Making your food go the extra mile

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Kerry MacKay from the GRAB Trust dishes out some good advice on how to make the most of your food waste during the coronavirus for the second of our weekly recipe features.

You heard the news, we are in lockdown. Being a good citizen you plan to follow the rules and will save lives in doing so.

You stocked up on food to help see you through and felt a sense of reassurance that whatever happens, you can eat. You planned to cook and freeze a load of meals to make things last.

But then reality set in, the kids need constant entertaining, you still have to put in the hours for work, there’s more housework than ever, and not to mention the constant lure of social media to get your fix of socialisation and a good dose of procrastination.

You suddenly realise the days have flown by and a big chunk of that beautiful stockpile of food is alarmingly near their use-by dates. How can you possibly eat it all in time?

Let’s start here. Check the dates on the labels. Make sure you check the right
date; ‘Best before’ is just a guide, the produce will be tastiest before the date shown but is still perfectly edible after it. ‘Use by’ is the one to watch, once passed this date the product may not be safe to eat.

Dig out the food that needs used in the next couple of days and lay it on the table. If things can be frozen, now’s the time. Freezing them will give you much longer to get round to using it.

So what’s left on the table? Maybe a bag of salad that’s gone a little slimy in the corner, some stale bread, a few sprouting potatoes… What on earth can you make out of that?

My favourite way to use up stale bread is good old eggy bread.

Leftover mashed potatoes? Make some quick and easy potato scones.

Cooking in bulk is a great effort saver too. Soups and stews are ideal for bulk cooking then freeze in convenient portions for when you don’t feel like cooking.

So there you have it, single out the produce that really needs used, freeze what you can, find a few recipes that tickle your taste buds, cook in bulk, and freeze for later.

Get the children to help, too, cooking is a valuable life skill in surprisingly short supply. The perfect way to combine home schooling with housework. Stay safe and have fun cooking!

Eggy bread

2 medium eggs

1 tablespoon milk

2 slices of white or brown bread

1 tablespoon butter

Lightly beat the egg in a shallow bowl along with the milk. Season with salt and black pepper.

Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure it has soaked up all of the liquid. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add the butter. Swirl the butter around the pan and when it’s beginning to foam, add the bread and fry on each side for 1 minute or until golden brown.

Transfer to a plate and serve with crispy bacon or fruit.