As the supermarket shelves empty due to panic stockpiling, now is not a bad time to think about how you buy, use and dispose of food. In the current circumstances, buying what you don't need/more than you need may be depriving someone else who does actually need it. My mother, for example, could not find bread nor eggs, forcing her to repeatedly venture to the supermarkets in search of them, putting herself at risk (she is elderly and has a heart condition, so is in the top 1% of people at risk of dying from COVID-19).
The people who can help her with her shopping either do not have the transport to do so or, by the time they finish work and can go to the shops, the shelves are empty. Online delivery is not an option as all the slots here have been booked into next month by people stockpiling. She is not the worst off. She is still mobile. Some people are not. Some people have even more serious conditions that put them at even more risk. Many supermarkets here in the UK have started rationing certain products and/or introducing shopping slots for the elderly and disabled, but still the shelves are empty of certain necessities.
Please people, stop stockpiling and have a thought for others!
In addition, did you know that around one third of the food produced around the world goes to waste? Did you know that this waste accounts for something like 8-10% of the world's greenhouse gases, so is seriously damaging our environment and our future?
Apart from buying less, I have a few suggestions:
- Keep an eye on what you have in your fridge and kitchen and try to use it before it goes off. There are eco friendly devices that can help keep vegetables etc. fresher for longer and there are Apps that help you to plan recipes around what you already have.
- For those of you in areas where supermarkets, local convenience stores, restaurants, cafes, bakeries etc. etc. are still operating, there may be Apps that allow you to buy unsold food that is still fresh, but would otherwise be thrown away, at discounted prices. You save money, you help to save the environment, and you might just be helping to save businesses that are really struggling to survive right now. It is better for them to get something, rather than nothing, for unsold food. Apps in the UK (might be available elsewhere, I'm not sure), include Karma and Too Good to Go.
- Go through your freezer and larder. Is there stuff lurking in there that you could use for your next meal? Get creative with recipes so you don't automatically have to go and buy more food. Think about what you could donate to a food bank or similar charity. There are also Apps where you can give unwanted food to your neighbours.
- Talking of the freezer, it's very easy to freeze bread, fruit and all sorts of things before they go off so they can be consumed later. Do be mindful though of food safety and don't refreeze stuff that it's not safe to do.
- If you have time on your hands, which many of us do, or are looking for ways to keep young ones occupied, think about using some of your foodstuffs to make jams, chutneys etc. Over ripe bananas are perfect for making banana cake/bread and I recently made up a few jars of chutney from courgettes and tomatoes I knew I wouldn't get through. If you put them in nice jars and label them, these can make great homemade gifts.
- Is bread scarce at your supermarket? Think about baking your own, especially if you have that "unwanted gift" of a breadmaker sitting around. I bet if you baked it yourself, you would be more reluctant to throw it away!
- Inevitably, you will have some scraps to throw away, such as peelings, egg shells, used tea bags and coffee grounds. If your local council has a food waste collection scheme, please use it. If you have a garden, try composting (could save you money too, as well as reducing the environmentally damaging peat based compost you might be buying).
I am slowing working through my cupboards and freezer. I am actually astounded by how often I think, "I have nothing to eat.. better pop to the shops," when actually I have lots of food. Previous guests leave so much behind. Don't throw it away! Think of how you might use it, or give it to someone who will.
@Helen427oh bless. I bet you miss her. I am dreading the day when I lose one of my kitties. They are all nearing eight/nine years old, so I guess are middle aged. I really hope they live well into their teens. A friend's cat lived to 22!
I will try out your recipe for homemade cat food sometime. Did you use beef, lamb or pork mince, or does it not matter? I know my cats would eat mince of any description, but I wonder how they would react to the other ingredients (I have also heard garlic prevents worms - didn't know about the fleas). Greedy Grigio has been known to steal avocado and asparagus, but they have never eaten veggies otherwise, unless it was in commercial cat food.
Sauteed in butter? Lyra is one gourmand of a cat! My niece's cat was seriously skinny and neglected when her parents got it from the shelter. She is much better now, but doesn't eat loads and is super fussy. They have tried all sorts of super fancy, crazily expensive cat food, but every few months, she decides to reject it and they try something new. I then get half a box of the stuff, which is a real treat for my kitties.
They are all so greedy and will just about any cat food they are given, although I try to buy them decent quality stuff. Unfortunately, Pinot is a little dumpling and has been overweight for a while. There is a couple a few doors down who seem to think she is their cat. I don't know what they feed her, but I fear it is their leftovers and I don't think that can be good for her health. I have tried and tried to reason with them, but it does no good. My ex-housemate lost her temper and shouted at them. That didn't work either...
One of our kids had a rotund kitty named Zoe who was the neighborhood mooch, my daughter in law put a tag on her collar stating "No extra feeding please, vet's orders" It seemed to help a little.
Alice cat, who was given to our youngest as a kitten without parental knowledge, is a round little plum of a cat. She prefers not to use the cat door but can ooze thru when she must (when the vacuum come out) She & Lyrah have a complex relationship but even tho she's technically Lucy's cat it is recognized that the girls have a bond and she stayed behind when Lucy moved out.
Alice has a collar with a bell, she started wearing it years ago after "The hummingbird incident"". The bird survived, but Alice was given a bell, a stern talking to and the threat that any repeat infraction would lead to even more bells.
Last summer, in despair over the pocket gopher invasion, I took the collar off of her, hoping she might decide to take up rodent hunting. Alice gave me a flat eared glare and put her paw on the collar and pulled it up to her chest. Chastened, I put it back on her. She has a tiny little meow and likes to use the bell for emphasis. Lyrah has a huge vocab of trills, mews and m'rowrs . She can say a clear "mom" which disconcerts those who already think cats are suspect creatures. There was a cat named Dusty in the Guinness book of records who lived to be 30 something so we can all hope, right?
I spent a good few minutes watching hilarious cat videos yesterday after our feckless leader's press conference, there's apparently a huge market for that kind of stuff, especially now, maybe you could market your foodini's antics? I'd sit thru the first part of a random ad to see him open that tin, for sure & I'll bet I'm not alone!
Unfortunately, I rarely catch 'foodini' in the middle of his antics. I would need to place a surveillance camera in the kitchen. I did buy one for the front garden, which I never got round to installing (someone was stealing my plants), so I might actually try that now that I have no guests around.
I did actually manage to observe him once opening Tupperware, so I learnt his method for that. He jumps on the counter and knocks the Tupperware really hard onto the floor. If that doesn't pop the lid off, he will repeatedly bounce it off the kickboards until it opens. He is one determined kitty.
No surprise about the cat videso. They are popular at the best of times, but right now I bet people are lapping them up. My favourite is the one with cats saying 'hello'. Have you seen the 'Cats the Mewvie' documentary by the way? I think it is on Netflix.
Okay, now I'm feeling obligated to figure out how to master my phones video function so to capture Lyrah saying "Mooam?" She really freaked out our friend Jose who is slightly cat-phobic anyway- he thinks their pupils are sinister & he almost spilled his coffee when she started yelling for her "share" of coffee cream - "Mom? MOM? MOM?
I host mostly long-term guests, but even when I hosted short-term ones, guests often leave food behind. One thing I have noticed that many, many people leave behind is jars of pre-prepared pesto sauce. They use a spoonful or two and then forget about the rest. Because I don't tamper with guests' food while they are here, only deal with the stuff they leave behind, the pesto sauce is normally mouldy by the time I discover it!
I am sure many of us do exactly the same thing with those jars of pesto sauce. So, consider making your own, because it is super easy, especially if, like me you (attempt) to grow your own fresh basil. Here is an easy pesto recipe, but I am sure there are many others if you search online:
I wanted to share this recipe, which I tried out last night. I'm not even a big fan of fish, but this was super easy and really delicious! I would ignore the bit about 1 min prep. It's impossible to prep in one minute, but it is fairly fast.
If you happen to have some white fish (I used Basa, but Cod or similar will do) in the fridge or freezer, a lot of the other ingredients are standard things you maybe already have at home. I only had to buy fresh coriander (cilantro), but perhaps you are lucky to be growing this already. I would also add a side of greens/veggies next time.
So this is the recipe I tried tonight: Venison sausage & bean casserole: http://www.adashofginger.co.uk/2018/02/venison-sausage-bean-casserole.html
Because I randomly found venison sausages at £2 a pack in my local supermarket (Lidl) and had most of the other ingredients at home, but I reckon you could easily try this with other sausages that you might have in the fridge or freezer.
This was way quicker and easier than similar recipes I found online and didn't include any unusual ingredients such as juniper berries and fresh redcurrants! I did not have beef stock, so used chicken. I didn't have any carrots, but added chestnut mushrooms. I used fresh rosemary and bay from the garden. You might find it a bit wine heavy, so reduce the amount of red wine if you are not into that.
The other thing I didn't have was a can of haricot beans, but those are the same as baked beans, so I used a can of those instead (400g). This did add a bit of bulk to the recipe and that, together with sides of sweet potato and potato mash and cabbage (savoy and cavolo nero with caramelised onions and smoked pancetta), which I already had in the freezer, padded this two person recipe out into a family sized meal.
This is a very satisfying, comforting dinner if the nights are still chilly in your neck of the woods and doesn't take too much time or expertise. Maybe not one for vegans/vegetarians, but maybe try swapping in vegetarian sausages and vegetable stock as it doesn't contain any dairy/eggs.
Good morning @Huma0 I hope your mum is doing well in these challenging times.
I bet she cheered on the 83 year young lady & others around those ages who are speaking up and saying what they think about how to go about their lives...
I've read some brilliant Twitter comments from across the way, and language I wouldn't expect to see from those with close ties to people in high ranks, makes me wonder what some of the later are saying!