(I’ve jinxed it now, and will kill myself and all my flatmates with the next meal I attempt to make)
For those of you following me on Twitter – SUBTLE PLUG IS SUBTLE – you may have noticed my bizarre and uncharacteristic odyssey into cookery last night, as I attempted to make vegan lasagne from scratch. Happily, this was an almost complete success – not least because I might have stumbled onto the most middle-class snack food imaginable, aubergine crisps dipped in pepper and parsley – and was something that I actually enjoyed.
That’s right I, of the three recipes, two involving toast, enjoyed making food of some complexity.
A lot of it felt like a writing project, just in miniature; there were a few hours of preparation, a few minutes of combining ingredients, and a few more hours of anticipatory oven-watching, as opposed to the months and years that go into writing something like a novel. There was enough novelty in it, however, to make it a useful break from my life of endless writing, as I was doing something with my hands; the judgement calls were based on physical stimuli – the softness of the pasta, the warmth of the filling – opening up a myriad of new decisions to make, rather than all my inputs being conceptual, which invariably becomes draining after a while.
I also got proper food out of it, which is an oddity. My vegetarian, and now vegan, life has been dog-eared by constant fears (grounded and ungrounded) about my naff diet and the fact that I’m doing some kind of sport six times a week with only a banana and some soya milk to fuel me; but last night, I had an honest reason to stop worrying about all of that.
Plus, I got to eat lasagne for the first time in forever, which is always a good thing.