Please sir, can I have some more?

photo

Our massive Copas turkey

Start with a 6.7kg turkey, add a hungry family and what do you get?

  • Christmas dinner for eight people
  • Baked potatoes with coronation turkey for four people
  • Turkey bhuna curry with rice for four people
  • Turkey and vegetable pie for six people
  • Vegetable soup which lasted for a week
  • Plus…lots of sandwiches and one very happy dog

One of the big discussions of 2013 has been the highlighted issue of food waste across the  UK. According to the BBC an average family throws away “six meals a week”, which  amounts to approximately £60 worth of food in a month. The big study of the year, by Waste and Resources Action Programme (Wrap), found that food waste had been reduced by 21% in the past five years, but I still find it astonishing that so much goes to waste.

Having discussed it with several people in the food industry, I’ve come to the conclusion that the major problem in the UK currently is that people do not know how to buy food and cook from scratch.

I have been lucky enough to have been taught how to cook from a young age, with cooking and food being at the heart of our family as a whole. Whether it was helping granny peel potatoes or ‘stirring’ the sauce, many of my memories from childhood centre around the kitchen. I therefore developed a good understanding of how to manage my money and eat properly early on. This is probably why I managed to live off £15 a week at university and ate lentil soup, bolognese, kedgeree and risotto, while my peers dined out on Super Noodles. Don’t get me wrong, at uni I was hardly a saint (and was no stranger to a Dominoes feast) but I never wasted food and always went to the supermarket with a list, so I didn’t buy unnecessary things that would eventually end up in the bin.

Nowadays I am far more adventurous with my cooking, but the same rules apply. I never go to the supermarket without a list and I have become quite an expert at using up the soggy veg at the back of the fridge.

So, this Christmas, the endless turkey meals got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if people knew how to cook one thing that could be used an adapted to feed them and their family for a week? My inspiration comes from Allegra McEvedy’s ‘Economy Gastronomy’ (given to me by my granny in first year), which shows you how to cook a roast chicken/leg of lamb etc and then the various recipes that can follow suit using the leftovers.

I think that this year everyone should pledge to eat well and economically, and teach others how to too! I’m definitely going to try and do it, and hopefully will end up with some delicious and interesting meals as a result.

imageLeftover turkey pie

 

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