Joanne (Cup on the bus on my side bar) has written such an interesting post today talking of how her parents were frugal and how she was brought up not to waste anything. That is exactly how I was brought up too, in an age where there was enough money in our family to live comfortably, to make ends meet, to never get into debt and to afford little luxuries like a week's holiday every 'trip week', but only because my mother was a very careful manager.
Tinned food was frowned upon, but my mother always kept a tin of red salmon (never pink salmon), a tin of peaches and a tin of evaporated milk in the cupboard so that if visitors called unexpectedly on a Sunday afternoon she could always find something for tea. There would always be cake in any case as she never bought cake but made her own (and bread) so that this was plentiful.
Nothing was ever wasted. A bit of stale bread in the breadbin would mean a bread and butter pudding the next day and if the milk went 'off' on a thundery day then it would be left to form curds and then dripped through a piece of muslin hung on the washing line, seasoned with pepper and chopped parsley from the garden and we would have it in sandwiches for tea. The remains of the Sunday joint would be cold on Monday with left over potatoes fried, minced for shepherd;s pie on Tuesday and hopefully enough left for Wednesday too. There was never any disgrace in doing this. The disgrace was in wasting the food.
We never had a freezer, not even a fridge that I remember. We had a meat safe on the North wall of our stone-floored pantry.
Of course the advent of these mod cons has meant that food can be stored so much easier but we read of the 2 for 1 offers not being used and one of them ending up in landfill. So I can but ask what has happened to our society that, when half the world doesn't have enough to eat, we waste so much food?