Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Creative Christmas Cooking with Ali

Last week we had a tasty couple of hours at Charleston Community Complex learning some really simple but sparkling recipes from Ali Mitchell, thanks to the R U Up 4 It? food waste project. A quick chat with those that came along came up with lots of new suggestions on how to deal with some foods folk regularly find themselves throwing away. Onions can be kept for a long time (weeks, even months) if kept cool and are in good condition. Old bits of bread can be made into breadcrumbs and then added to sausage meat to fill it out, top off a tartlet and of course go towards bread sauce. It will keep in a bag in a cool place or freezer for quite a while. For more tips have a look athttp://scotland.lovefoodhatewaste.com/

Ali will be sharing his top tips and recipes for money- and waste-saving cooking on the Charleston Academy Community Complex Facebook pages. Why not do the same?

Dishes we made in only 1.5 hours included
  • cranberry sauce with orange
  • Brussels sprouts and bacon bits with butter and honey
  • Brussels outer leaves (not to be wasted) drizzled with lemon, butter and sugar
  • Sausage meat "roll" with cranberries, sage, thyme and oregano, breadcrumbs and honey
  • Goat's cheese, Stilton, herb and cranberry sauce tartlet
  • Carrots and parsnips tossed in turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, honey and lemon

Bill - carefully considering the Brussels spouts leaves drizzled with lemon, honey and butter

Charlene adding a delicate touch of honey to the sausage meat.

Just cranberries, orange and a wee bit of sugar. Not too sweet as this is to accompany meat.

The evening's favourite - remainder goat's cheese and Stilton and tonight's cranberry sauce on a thin base of ready-made puff pastry. What could be easier?

Top tip - put the shiny side of the foil against the sausage meat. Not on the outside.

Nissil adding home-grown rosemary to the tartlet.

The busiest member of our cooking group was Lucy, a pupil at Muirtown Primary School. Delicately slicing a juicy orange for the home-made cranberry sauce.

Ali showing us the finer points of using knives.

Sausage meat mixed with breadcrumbs from left-over bread, herbs and an egg. wrapped foil and baked in oven for a sausage snack later.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Getting ready to grow ... Muir of Ord Gardeners visit Tarradale's Tunnel

Roy and Eleanor of Muir of Ord Gardening Club checking out the potential of the Tarradale Tunnel.
The polytunnels RoWAN have provided to Tarradale and Muirtown Primary Schools are not just for pupils and staff to enjoy - but members of their communities too. Hopefully with a bigger pool of interested growers the limitations of the school timetable and holidays won't stop some fantastic projects taking place. The next few months provide valuable time to plan prepare and plot for the edible treats ahead.

Let us (toni.clark(at)rowan.org.uk) know what you do over the winter to keep your polytunnel in good shape

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Cooking to save money (and waste) and Charleston Community Complex

Getting to grips with filo pastry for samosas
Here's a similar recipe to the one Ali made up on the night

Home-grown tomatoes are often freely available from neighbours and friends

Fresh herbs add flavour to your dishes and colour and scent to your garden. Chepaer than buying dried ones.

During only 2 hours we made rissoles, pasta, ravioli, pasties, gnocchi,  soup and tomato sauce.
We are hoping to run more sessions very soon, if you are interested in coming along - please get in touch. Email toni.clark(at)rowan.org.uk

Next round of food waste audits coming up

Just a reminder that Norman and Toni will be visiting you soon to carry out another survey of waste produced at school lunchtimes. We are Dingwall Primary this week and Dingwall Academy next, and hopefully all other schools before the end of the year.
These audits are important as they are the last ones of the three-year R U Up 4 It? project and it's vital we have record of how well everyone has done at reducing the amount of food and packaging that gets thrown away at lunchtimes. It'll help plan what happens next.

Inverness schools now have their food waste collected so let's see if that makes a difference to how much of their school lunches pupils throw away.

Please get in touch if you've got dates you'd like us to come in for. The only space needed is enough for four boxes and room for pupils to get access to put their waste in the right one.

Boxes for sorting cooked food, uncooked food, packaging and drinks containers

Weighing the waste at the end is always popular and gives everyone an idea of how they might do better next time.

Kinmylies Eco Group members make their very own yummy pear smoothies.

Pick a few pears from the school garden
Cut the pears into quarters
Peel carefully

Put the pears with a chopped banana in the pan

  Some of the Eco Group tasting their own Pear Smoothie.

Karen the school's cook loves working with the pupils  
and absolutely no waste - except the pear peel and banana skin which went on the compost heap ...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Welcome back everyone - R U Up 4 It once again?

Don't know about you but the highlight of our summer has been the fantastic growing conditions - how did you manage to keep your school garden growing?
Flowers and vegetables have enjoyed our wet warm summer
Flowers look after themselves and the peas and courgettes have done really well outside too as it's been relatively warm. It's worth taking a risk sometimes. We'd be interested to hear how you kept your garden going over the holidays.

Another highlight as always was THE BLACK ISLE SHOW. RoWAN shared a marquee with the Highland Countryside Initiative (or Royal Highland Education Trust) and provided an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at the giant compost jigsaw which is always popular. We also had a few examples of seasonal veg to test people's thoughts on how far the produce had travelled to the Show.

I like the peas best ...

It turned out ALL the veg had only come one mile - but the banana and lemon had travelled 1000s of miles between them. So yes, you can grow a wide range of tasty vegetables here. 

We also took the chance to promote the FREE workshops we are are putting on over the next few months - cooking to save money, creating a kitchen garden and composting for beginners. Keep an eye on local publicity for dates and venues.

Muirtown and Tarradale Primary Schools will be sharing with us their plans for their polytunnels - maybe it'll inspire others to look at growing under cover. Get in touch if you'd like to know more.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Garden Party at Dingwall Academy - Tuesday 24th June - join us if you can!

Come and discover what the Dingwall Academy DiGGers do in their shed - if you dare!

Dingwall Academy, RoWAN (Ross-shire Waste Action Network) and RHET (Royal Highland Education Trust) are pleased to announce the date for our Summer Garden Party.  On Tuesday 24th June we plan to host primary school pupils from 9.30 to 2.30pm at Dingwall Academy.  There will be a selection of garden activities and horticultural skills practice for those wishing to progress with their “Growing Hub Award”.  Schools are invited to bring produce from their own school gardens to contribute to the lunch table; soup and pupil baking will also be provided.  Representatives from Dingwall Academy DiGGers, Forest School participants and S2 garden classes will be helping out and teaching skills ranging from knots and wigwam building to planting, potting on, watering and composting.  We look forward to the event and hope that the sun shines!