I’m by no means a food crank – not nearly enough time on my hands for that! But I do have these occasional frugal epiphany moments of self loathing where I look at the contents of my fridge and cupboards with horror. All that packaging! Our recycling bin is usually much fuller than our waste bin, with the vast amounts of cartons, jars, bottles and cans that we go through. And I’ve heard from a reliable source that much of the plastic food containers (in Ireland anyway) aren’t even recycled!
Of course it’s pretty much impossible to avoid buying any packaged food whatsoever, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to reduce the amount of packaging we go through as a household.
I hereby pledge to (as far as possible):
1. Only buy fruit and veg that is sold loose
2. Not to buy meat or fish if it is in a plastic carton
3. To avoid plastic packaging and go for tins, jars and paper cartons instead (more readily recycled)
4. To minimise buying sauces or food than can just as easily be made from scratch.
On this last point, one of the easiest things but most rewarding things you can ever make is stock. Delicious, frugal AND it’s apparently wonderously healthy. Full of good stuff like amino acids and trace minerals that you could spend a fortune on as health supplements. It’s not known as “Jewish penicillin” for nothing!
I’m feeling incredibly smug after making some this evening (pictured below) from the Sunday-roast chicken carcass and a carrot. It took literally 2 minutes to prepare. It isn’t very pretty but just wait ’til it gets into a risotto or soup. Yum.
Tip: once the stock has cooled you can store it in an old milk carton. You can freeze it for later or it should be fine in the fridge for a good 5 days.