11 October 2013

#National Leftovers Week

Oddly enough and for no apparent reason yesterday was Squid Awareness Day (I have no idea what that entails) and this last week has been National Egg Week, National Potato Week, National Curry Week and National Cake week.  Maybe more for all I know.  I wonder how such things are decided.  If it is, as I suspect, due to someone making it up then I hereby arbitrarily and also for no apparent reason declare ... ta da ...

National Leftovers Week
14th to 21st October 2013
and rightfully every week thereafter!

I say "for no apparent reason" but I think the reason is very apparent ... we are all getting poorer!  If people realise and learn how deliciously and economically they can use up leftovers this will surely be of benefit in at least two ways - save money, nicer eating experiences.

Win a Free Book!

In celebration of this auspicious event I shall be giving away 3 copies of my completely relevant book, "The Leftovers Handbook" to whoever wins this 'ere competition which I am running on Twitter for the duration of National Leftovers Week.  Unlike most cookbooks this isn't full of time consuming recipes and glossy pics.  It is, as it says on the cover, a handbook which it is useful to keep handy in the kitchen.  When you discover a leftover - look it up.  If you can't make a meal out of it you can probably have a Cook's Treat or discover a Handy Hint, such as ...

My Credentials

I fancy myself as a bit of an expert where leftovers are concerned. I have always enjoyed playing with food (even though my Daddy told me not to) and for many years now have played a little game with myself whereby I never plan my lunch!  Just when I am hungry I look at whatever is in the fridge and create something delicious - hence this blog, actually.

In my professional life as a chef I have always born in mind what I would do with an ingredient or dish if it didn't sell the first time round and because of this have come up with a few best sellers; see Seafood Chowder for instance ...

... or Peppered Steak Salad ...

It was when I went to work in the Caribbean, however, that the creative use of leftovers became serious!  There the climate is fabulous, food supplies limited, deliveries unreliable and customers as pernickety as they are anywhere. The use of all food available was very important and when I came back in the UK seeing so much good food being thrown away I decided to tell people what to do with it, so to speak. 

About that time my enormous friend Ian (in both senses - he's 6'6") said to me "If you know so much about leftovers why don't you write a book" - so I did. 

Spread the Word!

So - what can we do to promote our new week and help people use their leftovers?  Well just spread the word!  Even in my personal life, at friends' homes for instance, I see so much good food being thrown away and they know me and my views!  What a waste of money and of good eating opportunities.  It's not just me, of course, trying to help with this situation, I was going to add a list of useful links here but there are so many.  Instead I have started compiling a list called Frugal on Twitter, here which I will be adding to as I discover more so keep looking from time to time.  Here are one or two other ideas

~   Love Food Hate Waste - This is included in my Twitter list mentioned above but is so blooming useful I thought I mentioned in again - all sorts of info here 
~   Jamie Oliver's book "Save with Jamie" - there has been some controversy about this but mainly I am on his side, depending how poor you are, of course; see here.
~   I do a Paper.li publication "Love.li Leftovers" which comes out every Monday and which picks up stories about leftovers from across the web - subscribe here. 

And just share, share, share. It is so easy these days to get information out there so if you find out something useful tweet and post and share to your hearts content! Tweet it to me and I'll spread it around!

PS. ...

I considered the week between Christmas (aka National Stuff Your Face Day - really!) and New Year for National Leftovers Week but decided against it for three reasons ...

1.    In "the current financial climate" I think the sooner the better.
2.    After Christmas everyone will have the same leftovers and I want to deal with the wider potential
3.    It is also National Chocolate Week and I do like to be associated with chocky!
4.    I'm quite excited about it!


I decided to do this little contest through Twitter as I've never done one before and with the help of Blinkd it seems quite simple.  I also have a lot more followers on Twitter than I do on Facebook so I thought it would be easier to get the word out this way.  If you don't Tweet (and I can understand that - it can take up a lot of time) just sign up, follow me, enter the competition and then, if you're not hooked, sign off again after the end of the competition!

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1 comment:

Jenny Eatwell said...

Worked fine for me! :)