Friday, 10 September 2010
On Day 5 of National Zero Waste Week, today's pot-luck lunch at Saints was a fabulous example of why I really should sort out my relationship with the fish that's lurking in my freezer at home.
Don't get me wrong, I actually like fish, but my imagination only goes as far as making fish pie, baking cod steaks or getting a battered fish from the chip shop. It's the kind of thing that I cook at home because I feel I should, but never get excited about otherwise.
Hence, I really do have around a dozen pieces of tuna and cod that have been left in a frozen state, waiting for their release date from the freezer. But eh that's progress, whenever I used to buy fish before I started The Rubbish Diet, chances were that it would remain in the fridge until after its use-by date then get bunged in the bin with the packaging intact!
But that was back then and despite my former disposition, I now feel that I've got the inspiration to deal with my larder of frozen fish thanks to the fishcakes that were served today.
Now don't fall off your chairs will you, but I finally managed to capture the elusive Engin on camera today as he talked me through the contents of the fishcakes. And here he is, sharing the wisdom that just like soups, pies and stews, fishcakes are great for using up odd pieces of spare vegetables.
Today's fishcakes contained a mixture of salmon and sea bass, combined with mashed potato, chilli peppers, grated carrots and leeks. I can also envisage they'd also be great for using up grated courgettes, cheese and any other bits and bobs that might be found in the average salad drawer. The coating is something that I've never got my head around but Engin explained that he uses a light batter made from eggs, milk and flour.
So my challenge now is to see if I can have the confidence to recreate fishcakes at home. If I can, I know I will be extremely popular with the kids....well, that's if I leave out the chilli pepper.
Today's lunch made a fabulous end to what's been a great week here at Saints. I'd like to thank owners Engin and Bernadette for being such great sports in supporting this year's National Zero Waste Week and for the delicious inspiration and fabulous hospitality of their wonderful staff. It's been a great opportunity to share some of their professional expertise in minimising waste and I now feel reinspired to shake up the menu on the homefront and put my leftover veg to much better use
I've also had some brilliant company here too and I've been joined by some of my lovely friends, many of whom have been more than happy to talk rubbish with me.
Take my friend Fi for instance, who despite it being her birthday today, got engrossed in discussing how she is busy concentrating on ways to minimise waste in a new business that she's setting up on the outskirts of Bury. But just in case you feel sorry for her having to gab on about rubbish, don't, we'll be out on the town later celebrating her birthday properly and gossiping about other interesting things.
And on the topic of other matters of interest, it just so happens that BBC Radio Suffolk's Rob Dunger dropped into town today, researching his new weekend show feature called "Looking Up", which highlights intriguing details about well used thoroughfares around Suffolk towns. I managed to catch up with him for ten minutes, and was treated to a whole lot of fascinating facts about the history of buildings that line Abbeygate Street, where Saints cafe is based. In fact, even the view from my favourite table at Saints reveals the pestle and mortar sculpture on the wall of what once was the old apothecary (currently a pasty shop). And the clock face has an interesting fact about it too, which Rob will no doubt reveal when he covers Bury St Edmunds next week.
In the meantime, I think I may have blagged an interview with Mr Dunger on his programme tomorrow morning. So if you're up between 6am-9am, do try and tune in. Even if you're outside Suffolk, you can catch him online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/suffolk/hi/tv_and_radio/ In fact here's the chap himself, the very lovely Dungerman snapped getting ready to take photos of Bury St Edmunds for his Facebook page.
And do pop by here tomorrow too, as I will also be revealing the more serious side of what I've been getting up to this week. My focus has not just been on having a good time you know and tomorrow I'll be asking for your help in a blogpost which I've prepared in order to support a very worthwhile cause.
More information about National Zero Waste Week can be found at www.myzerowaste.com and details about Saints Cafe can be found at www.saintscafe.co.uk.