It’s been a little while since we’ve shared what we are up to at Edinburgh Food Social so we thought it was high time to give you a peek behind the scenes in the kitchen. Even though 2023 has been a big year of transformation for us, our mission hasn’t changed, and we are still responding to the big challenges affecting people’s access to good food, from the cost of living to climate change crises. As ever, we are using Scotland’s bountiful larder to make delicious, nourishing, and sustainable food while supporting individuals and communities to pick up new skills and come together around the table.
This festive season, our community cooking is already in full swing as the cold, wintry days demand hot, healthy, and hearty meals for all. We kicked off on December 1st with a flurry of community meals for The Greenhouse Pantry in Craigmillar, just around the corner from Edinburgh Food Social HQ. With pumpkins kindly donated from Kilduff Farms, our first December provisions were 50 portions of ready-to-heat roasted pumpkin, steak and bean chilli. The Greenhouse Pantry offers an accessible weekly membership, and operates under ‘Dignity at Heart” principles that allow pantry members to have greater control over their choices than they would at most food banks.
We’ve been pickling, brining, jam-making, and preserving in every way throughout the year so we don’t waste any fruit and veg while it’s in season. As the preserving connoisseurs among you may know, this is the time of year when you get to share the fruits of this labour, as jams and chutneys make the perfect festive filler. Ahead of Christmas we’ll be using our relishes and preserves to make up hampers for Niddrie Parish Church to distribute to those in need in the community. The hampers will also include a selection of ready-to-eat and pantry staples including herb stuffing and home-made mushroom pate. We’ll also be sending bespoke recipe kits to Gracemount High School for their free Christmas fair.
Pumpkin (Jam) Season
We hope you haven’t had enough of reading about jam, because we haven’t had enough of making it! The coming weeks will see the kitchen become a jar-filled laboratory as we make up stock for food banks across the city run by the Edinburgh Food Project. Our latest batch is strawberry and fennel, with plum up next. Inspired by a team member’s recent trip away, we will also be using lovely Kilduff produce to make pumpkin jam. We like the look of this recipe from From The Larder. If you’re as intrigued as us, give it a go and let us know how you get on – we’d love to compare notes! We’re always on the hunt for jars for our preserves so please collect your jars and drop them off to us.