Thursday, 12 July 2012

Downtime and deli plates

It's been quiet. Behind the scenes, though, there have been tears, cursing and not much cooking. And that was just the computer. I got an infection on it just over a week ago, leaving me unable to work or do much else - my "fixer" worked exceptionally hard to get me up and running again and then I had to go through the process of reinstalling all my software.

There's not been much cooking at all on the hob either.
Not much cooking here...
I was away on a work overnighter two weeks ago and came home with a badly damaged foot and an empty fridge. Only one thing for it - get a takeaway delivered.

Ten days ago, I also decided to clear out my freezer. Meat gets something called freezer burn if it's not packed properly at time of freezing, but it will also start to deteriorate gradually if it's kept frozen for a year or more (meat should generally be eaten with 3-6 months of freezing). I rely on my freezer a lot as it's useful for splitting meat packs into smaller portions (a 6-pack of sausages is 2 portions for a hungry lone gourmet, for example) but turnover is important. Most of last week's meals used up older meat and I also ate up some home-cooked frozen meals. The goat stew had survived well as had the Thai curry I knocked up with a homemade spice paste but had forgotten to label.

Mother Hubbard's freezer
And then there were the lazy evenings - supper on the sofa in front of the TV with beans on toast or what I call a deli plate, compiled from whatever's in the fridge. There's usually some cheese and some cold cuts such as parma ham or a slice or two of smoked salmon, olives, a couple of artichoke hearts from a jar, peppadew peppers, fresh tomatoes and salad leaves if I have some. A rummage in the larder may produce some anchovies and a tin of stuffed vine leaves. This sort of feast just needs some crusty bread, pitta or oatcakes to complete it.

No-cook sofa supper
And that's it, really. Normal kitchen service is about to resume (yay!), I'm about to restock my freezer and I'm busy planning the food box I'll be sending to this month's #foodiepenpal.

Oops, nearly forgot - I'm on BBC Radio Manchester tonight, talking about this very blog to Matt White on Gourmet Night at 9pm. Hope you'll find time to tune in!