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Using up the stuff that’s been lurking at the back of the cupboard....

(21 Posts)
Witzend Fri 20-Mar-20 18:08:45

I’ve found about 3/4 of a bag of yellow split peas, best before date Nov 2016! Also have streaky bacon left over from Christmas in the freezer, so that’s another main meal I have lined up - split pea and crispy bacon soup, with onion and probably a potato or two added.

Any more using-up dishes?

varian Fri 20-Mar-20 18:14:17

I just don't believe in best before dates. Just ignore them . If it looks good, smells good and tastes good its OK.

Last year, just before my 35 year old freezer broke down, I used up the last of the plums I froze when we had a glut in 1996. They were delicious. 23 year old plums may not have been as perfectly nutricious as fresh plums but they were pretty good.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 20-Mar-20 18:18:58

Varian totally agree, if something is "off" it is obvious.

Christmas pudding and custard for desert on Sunday (homemade several (?) years ago)

Grammaretto Fri 20-Mar-20 18:19:35

I'm regretting my cathartic chuckout before the virus. I threw out bread flour and lots of half empty jars.
I still have plenty of weird and wonderful things.
Linseed and jackfruit anyone? grin

JackyB Fri 20-Mar-20 18:47:20

I have various grains (wheat, spelt) which I bought for various recipes but didn't need the whole packet.

I could try to get them to sprout to serve in salads, but I reckon they are really old, so I will soak them overnight then make little rissoles of them in the blender. I've done it before - if you season them well and add onions and carrots and an egg, then make little patties and fry them, it's one of our favourites.

Served with a yoghurt and herb dressing.

tanith Fri 20-Mar-20 19:25:52

I had soft carrots and parsnips, limp celery, a leek and onion added chicken stock it’s made me a potful of vegetable soup enough for 4 lunches.

merlotgran Fri 20-Mar-20 19:44:19

Now that I can't get a supermarket delivery for three weeks I'm being strict about not opening tins or packets unless they are vital to a recipe.

Half empty jars of pastes, pesto, capers, olives, jalapeno peppers, all lurking in the door shelves of the fridge....It's their time to shine. grin

Sainsburys didn't send the pork shoulder joint that I ordered but substituted it with a sage and onion stuffed one with a herby coating. I'm sure it will be lovely with a selection of garden fresh 'use up because they're going floppy' root vegetables!

GrannyLaine Fri 20-Mar-20 19:53:25

Oh Grammaretto I bet you regret chucking out that bread flour! It seems everyone round here has become the epitome of the domestic goddess. No flour of any variety to be found. Fortunately I bought my sack of bread flour from Costco quite some time ago. I'd had some really good sourdough going, then lost interest for a while. I had some dried starter in the pantry so I'm just getting that going again. Just feels a good thing to do to share among the family & the grandchildren eat it like a plague of locusts

Witzend Sat 21-Mar-20 09:29:22

I have some gluten free flour used some time ago to make a cake for a visiting GF BiL.
Don’t know what to do with it now. The cake I made used several apples and ground almonds and was not at all dry. I only ever make cakes when we have guests anyway, which isn’t going to happen for the foreseeable.

Grammaretto Sat 21-Mar-20 09:33:02

merlotgran my fridge door is so similar!

I'm sure your soup will be delicious tanith.

My 2 kg of porridge oats will see breakfasts sorted and the hens at the local farm keep laying. I guess we are very lucky compared to so many.
That bread flour I threw out was very old and fusty. It will make excellent compost. Well done on the sourdough!

Now we are on our own , we don't eat a lot really. We are so used to having a houseful of young people and entertaining.

Witzend Sat 21-Mar-20 10:01:17

tanith, that sort of soup (using whatever you have) has always been called ‘dustbin’ soup in this family - first christened by my mother, who would make it when she was more broke than usual!

Still a frequent thing in this house - any veg a bit past their best, that last, lonely, dried up bit of ham or rasher of bacon, any leftover boiled potatoes or mash, you name it. Lentils, pearl barley, mini pasta etc. usually added for bulk.
Dh always enjoys it.

sunshine57 Sat 21-Mar-20 11:57:15

Just loved the story of the 26 year old plums.Just goes to show what can be used up.

Grammaretto Sat 21-Mar-20 12:40:27

I fished some lemon out of the compost bin yesterday to add to my G&T (I rinsed it well first!)

When I was a girl, my mother's widows' group, Cruse, sent out a newsletter which I read avidly. It was full of ideas on how to feed the family on a pittance. I wish I had kept a copy but I can remember some of the ideas which mainly involved boiling bones and adding vegetables, barley and whatever you had. I always knew how to cook cheaply and nutritiously (famous last words!!)

The Cruse Cookery Book is published with recipes donated by volunteers and bereaved people. Recipes include Liver and Onions, Chicken Strognoff, and Vegetarian Hot Dutch Winter Salad.

Witzend Tue 24-Mar-20 16:12:36

A further rummage has unearthed a partly used bag of whole green moong beans - goodness knows how long they’ve been there. I don’t remember ever using them! But they look all right.
I have plenty of spices, so it’s going to be daal one night. Might just be able to use some of the whole cumin (rather than ground). which I’ve also had for ages - but even so was startled to see Best Before Jun 2011!!!

My Barm Brack with the GF flour turned out better than expected. Despite baking powder it didn’t rise much at all, but very nice anyway, fruit all plump and moist after the soaking in tea.

Callistemon Tue 24-Mar-20 16:24:37


I have two 3 year old Christmas puds in the cupboard. Each could make a whole meal, they're quite large!
With brandy sauce

Callistemon Tue 24-Mar-20 16:29:52

varian grin the plums!

We had some 5 year old blackcurrants, gently simmered with only a little water, delicious. They lasted about 3 days, then I made a crumble topping for the rest

I told DH they were last year's. He has been agitating for months to throw out home frozen fruit older than about 2 years and insisted I wouldn't.

Callistemon Tue 24-Mar-20 16:30:47

I insisted I wouldn't
I'm glad I didn't

Callistemon Tue 24-Mar-20 16:34:47

I also have some rather strange packets which DD bought when she was home but never opened. Chia seeds, green tea, coconut flour etc.
They nearly went into the compost them all a while ago but didn't.

Witzend Sat 28-Mar-20 11:36:15

Yesterday I made some mince tarts (mince pies without the tops) with a) a small lump of leftover pastry from the freezer, and b) part of the end of a jar of mincemeat that was going a bit ‘winey’. TBH I think it dated from even before Christmas 2018!
Just managed to stretch the pastry to make 12. Tasted fine! Thanks to resident 🐷🐷, not many left.

Greyduster Sat 28-Mar-20 12:59:03

The recent trawl through our freezer unearthed some ham stock and a box full of cooked gammon offcuts, and together with red and yellow split peas, will make soup. I also have a bag of chicken wings and drumsticks that will also make broth eventually.
I have last year’s wild blackberries in the freezer, along with some plums which I must have frozen the year before last as we didn’t have any crop last year. They will all get used. Can’t best you on yours, though, Varian!

Rosalyn69 Sat 28-Mar-20 13:40:23

This is a great thread. Thank you all for making me smile. The plums especially.
Rhubarb is ready in the veggie Garden so I see stewed rhubarb in my future.