Archive for the "food" category

How can I “reuse” fresh eggs that we can’t eat?

(Hi! Sorry to regular readers for the stupidly long break in posting – I’ve been reading all the comments as usual as they come in, just not posting any new content myself due to a combination of busy-ness, illness and laziness. I’m hoping to get back to regular scheduled blogging again now though!)

This question is a bit like the one I posted six years ago (!!) about ways to use up no longer fresh eggs but this one is a little different. We’ve got our own chickens now so always have super-fresh eggs – but sometimes, like this last weekend, I have to give them medication or treat their coup with things that mean we shouldn’t eat their eggs for a few days.

The eggs look perfectly fine but there is a risk of contamination so we can’t eat them. I can’t bring myself to just throw them in the compost though – or even throw them at my boyfriend when he’s not paying attention… ;)

I know egg yolks can be used as a hair conditioner or for a face mask – does anyone have any favourite recipes/techniques?

I’ve also heard some people using them as a fertiliser boost for plants – do any plants particularly benefit from an eggy treat (especially at this time of year), or is there any that definitely shouldn’t have it?

Any other suggestions?

And finally, less on topic but critically important, did you all have a good summer? (Or good winter, if you’re on the southern side of things?)


How can I reuse or recycle leftover chips?

Mari has emailed asking about leftover chips – as in English chips eaten hot, thick fries not potato chips/crisps – saying her family nearly always have “eyes bigger than their bellies” when they order fish’n'chips and end up with some leftovers:

Good thick chips not just tiny hard scraps. It’s such a waste. Can anything be done with them?

Obviously the first thing here is to reduce the amount she & her family buy in the first place – but I realise chip portions are a variable thing. I read about a study recently that found that portion sizes could vary from between 250g (half a pound) to 1kg (2.2lbs!) depending on the shop and server. I think most families would have leftovers even if they bought just one bag of the latter!

Whenever my father (not) in law has leftover chips, he wraps them back up in their paper again and freezes them for a snack at a later time. I’m not sure how he defrosts/reheats them (and admittedly, he’s not got particularly high standards when it comes to cooking) but it might be worth experimenting with if you have them leftover regularly.

At the end of the day though, they’re just leftover fried potato – and can be reused like any other leftover potato. Mash up the softer ones – they could be used in fish cakes or a hash/bubble & squeak. The little hard ones could be chopped up and used as a crispy coating/topping.

Here, they’d go in our “misc stuff for the chickens” pile.

What would you do with leftover chips?


How can I reuse Sunday roast/Christmas dinner leftovers?

Most food scraps are great for a compost heap – they tend to rot down quickly and can help keep a brown-heavy compost heap balanced, particularly in the winter when there is less fresh green matter around the garden.

But care should be taken with cooked veg and the like – if it’s been cooked with meat, fish or dairy, or soaked in a rich meaty gravy etc, the smell of that may attract undesirable vermin to the pile. Some people (particularly people with sealed bins or wormeries) are happy to chance it but other people are more cautious.

Anyway, we all know it’s much better to use them up in some other way first rather than just slinging them into the compost.

Sunday roast leftovers were always the basis of Monday night dinner in my house when I was growing up. The meat would be the star of another meal – chicken curry sticks in my mind most clearly but there were other things too – and I remember my mum used any leftover veg to make bubble and squeak.

What do you make with your Sunday roast/Christmas dinner leftovers?

We’re not really roast eaters now and steamed/boiled veg is an area in which we’re actually pretty good at only cooking what we need – but any leftovers we do have usually go down to the chickens as treats. I’ve heard you can also use them in homemade dog food.

Do you do anything else with your leftovers?


How can I reuse coffee that’s sat on the plate for too long?

We’ve had an email from Iris:

We make a big jug of filter coffee each morning at the weekend but I regularly have to pour away the last cup or two away because it’s gone bitter. Is there anything I can do to revive it or use it up some other way?

Of course, there is an obvious “reduce” angle here: just don’t make so much. If that’s not an option for some reason or if you still end up with dregs, as a minimum, the coffee (along with the grounds and the filter, if it’s paper/cotton) should be going on the compost heap rather than down the drain – but that’s a last resort. Some plants that like acidic soils might also like to down your last cup of joe once a week too (although watered down if it’s got a bit strong on the hot plate, and it’s had too much if the leaves start to yellow or go brown after a few weeks).

I don’t drink coffee but do use it in cakes/desserts from time to time. I usually get my brewmaster (boyfriend) to prepare a fresh cup for me to use though as he makes (Aeropress) espresso and we don’t have “spare” coffee. I’d imagine that any burnt taste in the coffee would be transferred to the cake/mousse etc too – but I don’t know, perhaps the other ingredients would mask it — anyone tried that?

Any other suggestions for ways for Iris to use up that bitter coffee?


How can I reuse, recycle or use up floppy celery?

Several bloggers I follow take part in the “Food Waste Friday” meme, in which they post pictures of their food waste from the week and a few have featured the same thing over the last few weeks: floppy celery.

We don’t eat celery here very often (because my boyfriend John has … issues with it) but if it looks like I’m not going to eat it all before the floppy stage kicks in, I slice it into small rounds and freeze it to include in the mix next time I’m making stock. If John didn’t have his issues with it, I’d probably be happy to include no longer crisp celery in a stew/casserole – since it’ll soften up during cooking anyway. (I don’t tell him about putting it in stock, ssssh, don’t tell him!)

There is some debate on whether/how it should be fed to chickens – some people advocate chopping it up first so the “strings” don’t get caught in the chicken’s crop, others say they enjoy the challenge of breaking it up themselves. The similar yes/no debate seems to exist for rabbits and other small furry pets – just because like with people, some animals like it more than others – but all advocate that it should just be used as a treat in addition to other food, not in large quantities.

A good few people around the ol’ interweb also say you can revive soggy celery by leave it to stand in some ice water for a while – or more effectively, slice into smaller sticks and float them in a bowl of the same.

(If it’s too far gone for reviving or even cooking, it can, of course, be composted.)

What do you do with floppy celery sticks?