The Coronavirus Diaries, 17th November 2020

The semi-finals of GBBO tonight. I have been rooting for Hermine. Fear not those of you who fret I am going to give away the result before this season airs in your country. I am not planning to give anything away. So I’ll stop there before I say who else is still in the tent.

An early evening walk with Celia and we saw more Christmas decorations, but I didn’t have my camera. Celia tells me the early appearance of Christmas decorations is so widespread this year it’s been reported in the press. I know some people put them up in Lockdown1 which seemed completely nuts to me. Now I am wondering if they ever took them down. I hope they did, otherwise their rooms are going to look like an homage to Miss Haversham. I’m looking forward to hearing what the psychologists have to say.

I’m just making comfort food. Last night it was rumbledethumps, a Scottish leftovers dish closely related to Bubble and Squeak. I had some swede, not my favourite vegetable, which I wanted to use up and it seemed a good idea. I substituted vegan cheddar for real cheddar. I’m not a big fan of fake cheese, but I have had it melted and been pleasantly surprised. But what to have with it? Beans of some sort, but rumbledethumps is fairly beige in colour apart from the cabbage part, so I decided on red kidney beans. Again not my favourite bean, so that’s three ingredients not on my loved list.

But OMG it was good. I am even prepared to buy more red kidney beans. I based that part of the meal on a recipe by Rose Eliot, the queen of vegetarian and vegan cookery. I spent the hour after eating in a state of sensory delight. Oh and there was apple crumble for pudding. Tonight I had some leftover rumbledethump – yes, leftovers from a dish of leftovers, that’s me – with vegan sausages, mushrooms and broccoli, again with crumble for pudding, cold crumble tonight with soy yoghurt. Much as I enjoy watching GBBO I don’t think they have have ever baked anything I’d actually want to eat. Peasant food, that’s my thing: plain, loads of vegetables, unfussy and big quantities. The other day Charlie, aka Mr Celia, revealed that early in their marriage Celia had said she’d be quite happy to have a pill that replaced the need for meals. I was shocked into silence. Celia looked slightly uncomfortable and said something to the effect that that was no longer how she felt. I was very pleased to hear it.

Nouvelle cuisine and minimalism? That’s bad enough. A pill instead of a meal? No way.

Stay safe. Keep well. Cook with love. Eat with joy.

5 thoughts on “The Coronavirus Diaries, 17th November 2020

  1. I have cooked for so many, many years and love eating my food (usually). But I’m not in love with cooking. I would urge Jim to do some of the cooking but then I would be responsible for clean-up. I like things the way they are. But I have decided that I can identify with cooking as an act of love. I love feeding the people I love. If I get frustrated, it has more to do with deciding what to cook instead of actually cooking it.

    • Some days there’s very little time, but I usually already have things prepared in the fridge, and beans I have cooked and frozen in the freezer compartment. There’s also frozen home made soup that can quickly become a meal, and one of the great things about curry is it improves after a day or two, so making a big batch of it pays dividends. That said, fancy, fiddly cooking would soon drive me from the kitchen. I enjoy thinking about what I have and what I can make from it.

      • I also like having things in the freezer. Our daughter who is living with us during the pandemic makes soups for the freezer because that is how she cooks for herself when she is living in Texas.

  2. Just a quick comment that we have bog roll panic again. And kitchen roll. And pasta. As if we never learned anything back in March? May your fellow countrywomen and men not be so fickle.

    So if I understand what you are saying you aren’t a Jaime Oliver sort of cook? I am very much a “one pot” cook when it comes to things that are actually cooked. Salads are a different story.

    Be safe and warm.

    • I am quite fond of one pot too, a technique that it was necessary to perfect as a student in a shared kitchen, but two or three pots is also quite common.
      We have loo roll, pasta and kitchen roll at present. Come Brexit and we shall probably have nothing.

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