Clare cooks up a treat

Follow Global Action Plan's Clare, while she undertakes her Christmas Challenge to reduce food waste and use up all her Christmas left-overs.

This year, Christmas was to be at my abode.  As a ‘greenie’ and a Global Action Plan employee, I was determined to avoid the usual food waste associated with the festive period.  

At the beginning of December, I excitedly ordered both a free range turkey and a Christmas veggie box from my organic food delivery service.  I had never hosted Christmas before so it was going to go perfectly!

After long delays on the Eurostar, I finally returned home from a week in Paris on the 20 December with the flu. I was stuck in bed for the next few days, worrying about the fact that my fridge was almost bare, apart from the food for the Christmas dinner which had arrived at my door at the beginning of the week.

The Whiting appetite is well renowned and my parents were going to be staying with me for four days. So, on the 23rd of December when I still couldn’t get out of bed, an emergency call was made to my folks, requesting them to come a day early so they could head to the shops on my behalf. They turned up a few hours later and my Mum went into action stations straight away. I was provided with warm drinks and hot water bottles, and in return I handed her my meal planner for the four days and my bank card!

By Christmas Day I was feeling well enough to get out of bed and take part in both the preparations and celebrations.  I had planned to do everything on my own but in my still rather fragile state; my parents simply wouldn’t allow it.  And as a result it was one of the best Christmas days we’ve had.  We all just mucked in together and produced a stunning Christmas dinner, with no-one feeling stressed.  A Christmas Day with a true community spirit!

A few days later my parents headed home and I was left with enormous amounts of food left in my fridge. As an EcoTeamer I always try to use up everything anyway, both to save money (about £50 a year) and avoid waste.  But this was definitely going to be my biggest challenge yet!

And I can happily say that I am a meal or two away from meeting that challenge!  The journey has proved to be huge fun and extremely satisfying. I’ve made turkey and vegetable soup made from homemade stock; turkey fricassee; vegetarian risotto; sprout and bacon soup; coleslaw and baked potatoes and parsnip, potato and stilton soup.  My freezer is full, I’ve saved money by taking soup into work, (although there were a few worried looks when I brought in sprout soup!) and I’m feeling so confident about my cooking that I’ve invited 12 people round for dinner this Saturday!

Tell us your Christmas stories or give us some recipe ideas to help Clare eat up her remaining red cabbage…