Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Fridge Cleanup, and Dispiriting News

I made perhaps the most pathetic dinner in the world last night. We've had a million little tiny jars -- two containers of capers, plus mustard, créme fraîche, chutney and other stuff -- in the refrigerator for weeks and weeks, and I am about crazy trying to move it all around. So last night I made a watercress salad (with some watercress that had to be eaten, and I'm not sure why Dave even bought it because he won't eat it) and I added a container of pickled ginger that we got weeks ago when we ordered some sushi, and I made a peanut butter sandwich with a generous helping of grapefruit marmalade in order to use that up. And I threw away an ancient jar of chicken liver paté that, believe me, you wouldn't want to even look at, much less eat.

So I succeeded in reducing the fridge clutter, but Dave, seeing my culinary choices, decided he didn't even want to eat dinner. Which I then felt guilty about. (He'd wanted to get takeaway, but I argued that we had plenty of food in the house already.) There's still an egg in there with his name on it, and some tuna fish.

It's kind of a game to me -- open up the fridge and see what kind of meal I can whip up. It usually involves peanut butter, because that's the glue that holds many of my meals together. Left to my own devices, I still eat like a college student.

The news continues to be awfully bleak these days. I think I've become the most cynical person on the planet. The gun situation in the USA disgusts me and the "Paradise Papers" confirm what we've known all along -- that rich people hoard and conceal their wealth in order to avoid paying for a civil society. Even the Queen has offshore investments -- the person who's supposed to embody duty and service to country! The person in whose name taxes are collected! And then there's Brexit, which is grinding on and on toward an obviously grim conclusion, and I keep thinking, "Why are we doing this?!"

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson, like Trump, just says whatever comes to his mind and winds up thwarting diplomacy and imperiling people's lives.

Maybe I really should just stop reading the newspaper.

On a positive note, I did finally finish that novel I had to read for work. So that's something. It was about an Iranian refugee family and it was well-written, but I felt a lack of dramatic tension -- there wasn't much pulling me through the story. Maybe I felt that way because it was basically assigned reading. Anyway, now I can move on to my Joni Mitchell biography, which hopefully will be more compelling!

Oh, and the council removed our extra recycling bin yesterday. Prompt and efficient!

(Photo: Croydon, on Sunday.)


  1. Your first paragraph made be vomit all over the keyboard of this laptop. I have tried to clean it up but some of the vomit managed to leak between the keys so I have now got a clothes peg on my nose.

    Good point you made that taxes are collected in the name of The Queen.

  2. I LOVE grapefruit marmalade and it's very hard to find here on Long Island. I first tasted it in Florida, of course, and the place that makes it won't ship to New York, and they only make it in the cool months of the year because the plant gets too hot in Summer. I never thought of looking for it in England, but the next time I'm in the UK I will look for grapefruit marmalade at the supermarket and haul some jars of it home.

    I remember that, on my first trip to London in 1975, back when the UK had the worst cuisine in Europe, I went to the Safeway that used to be on the King's Road in Chelsea and discovered that English people had a taste for rhubarb yogurt, which was the weirdest cross-cultural challenge that I'd confronted in my 19 years of existence. I could not bring myself to taste it, and this was at a time when I was game for escargot and cervelle. Rhubarb yogurt just seemed too icky. I've been to a lot of Waitroses and Tescos and Sainsburys since then and I haven't seen rhubarb yogurt in ages. I wonder if it's gone out of style now that, gastronomically, the UK is a vastly different place.

  3. Steve, I am sorry to tell you this but in this instance, I, too, would have wanted take-out. Sometimes you just have to let things go. Of course, I have chickens so nothing ever really goes to waste but still...
    As to the world, I'm giving it a break today. Fuck it all.
    I'm thinking about new babies...

  4. I'm with Dave. that sounds disgusting. as for the news I avoid it as much as possible these days. being aware just raised my blood pressure.

  5. Grapefruit marmalade sounds yummy. We don't get that here, but if we did I know Roger would love it! We don't watch the news, but we read a lot of it, and except for Tuesday's wonderful election results, the bleakness keeps rolling along.

  6. Oh dear, I think I might have passed on that dinner too! I actually went three days in a row without reading or watching any news. It was a nice break from reality.
    I think that Beauty Queen in your photo could use a facelift.

  7. Tuesday's election results here in "the States" gave me a big lift in my attitude toward the future. And, yes, after viewing your supper I believe I would have called out for a pizza!

  8. Depending on how old stuff is in the fridge, we like to through it out. The gun thing will go on long after we're gone. Now that's being pessimistic!

  9. I commend you and admire you for trying not to waste food. There's entirely too much of that going on in the world (waste, I mean). If it was only me here, I'd live on peanut butter and eggs and cheese. Not every meal - or even most - need to be a fancy creation! And if a person is going to buy odd ingredients, that person needs to have a plan to use them up :)

  10. I'm looking forward to reading the Joni bio too and, having no idea when I'll get my sweaty little paws on it, I look forward to reading your review. -Kate