A tasty, affordable and waste free Big Jubilee Lunch
The Big Jubilee Lunch is a great idea for getting together with your neighbours to celebrate this summer. If you’re having a Big Jubilee Lunch this weekend we’ve some great hints and tips to help you feed more people with the food you have and hopefully save you lots of money!
We waste over 7 million tonnes and £12 billion worth of good food and drink every year in the UK just from our homes, but with a little planning, together with a few cool boxes and supply of freezer packs it’s easy to be well equipped for keeping food safe, fresh and tasty for longer.
Whether you’re planning a gourmet menu of recipes from around the world or maybe just put out some simple sandwiches and snacks for people to share – whatever your choose, let’s try to make it waste free.
So where to start…
What are you going to eat? Are you planning a menu or just asking everyone to bring what they can? We’re pro-planning, if you sit down and work out what everyone will bring, you’ll end up with a wider variety of dishes and avoid 200 sausage rolls but only 5 burgers and no crisps! Planning will also make shopping easier and you’ll know that all tastes (including the fussy eaters) will be taken care of, so everyone can have a good time.
Make a list! As you plan what you’re going to make or buy, remember to have a look through your cupboards. It’s surprising how many tasty dishes can be made from ingredients we already have in our cupboards and fridges. In fact, every day we throw away food that is perfect for summer al fresco dining: including around 5 million potatoes, nearly 3 million tomatoes, and 1 million slices of ham! Then, make a list before making that special Big Jubilee Lunch shopping trip – you might just save pounds on the cost of food, leaving more money for the extras, like bunting!
How many are you catering for? Try to estimate how many people will be coming and only buy for that amount, to avoid throwing food away. Love Food Hate Waste’s party portion planner can help.
On the day…
Getting the storage right. Store the food at home for as long as you can before putting those lovely foods out for everyone to eat.
- Salad should always go in the fridge
- Put bread in the bread bin or freezer (never the fridge)
- Fruit and veg (except bananas, whole pineapple, potatoes and onions) should be kept in the fridge
- Keep things like sliced meats and cheese in an air-tight container once opened
Keeping everything cool. Hopefully the weather will be sunny and warm, but even if it’s a bit overcast you’ll need to think about keeping some foods and most drinks cold.
- Put frozen, previously cooked, sausages and cold meats straight into your picnic bag early in the morning. They should be defrosted by the time you reach your picnic spot, but still be nice and chilled.
- Use cool boxes or bags with ice packs in to keep food in plastic containers cold.
- Put cold water and ice in garden trugs, paddling pools or plastic boxes then add whatever you need to keep cool.
Party presentation! You might have a lot of partying to do and people dropping in at various times of the afternoon.
- Keep your food going for longer by not putting everything out at the beginning of the party. Don’t pile plates high with food, to avoid it being knocked on to the table or floor – do that, and you’ll end up throwing it away anyway.
- If you’ve not got enough plates or bowls, don’t worry – get creative! Cut the top off plastic bottles, wash them out and use those for the breadsticks, use the plastic trays that mushrooms or fruit comes in to hold tomatoes, celery sticks or the little sausages. They won’t break if dropped and you can simply recycle afterwards.
- Cover foods using clean t-towels, net curtains, kitchen roll or specially bought food covers to keep the flies away.
- Remember to label foods so everyone knows what they’re about to eat and doesn’t end up leaving it on their plates because they don’t like it.
At the end of the day…
You’ve had a great day and you find you’ve still got lots of food left – what do you do? It’s time to share out the leftovers!
- If you’ve got food that hasn’t been cooked or prepared, and is on or before the use-by date (and has been stored in the fridge), then you can freeze it.
- You can also cook up ingredients into another meal that you freeze and eat on another day.
- Encourage party-goers to take home the crisps, biscuits and cakes to eat over the next couple of days.
The Big Jubilee Lunch is part of the Diamond Jubilee programme of events on Sunday 3 June. Led by the Eden Project and funded by the Lottery, the aim of The Big Jubilee Lunch is to encourage neighbourhoods to come together in the garden or street to share lunch and a few hours of community, friendship and fun.