Fruity jelly

Fruity jelly

Leftover gelatine jelly

A few weeks back, the most wonderful Laura Reduction Rader messaged me and asked if I’d like to take ownership of a packet of leaf gelatine from a recent Olio stash that she had.  As a vegan, that was one leftover Laura couldn’t shift and lucky me, I got it! Hoo-bloody-ra!

A packet of way outta date gelatine arrived and, like anyone a little stumped, I put it on my desk and had a think. And a think.

I didn’t research about whether or not the gelatine was safe. A product so highly processed and stable (i.e. it’s not ‘live’ like yoghurt, more like a spice or pasta) and still sealed in its original packaging … honestly I’ve probably eaten ancient gelatine many times. I’m in full health and have a lifetime of eating questionable s=food stuffs. If pregnant, or poorly or elderly or feeding little ones, use your own judgement.

When my kids were little I’d sometimes make them jelly from scratch because I was always trying to make sure they ate more fruit & veg (and, honestly, trying to avoid sugar. Now the eldest eats it from a packet with a spoon…). Homemade jelly, often with some segments of orange stirred through, would be made once, and then not again for yonks. It just felt an effort, and juice isn’t that cheap.

But sometimes we buy a pack of gelatine, or feta, or peppers, for *one* thing and then the rest is just a proper pain in the arse. So this week we’re all about gelatine (yes, if you’d asked me 20, 15 or even 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought my life would rely so much on leftovers).

If you’ve ever experimented with jelly, and like some fruit juice, get creative and make layers and have fun. Or be like me. Just make it and add hundreds and thousands and eat it at 11am when you should be working but the jelly is calling…



Fruit Jelly

Use up your leftover gelatine to make this healthy-ish, fruity jelly
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins


  • for every 1 leaf gelatine
  • you need 140ml fruit juice


  • Measuring jug
  • Saucepan
  • Plate/shallow bowl
  • Bowls for jelly!


  • If you have 2 leaves of gelatine, you'll need around 280 ml juice, 3 leaves 420 ml and so on


  • Take the gelatine leaves, snip them up
  • Place them on a plate/shallow bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 minutes
  • In a saucepan, gently heat the juice. Don't let it boil as boiled fruit tastes nasty
  • After 5 minutes squeeze the water from the gelatine. Place the gelatine leaves into the hot juice
  • Using a whisk or spoon, stir the gelatine in until fully melted
  • Pour into the serving bowl and leave to cool to room temperature
  • When room temperature, place in the fridge & leave to set


  • Will keep for up to a week or so but best eaten within a couple of days

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Lemon Heart Vinegar

Leftover lemon heart vinegar

I started obsessing about food waste when my kids were little and I was determined to give them as much organic produce as possible. Not everyone’s priority or privilege. I got by on spending around £60 a week on food and honestly, I was proud that I did manage.  Family or friends would raise their eyebrows and roll their eyes when I talked about my veg box, but I knew I was giving us good food. I learned to ignore the eye rolls. Using every scrap of a leftover lemon, half a sausage or pot of sour yoghurt made sure we could eat home-cooked food and I’m grateful that I learned to cook at home and school.

Lemons are so normal in our fridges but travel from Spain, Italy, Israel and, TBH, who knows where, just so we can put a little wedge in our gin & tonic or have a sweet and sour pancake. Leftover lemons deserve more than going hard inside your fridge door – let’s use every last scrap.

I came across this recipe in the James Beard Waste Not Cookbook. I have a growing collection of food waste books which makes me happy. Some focus on the scraps and others on how to cook one meal and then use those leftovers. For me it’s a mixture of both.

This ‘recipe’ is great and so thrifty. A 50p bottle of white vinegar. Lemon rinds. That’s it. You likely will use about 10 pence worth of vinegar in this recipe. You can use your leftover lemon vinegar in dressings, marinades or even mixed with sugar syrup and lightly poured over ice cream (especially good for those of us who don’t have the sweetest tooth).

The eco-cleaners out there know that distilled white vinegar is *the* hot cleaning product. I use mine in place of laundry detergent and for cleaning my bathroom (along with washing up liquid and bicarbonate of soda). Eco often means cheap because a spangly new product isn’t necessarily going to do a better job than some cheap bicarb (I say this as a person whose mum bought her a ££dress££ on Sunday and I enjoyed every second). 50p well spent, no?

Using every last scrap of your food saves you money which sometimes means you can buy that nice dress (over time), or, for me, means I can buy the organic butter or lemons. Every purchase we make is a choice, one way or another. Every leftover we make the most of helps the planet one little choice at a time.



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Lemon Zest Sugar

Lemon Zest Sugar

Leftover lemon zest sugar

Lemon and sugar are, to my mind, the best pancake day filling. Sweet and sour, everyone can add more lemon or sugar to their taste. Simple. Minimum effort required by the cook. But what about the leftover lemon zest and juice-less fruit? What next?

I’ll tell you.

Lemon sugar, and two more ideas to come. Having a jar of delicately scented lemon sugar will be heaven for an elderflower and gin drink. How about profiteroles with lemon scented cream whipped up inside those craggy shells? I think I’m going to have to make those this weekend. Also – last minute gifts to friends or teachers can be easily and cheaply dealt with by 250 grams of lemon sugar in a leftover jar. Pennies people, this costs pennies.

If you have a fancy pants microplane, this will be easy. You don’t? No worries. The side of your box grater that does the thin strips will be best here.

Let me know what you use your leftover lemon zest sugar for, I hope you enjoy it.



Leftover heart vinegar

Adapted, barely, from James Beard 'Waste Not' p188
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Author: Ann Storr


  • 2 lemon hearts
  • Distilled white vinegar

To finish the vinegar

  • Caster sugar (to taste)
  • Salt, to taste

Tools, to soak

  • Jar of the right size to fit lemons

Tools, to finish

  • Saucepan
  • Sieve
  • Wooden spoon


  • Squish lemon hearts into the jar and cover with vinegar
  • Store in the fridge for at least 2 weeks (for the lemon flavour)

After 2 weeks...

  • Strain the lemons from the vinegar, straight into the saucepan
  • For every 100ml of vinegar start with 25 grams of sugar. Bring the mixture to the boil and taste, adding a little more if needs be
  • Simmer for 3 minutes and then add a little salt, to taste
  • Allow to cool. Pour into a jar and store in the fridge


  • Will keep for a few months


You can use any citrus - lime, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines... watch your fridge fill with delicate vinegars!

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Nut butter smoothie pancakes

Nut butter smoothie pancakes

Leftover nut butter smoothie into … pancakes?!

At the moment I’m enjoying my dinners a little too much, so I’m not hugely hungry for my brekkie. So, nut butter smoothies are a good breakfast – a banana, a huge dollop of peanut butter and loads of milk. One portion of fruit (and using up a manky banana), some protein and calcium. Perfect.

I thought that my kids would be all over this smoothie, but, it was shunned.

I popped the leftovers in the fridge on Friday morning, in a classy pint glass. Monday morning came around, the smoothie still there and I thought – really? Could I?

Yes, friends. Oh yes. Really yes. These are hands DOWN the best pancakes I’ve made and I’ve made a few. So, I might even make too much smoothie next time, seriously.

Pancakes are on my mind, TBF. So this week is Pancake week! Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, should be the Patron Saint of StorrCupboard day; maybe I’ll make that a thing. Ann Storr, Patron Saint of Leftovers? It’s got a bit of a ring …

Leftover Nut Butter Smoothie Pancakes

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Author: Ann Storr


  • 225 grams plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 grams unsalted butter
  • up to 250 ml nut butter smoothie
  • around 50 ml milk


  • Scales
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring jug
  • Fork
  • Balloon whisk
  • Frying pan
  • Teaspoon
  • Oven-proof dish


  • Mix flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside
  • Add smoothie to jug and top with milk until you have 300ml
  • Whisk together
  • Crack the eggs and whisk until fully mixed
  • If you’re using a big jug, add the flour mixture straight in and beat until smooth
  • If you don't have a massive measuring jug, pour the smoothie/milk/egg mixture into a bowl and beat until smooth
  • Melt butter in the frying pan and stir through the mixture
  • Turn your cooker to medium hot
  • ** Put frying pan on the hob and add a pinch of butter - sort of 2 peas worth
  • When the butter sizzles, pick the pan up and swirl it around so the butter is all over the bottom
  • Pour the batter on - enough so the pancake is about 6-7cm across (I can only cook 3 a time in my large pan)
  • Turn the heat to medium
  • The pancakes are ready to turn when little bubbles appear on the surface. Using your flipper, flip them!
  • Mine are rarely perfect circles, so don’t worry about that
  • Cook for about a minute. They’re done when they are golden on the bottom
  • Place in the oven-proof dish, pop in the oven and start from **, until you have used all of your mixture


  • Store in a lidded container in the fridge. Use as soon as possible for the best taste, but they keep okay for up to 3 days
  • Reheating: in the microwave for a few seconds, or in a dry frying pan

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Leftover lard popcorn

Leftover lard popcorn

How to use leftover lard to make popcorn

It’s half term here in the UK and that means hungry kids who want something to eat *now*. Healthy-ish snacks that don’t rinse your bank account, are cheap and easy to smuggle into a cinema or pack into a picnic are what we all need. Using the leftover lard as the fat to make a bowl of home-made popcorn is a delicious and super cheap for you, me, EVERYBODY (sorry, went a bit ‘Blues Brothers’ there).

An ex’s mum taught me how to make popcorn. The transformation from hard yellow seeds to soft and puffy creamy things *still* excites me. My ex would buy those pre-made tubs that you microwave yourself. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! ALL THAT FAKE BUTTER? WHAT A WASTE OF MONEY!” and there would definitely be a tut, and there would possibly be a cuff around the ear. So, she taught me how. One kernel first, to make sure that the oil is at the correct heat.

If you have a big, Asian/African supermarket near you, then you should be able to get a kilo for around £2.35; my 100g then costs me 24p.  A supermarket 50g is around a quid so, not as good value but still masses better than anything ready-made.

A tablespoon of fat, 100 grams of popping corn and cheap snacks are yours. I often make a batch during the week to add a small pot to my daughter’s packed lunch, which costs me all of 2p.

Make sure that you’re ready to make your popcorn, with everything to hand, as it can burn ever so quickly. And it stinks.

If you’re vegan or veggie, of course you can use a plant-based oil like ground nut or sunflower; olive oil will burn too quickly and, I think, isn’t the right flavour for popcorn. If you’re an omnivore then scoop out pennies worth of lard. Get a movie, snuggle under a blanket with the kiddos and enjoy the umami flavour that using leftover lard or schmaltz and bring to a lovely big bowl of salty popcorn.



Home made popcorn using leftover lard

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Snack
Keyword: eating on a budget, family recipies
Servings: 2


  • 1 tablespoon leftover lard you can use plant based oils
  • 100 grams popping corn
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar & salt optional!
  • 25 grams unsalted butter


  • 1 saucepan with lid
  • 1 scales
  • 1 knife
  • measuring spoons/teaspoon & tablespoon
  • 1 large bowl for eating!


  • Turn heat to medium and add the lard (or oil) to the saucepan
    Place ONE kernel of popping corn into the fat and keep an eye on it; after about 3-5 minutes the corn will pop
    Only once the first kernel has popped, add the rest of the popping corn to the pan and immediately place the lid on the pan
    Listen to the popping; it should rumble happily away. As soon as the popping is only every couple of seconds, remove from the heat
    Pour the corn into a waiting bowl
    Take the butter and swirl it around the hot popcorn pan; pour all over the popcorn, sprinkle with salt and butter and enjoy!


  • Popcorn is best eaten fresh but it will keep for up to 3 days in a lidded, airtight storage container



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Mashed potato cakes

Mashed potato cakes

How to use leftover mash to make potato cakes

When I was little, if my mum was boiling potatoes, I’d ask her to do extra. I didn’t see any joy in a boiled potato, (well, unless it counts as a vessel for melted butter). But, I knew that too many boiled potatoes meant leftover potatoes and that meant Welsh potato cakes.

I think, when I went to uni, one of my godmothers gave me one of those cookbooks that you write in. The first recipe I called home for was the potato cake. All best writing in the cookbook; almost 20 years on and now it’s all scribbles of recipes that I’ve written here and there; a cut-out of the first recipe my ex and I fell in love with, and over; his mum’s chocolate cake (“butter or margerine”), when I made a turnip curry and that was, genuinely, nice enough to write down.

By total fluke, my dad decided to make these recently. He’d never known about mum’s recipe, and found on online. His recipe was to pan fry, which I did using dripping from their pot. I found it harder to get the crust that I love, so, I prefer to stick with baking.

I love these. They are utterly special to me.

Leftover Mash Potato Cakes

Serves 4


225 leftover mash
100 grams plain flour + more for dusting
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 egg
Milk – around 50ml but how much you need depends on your mash – this needs to feel quite firm but not rigid
1/2 tbsp sugar *
Pinch salt

* optional; it’s in the original, and how I like the taste,but feel free to leave out if you prefer.



Mixing bowls, small and large
Fork (to whisk eggs)
Potato masher
Wooden spoon
Baking tray(s)
Silicone scraper
Large kitchen knife
Cooling rack


Measuring teaspoons


20m prep
20-25m to bake


Dust the baking sheet lightly with flour
Place butter in an ovenproof dish and melt in the heating oven (PUT A TIMER ON!) OR// melt in a saucepan on the hob
Lightly beat egg
Turn oven to 220 degrees
In a small bowl, mix flour(s), baking powder and salt together
Sprinkle a small amount of flour onto a baking tray.


Mash all your leftover roots with potato masher until combined and smooth
Sift the flour mixture over the mashed veg
Use wooden spoon to mix them together
Add in egg, stir to combine
Pour over melted butter and combine
Flour a work surface and scoop the dough out
Using a rolling pin or patting with your hands (less washing up…), roll the dough until it’s about 3cm thick
Either way, pat the dough into a circle
Take a sharp knife, cut the dough half, and then quarters. Cut into halves again – you should have 8 triangles
Place a little flour onto your fish slice thing and gently move each cake onto the tray
When all the cakes are on the tray(s), put in the oven and bake for about 20m
They are cooked when puffed up, golden and slightly firm to the touch
Either serve straight away, or leave to cool on a cooling rack, with a knob of butter melting on top

Storage/further meals

Leave to cool and keep in a sealed container in the fridge; if you know you’re unlikely to eat within a couple of days I’d freeze them as I don’t think they keep well
Frozen, you have *months*

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