It should have happened yesterday, but I was a basket case (it would happen more often if my GP would stop dicking about!).
I’ve been up since 05.30. Breathing while in bed is, increasingly in the early mornings, a luxury that eludes me. I can’t breathe lying down so have to sleep sitting up. Now that fails me, so I have to get up. To say I’m pissed off is a massive understatement! OK, I can breathe better sitting bolt upright in front of my computer, but I should have been in bloody bed, and with the right drugs I could have been.
So, to while away the time until the Observer put its foodie mag online, I cobbled up the baseline recipe for my soup (details will follow):-
Touch of Taste
Rosemary (dried – fresh, right now, has no flavour)
Soya beans, pre-cooked
It might look like protein overkill, but I need a high-protein diet.
On a different note, when the Obs finally got its act together, in its mag was an item depressingly called “Christmas on a budget”. Are there four more dispiriting words in the English language?
Well, yes, of course there are, but for most** there is little need to stint at Christmas if you avoid big-ticket items (turkey, goose, ham, any large joints), and have a freezer in which you can assemble Christmas dinner a little at a time. (I’m a firm believer in Christmas dinner, rather than lunch, by the way.) This is aided by the fact that most supermarkets hold back the big-ticket items until the weeks immediately prior to Christmas, by which time my shopping is done except for last-minute fresh veg.
**I do know there will be exceptions, like those with large families, or who have fallen victim to the the IDS-Osborne-Cameron Pogrom, OK?
As an atheist I don’t celebrate Christmas, but it would be churlish of me not to participate in the traditional Season of Conspicuous Consumption, so even if it’s just for me – and it increasingly is, sadly – I’ll cook something special and, if at all possible, new.
Last year it was a fruit-heavy game pie filling that was absolutely stunning – I ate one portion, the rest was lost to a freezer malfunction!
Game will feature this year, too. I already have two packs of venison steaks in the freezer, and to that I want to add partridge or pheasant breasts and some spices and veggies for a warming braise. If I can’t get those** – and it seems unlikely without going online to Waitrose or Ocado and buying a lot of stuff I don’t need just to get the bird bits, then I’ll add some pigs’ liver*** (already in the freezer), to the venison instead, plus some fruit to cut the richness, and maybe baby leeks and/or whole baby onions or shallots.
**I was tempted by rabbit, but it was farmed and Sainsbury’s wanted an extremely ambitious £20 a kilo. No way in hell will I pay that for farmed bunny. And it’s diced – I want a whole one, complete with offal, that I can joint myself.
***Trust me, it’ll work.
And that, for now, is as far as I’ve got, and if I don’t get out in the kitchen I’m likely to be stuck here all day again – pain, despite morphine, is building up to crisis point – time to bite the bullet…