Peeling away the memories

I read somewhere once that in India the poor are so thrifty they don’t even waste potato peelings. They cook and eat them. I can’t recall how they they did it it, frying I expect, but it chimed with my ‘waste not, want not’ mantra and I mentally filed that fact away.

My father wasn’t Indian but he didn’t waste potato peelings either. He ran a pub, the Longe Arms at Spixworth, near Norwich, did food and kept pigs in the back garden. He boiled up the peelings as swill for his swine and it smelled for all the world like a brewery doing the mash. Which is why today whenever I pass a brewery doing what it’s meant to do I think not of beer but pigs. And hungry Indians.

The other night we were having bangers and mash and I got out some reds to peel when it triggered the thoughts above. The oven was on as I was baking bread and I thought I could use one of the shelves to turn the peelings into oven crisps. I washed the spuds carefully, peeled them and dried off the peelings on kitchen paper. I put a film of oil on a baking tray, laid the peelings in rows and slipped them into the 200C oven. They were done inside ten minutes, perhaps a little too well here and there, drained on more paper and salted. And they were pretty good.

I think what this showed me was that sometimes I am too quick to throw on the compost heap food I could otherwise eat. I shall do it again but only if I already have the oven on.

So I munched my crisps and thought of pigs and how nice it would have been if I also had a beer.


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