Extremely dismayed, in bed last night, to see that my right leg (I have bilateral lymphoedema, for new readers), was once again swollen. Being on my feet much of the day, and up a step-ladder at one point, probably the reasons.
It’s gone down again this morning but clearly a warning sign that I need to take much more care of myself. Trouble is, there are many things I have to do myself because there is no-one else to do them for me like, yesterday, stocking my shiny new fridge freezer, and (the ladder thing), repairing the reflective film on my window (my flat faces due south, that wall is almost all glass, and the sun can push up the temperature into the high 30s without the film – and yes, I do get tired of explaining to the witless that I’m not hiding from aliens, or CIA death rays!).
And, in the next couple of days, there are things I have to do that I wouldn’t let anyone else do. For example, I have to devise a new veggie recipe for this blog (and persuade a veggie friend to test it – it’ll be good,** but will a veggie like it as much as I do?), along with making bread. And cake.
**I know it should work as it’s a veggie version of a meat-based recipe, but whereas I have ample ingredients to call upon when making a stock in which to cook the meat version, most are out of the question for the veggie one. This was a problem during my 20-odd-year veggie phase, and I’ve still not entirely resolved it, though a certain sameness of flavour can be countered with herbs and/or spices. Sod it – don’t know why I’m worrying, it usually works out just fine. I’ll do what I always do – wing it!
In addition, seasonality deprives me of a favourite vegetable. I like greens in a casserole, partly for colour, partly for texture, and partly for flavour. Pak choi is good, when grown outdoors and in Britain, when it’s firm and crisp, and retains its texture when cooked. In winter, I suspect it’s grown hydroponically, probably in the Netherlands or Africa (it’s incredibly clean but, when, grown outdoors in summer, it normally collects dirt the same way leeks and celery do). However it’s grown, the winter version has little flavour and disintegrates when cooked, the fleshy white base vanishing, just leaving an unpleasant, leathery, skin behind.
A change of tack, and as many of you will know, I’ve had ME since the mid 80s. Treatment, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell sufferers, is problematic but I long ago came up with a bunch of supplements that, while not by any measure a cure, do, at least, keep me on my feet when I might otherwise be a basket case. See this post for full details (updated today).
Note for DWP snoops: By “on my feet” I mean more able to cope with the exigencies of my diuretics, which necessitate a pee every 15-20 minutes for around 6 hours every day, not walking the fucking Pennine Way. Are we clear on that?
However, the events of the past couple of years have rather pushed ME into the background, and meant that my supplements have been largely ignored. The high price I paid for that is becoming clear now that I’m taking them again, even though it adds 18 tabs and caps to the 63 I already take daily as proper meds (I also consider my supps to be meds, too, just not in drug form).
Back to food, and an email from Sainsbury’s proudly boasts “Whole chickens are now only £5” (£2.50 a kg). Another, online, offer has somewhat smaller birds at £4.50 each (£3.33/kg),** or 3 for £10. Knackered old battery birds, all of them, I shouldn’t wonder, considering an organic bird is £6.39/kg , but if you want a free-range bird you have to click through to the details for every likely-looking bird (based on price), to find out which, if any, are free range – come on Sainsbury’s, put the info upfront!
**And if you’re looking for logic in the price per kilo, you won’t find it! Why a smaller bird, with less meat on it, should cost more per kilo than a larger bird I can’t begin to imagine. Well, I can, but it’s pretty bloody cynical – it’s to encourage the sale of 3 for a tenner to get rid of the scrawny buggers! Yep, I have spotted that at 3 for a tenner it’s the same as the price per kilo.
And finally, I’m looking with increasing alarm at my Sainsbury’s order for tomorrow, as it edges ever closer to £60, not counting their extortionate £5.99 delivery charge. Trouble is, while I usually shop at Tesco, Sainsbury’s have stuff I want but can’t get elsewhere, like the excellent Sweet Spear carrots and the equally good, full-fat (6%), cottage cheese from Longley Farm. OK, I can get the latter from Asda, but not the carrots and quite a bit of other stuff too.
I know Tesco do a 6% cottage cheese, but it’s disgusting – the curds appear to have been extruded, not cut as they should be, and have a rubbish texture