Friday, 11 June 2021

Best Leftovers Ever!

Searching through Netflix for an interesting cookery/craft/homes type programme, I came across something called "Best Leftovers Ever!" I thought that sounded worth checking out - especially as it mentioned that Rosemary Shrager was involved. RS is a very British sort of cook. She's done all sorts of programmes, including an interesting one about the cuisine of the Royal Palaces [with Michael Buerk] and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here [which I cannot comment on, because that is a show I never watch] Anyway, here's the trailer

Suffice it to say, having watched programme 1 and half programme 2, I realised I had seen enough!  The presenter - who admitted to knowing nothing about cooking [I don't know about beef stroganoff, what is it?], kept making dreadful jokes about her cash-erole prize. 

Yes, they did come up with innovative ways to use the leftovers presented to them. But if you need to use lots of cream and other expensive ingredients, and then just add a spoonful or two of the leftover, have you really transformed it?  Making a few cold chips [fries] into gnocchi by mashing them with a bowlful of fresh potatoes seems daft. And these were not the sort of leftovers I have in my fridge anyway. They did enjoy making fun of RS and her Britishness, contestants imitating her accent and struggling to pronounce Worcestershire Sauce. [I say "Wooster"] She was wearing her chef's jacket with top button undone, showing her classic pearl necklace. Bob decided that Prue, Delia and Mary can't have been available... It wasn't exactly top-class TV.

At the weekend, I had a leftovers challenge of my own. Steph and co arrived with a bag of food - mainly the contents of that week's veg box, but also a few items for George, and non dairy 'milk' and spreads for Gaz, who is lactose intolerant. There was a lot of food around, and things got a bit muddled. And when they came to leave, she suggested I keep the food, as it wouldn't travel back to Manchester well. On Saturday morning, I emptied the fridge contents onto the worktop and sorted out what was definitely old and in need of throwing out [fortunately not much** - a small box of leftover salad which had got hidden at the back, and a pot of beaten egg, half of which had been used to glaze pastry - the remainder had congealed]  We have lots of cheese and tomatoes!

I wiped down all the shelves and containers, and concluded the prime candidates for immediate use were a fresh pineapple, and some Frubes. I had not encountered these before - strange tubes of yogurt for children - rip off the end, and suck out the contents. I suppose this makes school lunchboxes easier - no teaspoons to lose, or sticky little tubs. But I did think, as I looked at the box, that the Frubes man looked very like the Peperami Animal. Bob agreed.

I peeled the pineapple - I needed to cut out a few bruised bits, and ended up with around 335 gm of fruit. I found a recipe online for pineapple cake [here]

I decided that I could make just half the quantity, and that I would [a] skip the frosting and [b] use my small 6-cup Bundt tin.  I made the mixture, and had a little too much for the tin - so put the remainder into a small loaf pan.  

This is my usual way of using up surplus spongecake mix - you can always use a slice of sponge cake as an impromptu dessert. And a Bundt cake needs no icing, just a snowy frosting of icing sugar

It does look good doesn't it? But I have a confession...It tasted fine, but rather squidgy. It was my own fault. The recipe needs a can of crushed pineapple - including the juice. This was a fresh pineapple. So I just slung it all in the food processor and whizzed it together. That's the equivalent of 'crushed' isn't it?

With hindsight. I should have whizzed everything except the fruit [which I had already peeled, sliced and diced] and then folded in the pineapple pieces at the end. But it tasted fine, and Bob had second helpings...

The remainder of the fruit I diced and divided between two little bowls, and squeezed a Frube over each one. Well chilled they made another good dessert. 

Unlike Dorset, Norfolk binmen do not collect food waste separately, so I am working on filling my new compost bin. Kezzie, you would be proud of me - I'm chopping up peel from fruits so it rots quicker, and cutting the teabags and emptying the contents into the bin, putting the empty non-compostable bags in the regular bin. [but, I am not ready to go over to loose leaf tea just yet] Since retiring, Bob's had more time to share in the cooking - he made some fab croutons from leftover crusts the other week, and next day remembered to put the veg trimmings in a box to make stock later.

**there was a small, unlabelled bottle of purple liquid in the door-shelf. Was it sloe gin? or a leftover glass of red wine I'd intended to use in a casserole? I got Bob to check. He concluded it was definitely not alcohol, and probably Ribena I'd diluted for Rosie and she had not drunk it. We decided it wasn't worth keeping! 


  1. Once the compost is made, you will have plenty to make a lovely garden, vegeatable growing? Maybe?

  2. If that programme had been as advertised I would have found it interesting - but - definitely not for me. It reminds me a bit of that British programme I have seen on Youtube - Shopping for Less? The two presenters find a couple in the supermarket who need help saving money but who spend enormous amounts on food, They are then walked through a month of how to save money with store brands, etc.
    I thought it would be interesting but frankly it just annoyed me. People with too much money and no common sense whatsoever!

    1. I honestly wonder where they find some of these people. They seem to be intelligent, holding down well paid jobs - but unable to manage basic life skills.

  3. We've had two compost bins for years and I am a poor composter, I just throw things in rather than put them into the garbage (no meat or cheese rinds, of course). Then in spring a bunch of critters find their way in, wolf spider, camel crickets, slugs and snails. So this year I have carefully turned one bin and used the resulting compost, and the other is still receiving offerings that I really should chop up (also some dried leaves from the yard might help). The best thing about our compost is that all winter long, a cute little vole gets in there from the woodshed and rearranges things and eats the two peanuts that I leave for him. Once in a while I do actually see him when I lift off the lid, before he scurries underneath and out through the bottom and into the shed. He leaves a trail of tiny footprints through the snow!

  4. Sounds like you transformed your leftovers quite nicely! I might have been tempted to make a pineapple upside down cake with the leftover pineapple, myself. :)

    1. That sounds like a good idea. Next time...

  5. Intriguing - sometimes rubbish tv is just what I need. Cheers

  6. Mmmmmm....Ribena!!! I love it. Well done on not wasting and FAB on the compost!!! Very well done! Don't forget you can too up card, paper and card that can't be recycled and put it in there too!


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