Just about everyone that cooks at Christmas faces the dilemma of left over food. Too often this is wrapped up with all good intention then discarded a week later when that funny smell starts in the fridge!! Heres a few tip I have to help with this.
Plan Plan plan, Don’t head out and start filling trolleys! Be sure to write a list and STICK to it! Its too easy with the excitement of Christmas to just grab things!
Also think of way to cut down, maybe split a ham with a neighbour or friend or make a different salad each and split them.
Ask people what they do and don’t eat, this may help cut down cooking by not making some of everything for everyone.This is most important with expensive perishables like seafood. Think of dishes that can be prepared in advance and reheat well.
This is almost the most important! Make sure you have sufficient containers and fridge space. Also make sure at the completeion of your meal food doesnt sit out for to long. Getting that food back into the fridge can make a huge differnece in the shelf life of it.
Air tight containers of vacuum sealed bags are the best.Be sure to label everything!!
*Hints and tips for using the left overs
Ham Slices on sandwichs (bit obvious I know!), use instead of bacon in omlette, and my favorite is Pea and Ham soup out of the bone!
Roast meats Its great to dice these up and freeze to use in wet dishes such as curries or stews.
Vegetables Again great to freeze for those wet dishes, or make stock out of.
Seafood This is a tough one as seafood is best fresh. One thing I do with my left over prawn and shellfish scraps is make a bisque and freeze to use in dishes at a later date.
Merry Christmas everyone <*)))))>< Jay
Special deals and seasonal produce
A smart shopper will also be aware of tempting two-for-one deals, buying in bulk and the benefits of buying produce that is in season.
There are always plenty of tempting specials and deals at the supermarket – ‘two-for-one’ and ‘buy-two-get-one-free’ deals. Sometimes these deals can be great value, provided they are what you are looking for and you know you will be able to use them in time!
You can take advantage of specials by making double and storing half in the freezer.
Think carefully before buying ‘specials’ and ‘deals’ and be confident you really will be making a saving, not creating more food waste that will end up in the bin.
Buying in bulk
By buying in bulk, when it is available and practical, you will reduce your consumption of packaging, and save you time and money.
Buying in bulk is a great option if you know you use a lot of one type of product. Bulk buying means you will need enough space in your fridge, freezer or cupboard to store the items in the right condition, so you can consume them before their use-by date.
Purchase fruit and vegetables that are in season
Buying seasonally also means fruit and vegetables are naturally more delicious and often cheaper due to their abundance – it is a win-win for you, the grower and the environment!
Here are the fruit and vegetables you should look out for each season:
Summer (December – February)
apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, figs, grapes, limes, lychees, mangoes, melons, nectarines, oranges, passionfruit, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums.
asparagus, avocados, beans, capsicum, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, radish, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, zucchini.
Autumn (March – May)
apple, banana, custard apple, fig, grape, guava, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, orange, passionfruit, pear, plum, pomegranate, rhubarb and quince.
Asian green, avocado, beans, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, capsicum, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, leek, lettuce, mushroom, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, spinach, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato, turnip and zucchini.
Winter (June – August)
apple, custard apple, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passionfruit, pear, quince and rhubarb.
avocado, beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, fennel, leek, olive, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, silverbeet, spinach, swede, sweet potato and turnip.
Spring (September – November)
apple, banana, berries, cherry, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, mango, melon, orange, papaya, passionfruit, paw paw, pineapple, pomelo.
artichokes, Asian greens, asparagus, beans, beetroot, broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, chillies, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, mushroom, onion, pea, potatoes, silverbeet, spinach, sweet corn, tomato and zucchini.
This is by no means an extensive list but it provides a good guide to get you started with your seasonal food purchases. Some parts of NSW will have different seasonal availabilities. Ask your local greengrocer if you would like to know what is in season in your area.