Day 23 – A dog’s dinner

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If you’ve had sleepness nights wondering what kind of horrors I’ve been eating, wonder no more. This is the thing of true nightmares. Tinned meat. Its unique quality is that it manages not to look or taste like meat at all. And no, of course I didn’t eat this…it went straight into the bin and I doubt even a freegan would take it out again.

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Day 22 – Postcards from the Edge

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Outside of Camden 99p store

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London streets are so clean….

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Soon to come – photos of the goings on of the pound shop from the inside Ooooooo

Day 21 – Dumpster Diving

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It was my brother, Chris who set me this pound shop challenge. And it is my brother Chris who is already plotting the next bet. This time he wants me to become a freegan. ‘What’s a freegan?’, I hear you cry. For those who don’t know here’s the blurb from Wiki:

Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.

Yes, basically you root around in bins looking for food.

There are many restaurants, supermarkets and cafes that throw away their goods because they have expired when the food is still edible. In a world where others are struggling to find food to eat, this really is a disgusting thought. I have heard of schemes in Italy that organise ways of talking the expired food to homeless shelters and places of need. Here it is illegal, as far as I understand, to give away food that is past its sell-by-date. So they have to chuck it away. And this is where the freegans step in, to prove what a wasteful society we are.

So I’m considering this bet….but not until Christmas is over. I want my not-very-likely-to-be-found-in-a-bin roast goose first….

Day 20 – Pound shop risotto

 My Italian Grandfather would be turning in his grave…

Normally, arborio or carnaroli rice would be used to make risotto. This is because both rices are high in starch which is gradually released as you slowly cook the rice giving it a nice creamy texture.

Well I tried it for this blog and can report that ordinary rice can make a pretty ok risotto. I treated the rice (I used American long grain rice) as I would an Italian rice, that is to say I first softened some onions in unsalted butter then added the rice and stir-fried it for a couple of minutes. Then, chicken stock at the ready, I ladled in one spoonful of stock at a time, letting each be absorbed by the rice before adding another. You do repeat this until all the stock is used which normally would take about 20-30 minutes but with the non-risotto rice I used it seemed to use much much more stock and take a lot longer for the rice to lose its crunchiness. Some point halfway through cooking I would add my flavour – for this some tinned asparagus, the nearest I could get to a vegetable.

The result is not quite risotto but not a bad imitation at all. Sorry Nonno.