Towards the end of the year and the beginning of the next, I get rather lost in thought about events that have happened, that I want to happen or that I really truly want to forget about. 2012 was a pretty busy year for me. I achieved many personal and career successes and learned a huge amount from a lot of new people.
So I started to think about what I wanted to take from 2012 into 2013. What I wanted to keep doing. What I wanted to preserve. I started with the dictionary definitions for some perspective….
“…to keep safe from destruction”
In the food related sense I started thinking about waste. This infographic says it all really.
So what can we all do? There are some great ideas on Love Food Hate Waste and the one I need to make more of an effort with is portion sizes. I always overcook which equates to overeating so as not to waste anything or bags of food in the freezer that come out on Leftover Mezze Days (ie when our freezer needs a defrost). Wouldn’t it be much simpler to make less or portion properly in the first place?
“…to keep or save from decomposition.”
I eat and buy with my eyes. The fruit and veg stall at our weekly market is one of the highlights of shopping for me and I can never resist a bargain. I don’t need ten lemons but I can’t resist the cries of ’10 lemons for £1’! I convince myself they will get eaten and mostly they do but the odd one does go in the bin because it’s gone mouldy and the guilt surfaces and festers.
There are of course two simple solutions to this. Firstly buy less and secondly be creative in preserving. I’m pretty good at conjuring food from things in the fridge or store cupboard ingredients. I don’t need to make lists or plan meals. My problem is using all luscious vegetables and fruity jewels before they start decomposing.
So I’ve bought a load of Kilner jars in the January sales and placed Diana Henry’s Salt, Sugar, Smoke in a prominent place in my kitchen (vs on my bookshelf) to remind me I have a few more options to enjoy the food in a completely different way.
“..to keep up and reserve for personal or special use”
This is the final definition I came across and one that resonates with me the most. Working in the world of financial services, I am sadly ‘guided’ on what to write by the various regulators and legal boundaries that exist to protect the British public. It limits creativity and is at times intensely frustrating. I also can’t always convey the passion I feel as some adjectives or sentence constructions counter the ‘clear, fair and misleading’ mantra.
I therefore started writing about food to find my ‘own voice’. It’s been a wondrous journey thus far and one I want to continue travelling on. I have treated myself to a copy of Dianne Jacob’s Will Write for Food to develop, improve and grow my food writing. After all, it’s my guilty pleasure to keep in reserve when I feel the need for a little self preservation.
What are your self preservation musts? How do you prevent wasted food? Do you have any preserving tips to share?