Tag: Food

Help, I can’t stop thinking about tupperware

(it’s not the right time to be sober, ‘coz now the tupperware is taking over)

I never really got tupperware before. I didn’t see the need to fill a fridge with small plastic tubs when tin foil would do the trick; I didn’t know why kids would lug sandwiches around in those unwieldy plastic boxes, that didn’t even get smaller as you ate their contents. Tupperware was weird to me.

But then I tried using some tupperware, and now I can’t stop thinking about it.

I’m thinking about what I can put in my various Russian Doll-stacked boxes next; I get uneasy when there’s not a hoard of boxed leftovers in the fridge because it means the storage space is going to waste; I’m incorporating them into my evening bag-packing routine, just in front of the folders, snugly alongside the water bottle and beneath the BG kit; I’m even starting to plan meals around what could easily be tupperwared and eaten cold the next day. It’s terrifying.

I think a lot of this stems from the fact that I’m making actual food these days. From my accidentally over-shared lasagne the other week to mash with vegetables to standard stir fries, all of these things can be eaten half now, and half later. This has massively cut down on the size of my meals, and is letting me eat two or three regular-sized meals a day, rather than one heart attack-inducing gorge-fest a day – and still have food for days. I’m also taking my diet more seriously; I’m committed to this vegan thing, but also to the myriad of sporting and logistical responsibilities I have at the moment, and to keep all of these intact I need to be thinking about what I’m eating more carefully. The existence of tupperware in my life means I can eat decent things at regular intervals, rather than bailing and settling for the one vegetable samosa Costa serve every other day. It’s even cheaper too, as my (admittedly eye-watering) one-off investment of nine quid into some tupperware has cut the number of overpriced coffee shop sandwiches and snacks.

Basically I’ve been converted to the cult of tupperware. And no, I don’t care that it’s taking up all my flatmates’ fridge space.

On my surprisingly successful flirtation with cooking

(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.

Multi-tasking!

(I’m writing this blog as I multi-task, so it’s like meta-multi-tasking!)

I quite like cooking, but I’ve never got into it, nor have I wanted to. I can’t really smell, will eat anything as long as it’s warn (and, ironically, vegan) and don’t care for pretentious vegan recipes. But in enjoying tonight’s ‘cooking’, that is putting frozen things in various heating apparatuses at various times, I’ve realised that the thing I like about cooking is the logistical side of it; I like managing time, and it’s, literally, even sweeter when I get something to eat out of it.

This shouldn’t really surprise me, considering that I spend my life juggling disparate events and commitments like a jester with all his free time on his hands, and none of it on his schedule. Today, for instance, was two hours of essay-writing in the morning, an hour-long seminar, an hour-long lecture, three hours of shopping and Game Shelf article-writing, two hours of American football, an hour of showering and relaxing, and now cooking, which is split into five-minute intervals detailing the putting on of the beans, or the spud, or the chips.

I think this all comes from a bizarre combination of me being a control freak, but not wanting to step on people’s toes; I’m never totally comfortable organising other people, especially with this kind of precision, so I apply these rules to myself in an extreme, over-compensatory way. This is, incidentally, one of the reasons I took on so many committee responsibilities this year. I know I can organise and motivate myself, the challenge now is doing it with other people.

And with that, my tea is approaching completion, so I’ll leave you; I wanted this post on multi-tasking to be multi-tasked, so now that everything else is done, so is this post.

Breakfast is a good thing

(the most important meal of the day, serving it up Gary’s way!)

I’ve had breakfast for the past two consecutive days and, contrary to all of my previously anti-breakfast sentiments, I’ve rather enjoyed my bowl of bran flakes with suspiciously unidentified ‘dried fruit’. Add soya milk to the mix and it’s not really a hassle, and perhaps even an enjoyable thing.

Of course, this is helped by the fact that my weekends start with an hour’s walk to work, so I can get any lingering glucose out of my system before I have to do any thinking, so I never feel the annoying post-meal high that I usually do.

I’ve also moaned in the past about the expense of eating two meals a day, but that’s rather counteracted by my current employment, and my recent realisation that I don’t need to drop forty quid on a new game every month.

So basically, the need to get a job saved breakfast for me. Cheers capitalism.

I Am A Dromedary

(camels are too mainstream)

Drom

(pictured: my uncle Kevin)

I am a dromedary. I go for days, weeks even, without sustenance, crossing the oft-fatal desert of living alone for the first time. It’s not that there isn’t food and water available – there are many watering holes, oases even on my path – but I rarely find them, too often distracted by the rabbit hole of some footprints in front of me, some sky writing that might actually be a clickbait title, and a copy of Jim Lindberg’s Punk Rock Dad dangled on a string just ahead of me.

But every now and then, I am forced to stop. Sporadically, a TV pokes its antennae out of the sand, and The Great British Bake-Off is playing, Mel and Sue bouncing around their unusually sandless enclosure like baby dromedaries. And when I stop, other dromedaries give me food, until my hump is bloated, I struggle to walk, but at least I’ll survive until next week.

When I’ll do it all again.

This is, indeed, my way of communicating that I’m overstuffed with my parents’ food, found an amusing picture of a dromedary online, and am probably high to the point of incoherency all at once.

Photo credit – http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/camel.png

Those Big Bags Of Crisps Will Literally Kill Me

(thought I’d stop being so mopey all the time on this blog)

You know those 150g bags of crisps you can buy? Those sharing-sized bags of Doritos that are cheaper if you get, like, seventeen at once, or the Cracker Crisps that come in 45,402 different flavours which you have to buy, so you end up taking out a mortgage to do your weekly snack shop? Yeah, those ones are gonna kill me.

A lot of this is my fault, as I’ve spent the last year eating such things in place of real food, and I have developed quite a, if you’ll excuse the idiom, taste for them; I like the simplicity of eating them out of a bag, I like the variety of flavours, I like the consistency of carb content that means I don’t have to do any complex maths to cover them when transitioning from one brand to another. They’re also relatively cheap and are one of few flavoursome things I can eat at the moment (for reasons I won’t be disclosing on the blog for a little while yet).

But I’m not totally to blame; I still have the metabolism of a sixteen year-old, and despite my best efforts to live off two meals a day and spend my time not stuffing my face, it’s very difficult when my body is still trying to harvest all the available nutrients in a fifteen-mile radius like a particularly greedy plant with a rather spectacularly wide root system. Or a really fat motherfrakker with a lot of money and a lot of free time.

Also, those bags are the perfect size for what I call a half-meal, a unit of food somewhere between a snack and a meal that cannot alone sustain a person for a whole day, but are a very nice solution for when it’s not time for your meal of the day, but are hungry. Normally, I’ll have two such half-meals, and one full meal, a day; these crisps are apparently the perfect size for one to base one’s entire dining structure around.

Considering the fact that such crisps aren’t really that healthy, that title there isn’t comedic hyperbole, nor is it only a half-baked reference to this particularly wonderful Simpsons comic (if it does poke fun at mental disabilities a bit too much for nineteen-year-old James’ liking). I’ll probably end up dead, with a packet of chilli Cracker Crisps in my hands, like the poor Donutted bastards of that comic. And when you find me there, don’t make a joke about it being ironic that I was diabetic; I’ll haunt the shit out of you.

Coconut Water Sucks

(if I were stuck on a desert island, I’d take my chances with the saltwater)

In my quest to become a Level Five vegan, and continue to add unnecessary restraint to my life, I’m starting to wean myself off produce, and cook vegan, rather than vegetarian, recipes. I’m quickly learning that the three buildings blocks of vegan cooking are butternut squash, a shit-load of lentils, and coconut products, like coconut milk and coconut oil. And I really like coconut milk!

So I thought I’d try coconut water today; I like coconut, and I like water, so this can’t go wrong, right? Yeah, no. It fulfilled that most difficult of criteria that only some rancid products can hit, that it was both tastelessly vile and totally unpleasant. There was maybe a hint of coconut, but that might just be me attributing the dire flavour to the picture on the carton based on sight alone, but the whole thing tasted of water-down coconut milk. In retrospect, this isn’t too surprising, but the great thing about coconut milk is how rich and simultaneously smooth and light it is, so you can consume your own body weight in it without feeling unwell, which is what happens when you eat chocolate, or Doritos.

But coconut water is robbed of that integral richness because it’s largely flavourless, and it’s about as expensive as a sandwich from the Co-op so it’s a waste of money, and it has carbs in it so I can’t drink it freely, but need to go through the blood test-insulin dosage faff whenever I drink any of the stuff.

All in all, the coconut water episode was a blight on an otherwise wonderfully productive day.