How to rescue a pumpkin and Give a gift of waste

It is with great relish that I write this little article on two lovely food waste themed workshops we recently hosted in the Skip Garden Kitchen, in collaboration with Hubbub. The first was just before Halloween for Hubbub's Pumpkin Rescue. They had arranged a variety of foodie projects to rescue and repurpose pumpkins and onion squash that would have otherwise gone to waste in the fields. Here at the Skip Garden we had a cookery workshop to create your own Pumpkin High Tea. Mickey (another of our Skip Garden chefs and This is Rubbish co-director) and I hosted two sold out workshops where keen participants were invited to create spiced squash cake with a zesty cream cheese frosting, pumpkin humous (with rosemary from the garden) to go on pumpkin seed bread, and chunky squash, kale and cheese scones. Mickey and I were on hand for all the food waste facts and trivia you could wish for, and I think the resulting tea party was a lovely example of making a lot of interesting snacks with a vegetable the would have otherwise been wasted. There was a great variety of interested participants- kids and parents, couples and individuals. 

The Gift of Waste workshop in late November was all about preserves as prezzies. Between the seventeen participants the group made a deliciously innovative and exciting pumpkin marmalade (another use of that waste pumpkin after Halloween) and a big vat of the more classic spiced apple, onion and raisin chutney. With the help of glorious Giorgia (our kitchen intern), we started the session with what I hope served as a preserves masterclass; from pectin to the crinkle test and sterilising and lots in between. It will hopefully serve to grow people's confidence in their ability to make just about anything into a preserve, relish, chutney, pickle or jam; it's the ideal way to use up lots of fruit and or that glut of veg from a friend's allotment or the back of the fridge. There was even time to handmake decorative labels while the fruity, sugary concoction bubbled, making for perfect homemade Christmas gifts.  

Remember; waste not, want not! There's no end to what you can do with food that might otherwise be wasted, you just need a little bit of imagination!

by Sadhbh Moore