Getting resourceful in the kitchen

I hate throwing perfectly fine food away. So my store cupboards end up pretty full of things I don’t know what to do with. A couple of examples: some really cheap budget brown sauce that turned out to be too watery, and a bottle of Brennivin (fermented potato schnapps) I brought back from a trip to Iceland, but I don’t really like. No offence to Icelanders, but it is fermented potato schnapps. It’s not for everyone.

I also had a glut of sour cherries from the garden, and all the ingredients for a stir-fry but no instant stir-fry sauce.

I’m no chef, but I’m pretty pleased with the makeshift ‘recipes’ I came up with:

Stir-fry sauce:

Mix 1 part soy sauce with three parts cheap brown sauce. Done.

Cherry liqueur:

Find a clean, empty bottle. Half-fill with cherries (take the stones out first).
Add enough sugar to fill in the gaps around the cherries, so the bottle is still half-full.
Fill the rest up with an unwanted spirit of your choice (such as vodka, gin, brandy, or in my case, Brennivin).
Optional: add a cinnamon stick.
Seal the bottle and leave to steep for 1-2 weeks, shaking every now and again.
Strain the contents and pour the strained liquid into a clean bottle.
Refrigerate and drink within 3 months.

I can testify the stir-fry sauce was pretty good. Somewhere between black bean and teriyaki in flavour. As for the cherry liqueur, I’ll report back when it’s done!

It also means creating these money-saving recipes from unwanted food has been one of those golden opportunities to be both frugal and minimalist at the same time. Love those.