Meals – Day 06, fussy cooking

6 Mar

With the caffeine withdrawal issues mostly gone now, I managed to get up bright and early and got ready to cook breakfast and packed lunch. Thankfully, I had already made some preparations yesterday, so the actual amount of work involved was doable. Even so, I had to cancel my carpool today because I was running a bit late. Better luck tomorrow.

All the work was worth it, though. It might not have been a Full English – or in fact English at all, but this no longer feels like suffering.

"Empty Continental"

In all fairness, don’t expect this tasted exactly like the croissants you’re used to. Made with lard instead of butter, that creamy taste isn’t there. It most definitely wasn’t bad though. As for veg, that was my last tomato and the mushroom I got yesterday, sliced. There are no sausages, beans, toast or egg to be found in the above picture.

Next up for today, lunch. Another fussy dish – I cooked up a cabbage and pork stir-fry yesterday, using half a chilli, ginger and garlic, and I wasn’t going to have it with that mushy rice I’ve got. I might be getting by on a pound a day, but I can still be a food snob, right? So I made some noodles from flour, salt and water, boiled them, briefly fried them in a wok with a bit of garlic, and set off to work.

Cabbage and pork garlic noodles

Apart from the somewhat dry meat (deliberately thoroughly cooked as safety precaution), this was all right, but it lacked a lot of the ingredients I’d usually use. Things such as soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, and -dare I say it- even a pinch of MSG. Still, it did the trick and it most definitely got me through the afternoon.

For fruit, as I mentioned previously, I took advantage of what the company has to offer the employees on Tuesdays – no strings attached.

Interesting, by the way how it’s always the kiwis that are left at the end. I reckon it is because they’re hardly ever sold ripe in this country. If after purchase you leave them to get ever so slightly soft, they’ll be all sweet and aromatic and wonderful. They’re one of the fruits I prefer to get in discount, because that way I won’t have to wait as long before they’re at their peak. I also find they work great as meat tenderiser.On to supper- a bit fussy again. I wanted to make another pork dish, keeping in mind to cook it long enough, but didn’t want the meat to get dry and chewy. I minced the meat, added a spoon of flour, garlic, mixed herbs and last but not least salt, then shaped the mince into meat balls. I browned them, then added cabbage and the three little tubs of ketchup I received yesterday and some water, and let it simmer. Meanwhile I shaped some mash with herbs into ball shapes too and then rolled the mash balls in dry instant mash, then proceeded to grill them. Overall way too much work, but it made for a solid dinner.

Day 06 - meatball casserole

I don’t know yet what tomorrow will bring, but overall it will probably be a bit simpler. I’m slowly running out of lard and garlic, so I probably should be wise and save up for them. Wish me luck for tomorrow’s groceries!

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4 Responses to “Meals – Day 06, fussy cooking”

  1. sarah March 6, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Croissants and noodles from scratch – well impressed!!!

    Out of interest – how much more time do you spend now (cooking things from scratch )than before you started this challenge? I am trying to figure out if it is quite possible to spend some additional time on it IF: a) you have small kids+job; b) you are allergic to some ingredients or in general don’t like some fruit, veg, etc.. and cannot fully benefit from buying the reduced items or c) have no idea how to cook – Just “try”ing to “catch” the “Exception”s 😉

    • kleinebre March 8, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      How much more time? Quite a bit more, I would say- basically most of my “free” time is out of the window right now. Of course doing groceries *every* day, retouching pictures and keeping the blog would probably not be necessary in real life. I do have a job but currently no small kids that need tending to. Your concern is justified though, I’m not sure that this crazy schedule would be compatible with them. On the other hand, more mouths to feed might imply a bit bigger budget, which in turn broadens the range of products that fit within the budget of the day. If I had 2 pounds a day available, I’d probably buy a kilo of onions at a time instead of just a single one; you can get better value like that.

      Allergies are an interesting concern; I suppose some allergens are harder to avoid than others. Shellfish would be fairly straightforward to avoid (simply don’t buy it), wheat/gluten would be a lot trickier (it’s in just about EVERYTHING) so the reduced department probably won’t work very well then.

      Allergies are going to be tricky anyhow: Milling your own rice flour, for instance, can be done but isn’t very practical, especially if you depend on your self-milled flour as your main source for carbohydrate.

      On a side note, although there are free-from foods, they consistently have higher price tags than “regular” food. It would be nice to know whether that higher price tag just due to the extra care that’s needed to produce the products; I can imagine this being the case with products that need to be absolutely nut-free, for example. On the other hand, it’s easy to take advantage of people who don’t have a choice.

      I imagine some readers here wouldn’t be too thrilled about liver. When I got liver the other day, I chose the cheapest kind (completely fresh, by the way) – pork liver. Had I been Jew or Muslim, that would not have been an option. Same thing when you absolutely hate it. If that would have been my case, I’d probably have ended up with a box of eggs instead, perhaps a day or two later.

      Having no idea how to cook can be solved – one dish at a time. All it takes is choosing a dish you’ve never cooked and trying to prepare it. Then do it a thousand times. Considering the risk of dishes failing, a crazy challenge like this is probably not the best time to start learning!

  2. Linda Dave Walker March 7, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    I can’t believe the things you are making and buying!

    • kleinebre March 7, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      I can’t believe some of the things I’m buying, but maybe for different reasons. Meat with a use-by date of today? Slippery, slimy jellied eel? The horror! (Actually it was quite tasty!)

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