Are you throwing money away? The average household in the UK throws away £700 per year of food waste – things that have gone bad before they can be eaten or that are out of date. In the US the figure is even higher, estimated at around $2,000 (roughly £1,290) per year. Often this is a result of over purchasing and in many cases, a lack of knowledge about food storage and what to do with leftovers.
The evening began with an interesting presentation. I was shocked to learn that disposing of food waste that is not placed in recycling bins costs the Royal Borough over one million pounds each year! If you multiply that by the number of local authorities in the UK, the amount of tax money spent is staggering. With the help of greenredeem, who offer points which can be redeemed for discounts on products and services or donated to charity in exchange for recycling, Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council are hoping to encourage even more people to Love Their Leftovers. They also want to encourage everyone to recycle any unavoidable food waste like rinds and peelings.
The guest speaker was Martha Collison, who many folks know as a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. Martha offered lots of ideas for how to preserve and use up leftovers. I enjoyed Martha’s talk as teaching How to Love Your Leftovers is a passion of mine!
We were then split up into groups for the Love Your Leftovers Challenge. Each group was given a tray of leftovers and asked to make something delicious within a limited time period. We also had access to a table of items many people would have in their store cupboard or pantry, like sugar, chocolate, liqueurs, citrus fruit, sauces and spices.
My group was given four slices of leftover Madeira cake and a pot of crème fraîche, along with some blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. We decided to make a free-form trifle.
After slicing the Madeira cake into smaller slices, we arranged half of it on a serving plate. We scattered a few raspberries and blueberries over top and drizzled everything with a bit of Cointreau orange liqueur. The crême fraîche was mixed with two generous tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of orange zest and one tablespoon of Cointreau. We then covered the first cake layer with one third of the crême fraîche mixture. The remaining cake slices were arranged over top of this along with some more raspberries and blueberries. After we had drizzled a bit more Cointreau over the top, we then spread the remaining crême fraîche mixture over the whole trifle, covering the sides as much as possible. We thinly sliced the strawberries and arranged them round the edge of the freeform trifle and then scattered shaved orange rind and chocolate over the top. We also drizzled some raspberry coulis (from a jar) around the edges.
What looked like a few bits and pieces turned into a dessert which could easily serve four people! When the time was up, all the groups presented their creations for judging. The other two entries included some delicious chicken wraps as well as smoked salmon tea sandwiches and canapes.
Our hard work was rewarded with a scrumptious four course dinner made with seasonal Berkshire produce. From the vegetables to the lamb and even the cheese and wine, everything was sourced locally.
And of course, at the end of the meal, we were encouraged to package up the leftovers and take them home. Check out the greenredeem website and my How to Love Your Leftovers post for more ideas on how to recycle food waste, help the environment and love your leftovers!
My husband and I were treated to a delicious dinner at the Windsor and Maidenhead Council and greenredeem event at Stubbings Nursery in Maidenhead. This has not affected my coverage of the event or my opinions. I am passionate about encouraging people to enjoy great food while being conscious of the environment and this event was the perfect vehicle to help me to share that. Many of the photos in this post were kindly provided by The Love Your Leftovers Challenge event.