Waste Not Want Not

The Greek God has many skills (apparently).  His best, he often tells me, is being able to conjure up a feast from bits and bobs – leftovers, if you will – from the fridge or cupboard.

We watch Masterchef together with mixed emotion; the invention test hurls me into menopausal pantry anxiety while the Greek God bursts forth with recipe innovation.

It’s not how my brain works.  I like to shop, French-style, daily.  Fresh veg, a bit of fish… whatevs.  Years with teens and the frequent lament that “I may as well just empty my purse over the bin” as they ‘didn’t really fancy’ what we had rings loud and frequent.

I’m an artisan foodie lady now – skinflint?  miseryarse?  on trend?  I’ve started shopping more effectively.  I think ahead. Crikey.  Don’t tell anyone, will you?

But there’s a problem.  I shop. I roast a spiffing chicken.  Last night’s came with new potatoes (where are my Jersey Royals this year?!) and fennel slaw.  My new mean mind expects this chook to last a while.  I’ve got veg in to roast with couscous with the other half. Two meals.  Boom.

This morning, the Greek God waves a sandwich bag at me.  “Awesome leftovers!” Our evening’s dinner is compressed inside a gone-wrong pitta.  Oh dear.

How does one convey that leftovers aren’t *actually* leftovers but dinners for the rest of the week?  I don’t want to squish his creativity or ‘owt.  So.  We currently have his ‘n’ hers fermentation going on.  Can you guess which one’s which?  On the right, rhubarb and raspberry gin.  On the left, some sort of dodgy pickled leftover cabbage destined to become a smoked kimchi granita gel.  Bloody Masterchef.  Bloody Greek God.  Thank goodness for leftovers gin…

Sticks and Stones…

Man, I feel old.  I hurt everywhere – the kitchen, the dining room, the garden…

Last month, we were walking ten miles a day in howling icy gales, making our foodie  five-year plan and laughing that we were more driven and oomphy than most 30-year-olds.  Then, on yet another windswept yomp, the beastly dog twizzled me round at high speed and I fell on my twisted knee.  I’m too old for unexpected twizzling; I need a little advance notice.  So.  Torn cartilage.  Knee bigger than my head.  Bruises forming as I lay on the Felixstowe footpath, crying, with gravel in my hair.

“No need to fuss,” I told the Greek God as he hauled me up.  “Let’s go to the pub.”

Never let it be said I’m not a brave soldier.  But two weeks on and it’s fair to say I’m a bit down in the dumps.  My career options as a downhill skier or knee model have hit the skids.  There are no treats to eat and I can’t even drive to the shop because the clutch is too ouchy.

I could sleep for a million years.  But there are books to read.  Lovely, lovely words that always perk me up.  In the absence of being able to shop for/cook food, I’m reading about it instead.  Far less fattening.  I’m loving Ruby Tandoh’s ‘Eat Up’ – not quite what I expected but I’d go so far as saying her writing has a touch of the Nigel Slater about it.  She seems a good egg; I’d invite her round for a natter.  So long as eating up doesn’t involve standing up.  Did I mention I’ve got a sore knee?  No?  Oh…