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Making a meal of it - book review

Do sometimes find yourself with a glut of something that you need to use up?  Or with a little bit of left-over something?  I was sent a book to review by Wakefield Press called "Making a Meal of it", by Jane Willcox and Rosemary Cadden, and they really have thought of a lot of ways to make meals that prevent food waste.  Its not just about veges either, they also include meat, cheese and eggs.

This is relevant to the permaculture principle I reviewed earlier in the month, produce no waste.  Food waste is a massive problem.  Not only is the food wasted, but also all the energy used to produce and transport the food.  One of the main ways we can reduce this waste is to eat locally and seasonally (more here).

This book is full of useful information, here is just a selection of the things I learnt or used from the book so far:
  • some varieties of apples keep better than others (buy/grow the good keepers such as Granny Smith)
  • avocado, eggs and lemon slices can each be frozen for longer term storage!
  • tips for making breadcrumbs from bread scraps (great for using up failed bread experiments)
  • lots of information about storing and using all types of cheese
  • how to use up both egg whites and egg yolks, lemon peel and bread crusts
  • which onions are in season when, what each variety of orange is good for and all those potato varieties
  • how to ripen tomatoes more quickly
I do think they are going to have to write a second volume, because there was no section on eggplant, which I needed to use up over summer or chillis (which we have lots of at the moment) but they do cover most common foods in this book, with as much information on choosing the right variety and storing it correctly, as there are great recipes for using up what's left over in the fridge.  I also noticed that they didn't include two of my favourite methods of storage, dehydration and fermentation, but that would fill another book again!  The tips for freezing things are very useful as I always wonder what I need to blanch first.

By coincidence, it was also World Environment Day on June 5th, with the theme being Think.Eat.Save. to prevent food waste.  See some more ideas here.

Now its your turn.... do you have a great tip for avoiding food waste? using up a glut? or the last leftover of something?
The Self Sufficient HomeAcreFrom The Farm Blog Hop monday's homestead barn hop

This post was shared on Unprocessed Fridays on Girl Meets Nourishment


  1. My tip would be to eat what you grow/have, not what you want. We usually have a fridge full of fruit and veg but husband likes toast so will buy bread instead of eating the Mandarins before they go bad. He planted the Mand tree because he prefers them over Oranges. But not over toast. lol.


  2. I recently read a tip that lemons could be frozen and then grated whole into cakes or salads etc. I freeze my ginger and turmeric and grate direct from the freezer - no need to peel. Also I got a huge pumpkin gifted to me the other day and I just sliced it and roasted it - two large trays. I them removed it from the skin (easy once cooked) and froze it in 1 cup ziploc bags.

  3. There's not much wasted here but if there's something it goes to the chickens or wormery. We don't have a huge growing space (just a back garden and allotment) so I'm not usually faced with a huge glut of any one veg - though I do bottle some of it as it trickles in.

    One of my tricks for getting the most out of the garden inexpensively is stocking up on bulk Couscous, pasta, Quinoa, and other grains and then using them as a base for whatever fresh veggies are in season.

  4. I have to say that I really can't understand how people can have so much food waste. Why buy things you know you won't have time/desire to eat. It's so easy not to have waste. Buy only what you need. Plan your meals. Buy 2 oranges instead of 5 pounds of them. I have a garden and all the vegetables we don't use I cook (jams,salsa,pickling) or freeze it. The cooking waste (potato and carrot peel ..) and leftover food we cook to our chickens or dispose it in compost and we dry leftover bread and feed birds with it.

  5. Seeing your avoiding food waste post linked up at the Creative HomeAcre Hop was great, as it is a subject close to my heart. My tip is that you can freeze a lot more veg etc than most of us think - I buy cheap mushrooms in bulk and slice then freeze them, for example. Thanks for joining us and we hope you'll come and party creatively again on Sunday at
    If you would like to write a guest post for Mumtopia, please let me know - I'm sure my readers would benefit from what you have to say.

  6. Thanks for sharing your tips, it seems there's always something we can learn from each other! Let's hope this helps to reduce food waste even further...


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