This month is usually one of the worst, most depressing, I find. The days are short, long dark nights and its generally cold and damp. Christmas is over, money is short and – oh yeah – there’s a pandemic still rumbling around.
Our Community Pantries have been busy this month – and that makes my heart glad. I am so glad that we can supply affordable food in big bags to people who, like me, are feeling the pinch a bit right now. I am doubly glad that, because this food is all surplus, food that for one reason or another the supermarkets and wholesalers can’t use, we are saving it from landfill and helping the environment into the bargain. Double whammy! Affordable food. Helping the planet.
Sometimes people look into their bag and ask me ‘so what’s this?’ They might hold up an ugly lump of celeriac or a shiny purple aubergine. Chick peas too – a lot of people don’t use them on a regular basis. I guess most of the stuff in the bags is familiar – the ham, tuna, hot pot, bread, cereal etc. So what do you do with the stuff you’re not sure about?
I think there are 2 options:
If you were paying full price for the aubergine, and weren’t sure if you would like it, I can understand you would spend your hard earned cash on something familiar that you like. Common sense.
But, if it is just a small fraction of your £5 worth – why not give it a go? Have a quick gander on the internet for ‘recipes with aubergine,’ and go for it. Or fry it off both sides then gently simmer in some chopped tinned tomatoes with a few dried herbs. Sprinkle some cheese on top and you have a veggie feast. Crusty bread. Happy days!
Give it to someone else!
Your neighbour might love aubergine, or your sister or your friend. Or your Mum’s next door neighbour’s father’s cousin’s aunty. Someone will want it! (One of our regular clients has a shed-load of food allergies but gives away what she can’t eat every week. She manages to find a home somewhere for everything in her bag!!)
So – in these long, dark, cold days – try something new. Try the challenge of cooking and eating something you have never tried before. Go on – I dare you!
Purple Bag Lady xx