Monday, 28 July 2014

#onepoundpantry posts - the introduction!

Having thoroughly enjoyed cooking my way through a #FoodieWorldCup, stretching my culinary knowledge and techniques with dishes like Ghanaian Fotor, Brazilian Coxinhas and tea-smoked salmon for Russian blinis, I need a new challenge.

Times are a bit tough at the moment. Earlier in the year, my time managing a training cafe came to an end. Whilst I've had a fantastic culinary journey since then, learning abundantly through my time at Ashburton Chefs Academy, having lots of trial shifts in various kitchens and now working part-time at a fantastic restaurant, I am yet to establish what Sarah Serves does next for a stable income. This is all really exciting but it does mean the purse strings are fraying.

How to discover your personal OCD: Step 1.
However, one of the side benefits to this is that I've also got a bit more time at home than usual, and something this has been good for is reorganising my kitchen and having a good clear out! Not only are my cupboards slowly becoming more organised and tidy, but I've also found long-forgotten exciting and exotic ingredients at the back of cupboards that I'm looking forward to using. It's also time I emptied out my freezer to make way for BBQ meats, homemade icecreams and all those lovely summer berries growing out there ready for pies, sorbets and smoothies.

So it made perfect sense to put this together with my need for a new cooking at home challenge, and it starts today.

The principles of #onepoundpantry are simple:

  • For my main meal each day, I have to use what is available in my cupboards or freezer, given to me by friends growing vegetables or genuinely leftover from my sessions volunteering for FoodCycle Wandsworth
  • If I have to supplement the ingredients, I am only allowed to spend £1 per meal. If I need to spend more than that, I have to have the money 'in the bank' - it needs to be leftover from the day before. 
  • I'm starting the week with a few pantry staples, such as onions and garlic, milk and butter, and a reasonably occupied fruit bowl. 
  • If I'm cooking for more than one, I am allowed to accept ingredients from other diners up to a value of £1 per head, but need to try not to.
I appreciate that these rules are nowhere near as admirably stringent as challenges such as the breadline challenge or the belowtheline challenge. I'm using things in the freezer that I spent money on already, I'm not taking into account the cost of running my hob or oven, I'm ignoring how much it costs to grow the vegetables I'm given to use. The point of this personal undertaking is to do my little bit to help eliminate my food waste, save money and to make you, my readers, think about what's lurking in your cupboards and freezers unloved and unused. And to prove that you can have delicious dinners for not much dosh! I'm going to start by doing this for a week and see how I get on. You can see from the picture that there are a few exciting packets in my cupboards and there is no way I'm getting through the lot in one week. Why not have a try at this with me and let me know how you are getting on? You can follow my facebook page for updates, or tweet with the hashtag #onepoundpantry.

Good Luck!

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