Hands up who saves their pickled onion vinegar? Just me then? 😉
When Husband first saw me do it he thought I was a bit bonkers, but with a teaspoon of sugar, some herbs and a steaming pile of new potatoes, two tablespoons of the stuff can make the most delicious hot-potato-salad I’ve ever had the pleasure of nomming. And why buy expensive chilli oil when you can buy preserved chillis in oil and get two ingredients for the price of one? I know that we use the oil from Aldi’s stuffed peppers to make Lesley’s tomato scones and it gives them that teeny bit of extra flavour and richness.
When I asked for other tips on the facebook group, these are some of the things that people came up with.
Pat saves the fat from cooking meat, either to use herself or to use making bird-seed balls. She says that mushrooms fried in bacon fat are delicious (though I’m really not a mushroom lover, so can’t attest to that 😉 )
Debz uses leftover crackers which have gone soft, ground up/blended as a gratin top to things like fish pie
Fruit on the turn can become a cake – banana bread, banana pancakes, lemon drizzle etc. – or be blended for a smoothie or ice lolly (when frozen in a mould).
Pam and Emma use broccoli very differently, but whether you eat the stalk or the florettes, this veg makes excellent soup with a little bit of stilton or other strong cheese (or a little splash of milk and some mustard powder) stirred through once blended.
Angela uses leftover salsa – or any other tomato based dip – in tomato dishes, whilst she uses hummus – or other cream based dip – in cheese sauce.
Cathy uses water from boiled veg to make up her gravy, but it’s equally good as a base for chicken stocks…
…which brings me neatly onto one of my favourite tips, which is to boil the bones of a chicken carcass for stock.
Sally makes a chorizo and tomato pasta dish. She chops and fries chorizo pieces first, then drains off the fat (which is bright orange!). It stores well in the fridge and can be used to cook chicken breasts another day -adding a bit more flavour.
Then of course, there’s the group’s old favourite – veg peel soup. You basically save all your vegetable peelings in a freezer bag, then boil them up with stock and your choice of spices.
What are your favourite uses of things which might normally be considered rubbish?
— Farn ❤