ShaniHullo there! I’m Shani. I’m twenty-one. I currently hail from Melbourne, Australia. Oh, what’s that? You’re not interested in dull life details? Fair enough. Did I also hear you say you say you were here about food? Fantastic! Oh, and you like food? Me too! Can we be friends? At this point I do feel obliged to warn you that I like food perhaps a little more than is normal. Not in a gorge-yourself-silly kind of way (though we all get those midnight attack-tub-of-icecream-with-a-spoon urges don’t we?…. Don’t we?) It’s more in a talk/think about food/recipes/restaurants/ingredients etc. all day long kind of way. Soon you’ll be experiencing the traditional Shani greeting of “what did you have for breakfast?”, “do you make your lunch or buy it?”, “when did you last bake?”, or the more typical “sweet or savoury?” conundrum. In regards to the last question, either answer is correct. We can’t be choosing sides!

This blog was borne (in June 2013, for those of you who are sticklers for detail) out of the necessity to have an outlet for a certain someone’s culinary obsession. At the time I was mid-way through a chef’s certificate in Sydney. Consequently, virtually every waking second was dedicated to food – you know things have gone too far when you begin to dream about recipes. Have nightmares about pots boiling over, meals gone wrong. The ritual of recipe-books as bed-time reading could be to blame. That’s totally a thing by the way. It’s not that strange. That complete immersion in the culinary world was a 360o turnaround from the ‘one-pot lentil splats’ and ‘beans-n-cheese on baked potato’ meals during my short stint at the University of Oxford the year prior (you can read more about that here and here).

Before we get too side-tracked (I must also warn you that rambling is my forte) let’s briefly touch on the tastewithoutwaste ethos. Yes sir-ee, we actually have an ethos. Not that it’s stuck to all that strictly. Still, it’s an ethos all the same. What does it entail? Well, we will cover three major aspects of food ‘waste’ around these parts.

1)   Waste in the literal sense. i.e. What we chuck out. Throw away. Discard of without a second though. It’s despicable, people. Enough said.

2)   Waste in a pleasure/health sense. i.e. attempting to find that tenuous balance between doing the right thing by our bodies and allowing for a little indulgence. Clearly without adequate, nutritious food we would fade away to nothingness/experience a whole slew of health-related problems, yet we may as well try our darn hardest to enjoy it along the way! And the odd treat here and there isn’t going to produce catastrophic consequences.

3)   Waste in a vegetarian sense. Now, hold on a sec, please don’t run away screaming. There’ll be no conversion of die-hard carnivores around here. Promise. I strongly believe that’s a personal choice. No judgement made. However, I would like to prompt you to consider incorporating one or two meat-free meals into your week. We’ll skip the preaching. No need for that. Essentially the environment, and to an extent, your body will thank you for it. Hopefully your tastebuds will too!

As aforementioned not every recipe will fit perfectly into one of the above three categories – in the end they all boil down to (often simple) meals/snacks/beverages/condiments etc. that I’d love to make for you. We are friends now, right? Because if you’re my friend (and to be completely honest, even if you’re not) I’ll try to drown you in an array of home-made meals/concoctions. They’re likely to be predominantly baked goods. As it might be difficult to send said goods to you, the recipes are here for you to peruse at your pleasure.

Cooking is largely (there’ll almost always be the occasional stressful situation, can’t avoid them) a cathartic experience. Had a bad day? Need to unwind? Feeling chirpy? Whatever the situation, don that apron (and lads, there’s nothing evil about aprons, they do serve a purpose) and start chopping/beating/whipping away. Your day can only get better.

Time to wrap things up. Welcome to my little patch of the culinary world, and more importantly, thanks for stopping by! If you’ve got any queries whatsoever, shoot me a line at tastewithoutwasteblog@gmail.com or use the contact page above. Cheerio!