Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Oh, no! Not the last one?

Suffolk Love Food Champions met formally for the last time and decided they were going to carry on meeting as they had enjoyed themselves so much, not just socially but also because they had enjoyed the whole concept of the project! They have all “found” some new ways to experiment with and enjoy food, whether it is fresh food or using “left-over” food. I think we have all re-accessed the way in which we plan, shop, store and cook food. I would even go so far as to say it has rejuvenated our ideas and enjoyment of physically preparing and eating food – by making it not just a chore, which has to be done for survival!

Dealing quickly with the form filling and getting down to the real business of the evening by enjoying a splash of “bubbly”, which Becky had brought with her as a thank you to the group, we set to work on a round up of the progress from the last meeting. Starting with the “naughty bin” (waste food caddy) we found that there had been a very great improvement and Clare had managed to pare it down to just 2 tablespoons of baby food waste – how’s that for a result!

We looked at the set tasks and decided that there was no need for leftovers to look dull and uninteresting with a little bit of colour and texture added to liven it all up. This sparked off a comment that “picking your own home grown herbs from the garden” really did make a difference. One member of our group has planted-up a herb and vegetable garden and finds it very exciting and satisfying to collect and use the produce “fresh from the ground!” It turns out that several of the group already find the enjoyment of this and others have decided to give it a try – I hope the garden centres are ready for the onslaught in Bury St. Edmunds!

Whilst all the discussion was going on Hannah had quietly been preparing our supper of Pesto Tart. Very simple and exceedingly delicious! (Recipe at end of blog) This was eagerly followed by the promised “Chocolate Fountain Fun.” We had all brought different things to dip into the chocolate and they included marshmallows, cherries, pineapple pieces and strawberries. Well, how can I fully describe different taste sensations going on around the table? With great difficulty! Suffice to say there were lots of “ummm’s” and ahhhhhh’s and not quite so much chatter!

What a wonderful way to conclude our exploration into the delights of wasting less food and saving oodles of money! We have proved that we can save money, can reduce waste and can enjoy the experience all at the same time. Sharing ideas comes top of the “what have we achieved?” list closely followed by more efficient storage, portion control, better shopping practices and far better use of the freezer, which can save time and waste less in the long run.

A very big thank you to Hannah and her group of friends who helped me fulfil this challenge, which, as I said in the first blog, was a bit daunting, to say the least, and I think in spite of all the doubts, we have all thoroughly enjoyed our learning experience and I can end by saying – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Fran Saltmarsh

Pesto Tart

1 x Frozen Puff Pastry – thawed out
Plum baby tomatoes

Rocket Salad
Parmesan Cheese

Heat oven to 200oC

Roll out pastry, put on baking tray and score a 1cm. edge around the sides, (this will form a well for the filling) spread on the pesto, place the halved tomatoes and mozzarella cheese rings.
Cook for 20 minutes then let it cool for a few minutes, sprinkle on rocket and parmesan cheese.

Serve with more salad and just enjoy! Quick, easy and very tasty.

1 comment:

Gill said...

I do hope this isn't the last blog, as well as the last meeting of the Love Food Champions. The blogs have all made really interesting reading, keeping us in touch with what is going on, and I have enjoyed them all.
Please keep up the good work