Hal: What’s for dinner?
Lois: Leftover parfait.
Malcolm: It’s even worse than it sounds. Once a week Mom cleans out the fridge. Anything that doesn’t actually have something growing on it gets thrown into a casserole and served for dinner…
Malcolm: (while looking at parfait) Sunday, Saturday, Friday … It finally happened. The fifth level of this week’s leftover parfait is last week’s leftover parfait.
I have not reached this extreme of thrift, but I am all for re-jigging leftovers and creating yummy meals from seemingly random ingredients. I totally concur with this quote from Jane Kennedy’s most recent cookbook, One Dish. Two Ways: “This is not a restaurant. It doesn’t matter if the dishes look a bit nuts. But remember … you’re not a contestant on MasterChef. You do not need to ‘plate up’. Relax. There are no cameras in your kitchen.”
My anti-food-waste home front campaign continues this week (see here and here for previous posts relating to this), with the additional motivation of a looming total kitchen renovation, commencing this Thursday. Our fridge needs to be moved, our pantry needs to be emptied and its contents stored elsewhere in the house.
On Saturday, I struck gold in my spice bowl when I found a pinch of saffron left in its little box. I LOVE saffron, but it is very expensive and NOT to be wasted! OK, so, where to from there? A third of a packet of arborio rice … butter … parmesan … frozen homemade chicken stock … Risotto alla Milanese. It is a gentle, comforting form of risotto, rendered just that lite bit special by the unique, evocative aroma saffron imparts.
And – huzzah – there were two servings left over!
Cut to dinner last night: the final portion of The Husband’s last batch of ragu was thawed and enriched with the addition of a few pieces of the beef tallow I kept and froze after making bone broth recently (I am stirring a cup of this through another cup of celeriac, fennel and orange soup, also from the freezer for lunch today … supercharged nourishment!)
And now, for dessert: my father-in-law is a very generous man. After visiting some local markets recently, he presented me with a small bucket of honey. I like honey. I just don’t use it all that much. Contemplating my honey glut on the weekend, I suddenly remembered a scrumptious recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Forever Summer series – Honey Semifreddo. It is the easiest thing in the world, you don’t need an icecream maker, just a saucepan, bowl, whisk and loaf tin. The ingredients? Cream, eggs and, amazingly enough, honey. Make it. You won’t be sorry.
Finally, on a more sombre, but somewhat bewildering, note, I read this article just today – Thousands Can’t Afford Food – how can this be in this country? Food for thought …