On Tuesday 4 January I went to the supermarket for the first time. There were so many things I no longer needed to buy. But when I tried to think what I should buy, I simply had no idea what I wanted.
I wandered round very slowly, trying to work out what to do. I knew I had Lynn coming round Wednesday night and Frances for dinner on Friday, so I bought ravioli and chicken. Bread - there was none left. Milk, garlic, wine. That was about it.
Ever since I started shopping and cooking, after I first married at nineteen, I've had a framework of other people to work within. Now all that has vanished and suddenly there's only me.
What I had for dinner - a real-life list of everyday food
Quite a good run lately. Ready-cooked chook instant "roast" with baked veges on Thursday, potato and vege curry with bits of leftover chicken on Friday, pea and ham soup on Saturday, terakihi in a chili crumb coating with leftover curry and brown rice tonight.
Pride goes before a fall - all very well to boast about dinner parties, but lately it's been much less exciting. A pretty slapdash parade of dinners. Chicken curry for three nights (I made a big one on purpose), interspersed with quick basic fish-in-microwave (1 minute for terakihi) and other basic no-brainers like home-made pizza and bacon and egg pie. But for tonight there's a beef casserole in the slow cooker - that should do two dinners, though with Jonathan I might well be wrong about that. Well, he is 6ft 2in.
I don't mean to boast at all, but I had three three-course dinner parties the week before last. They all worked very well. See lemon tart and cheesecake posts. The other nights we lived very well on the leftovers.
Sunday: Terakihi, sald and potatoes.
Saturday: Chicken bolognese - I'll put up the recipe next week.
Sun 24: Courgette and potato fritters, bacon, red cabbage salad.
Sat 23: Out to friends for a terrific dinner: pate, then prosciutto with tomatoes, avocado, pesto; lamb rack with crispy potatoes, little yellow carrots, baby beets, courgettes, mint sauce, gravy; little cheesecakes with mango slices; superb cheese and slices of pear; chocolates and fruity panforte. Bliss.
THE COLOUR OF FOOD
A memoir of life, love & dinner
Chosen by the Listener as one of the 100 best books of 2013. Consistently No. 1 on Amazon Kindle food memoirs. Print edition in bookshops now or order from Awa Press. Also available as an ebook.
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The colour of food: a memoir of life, love and dinner
My food memoir is now available online! Click on the cover to find it on Amazon Kindle.
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