests as they are departing. A win-win as far as both parties are concerned. And I never remember to take anything out of the no point suggesting that either...

2:32 pm  

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