sareini: (thoughtful)
1) What was the first recipe or food you learned how to cook?

2) What recipe or food did you cook most recently?

3) What recipe or food do you cook most often?

4) What is your favorite recipe?

5) What is the recipe you make that impresses other people the most?


1) - It would be either apple crumble (from Year 7 Domestic Science - Food) or scrambled eggs (from my own learning when my mother first became sick and she could no longer stop me from using the kitchen (to say my mother was over-protective at times would be something of an understatement).

2) - Burgers and potato waffles. It would have been cheeseburgers in buns, but I forgot to buy the cheese. and the buns.

3) - Sausages and potato waffles. Or, more generally, potato waffles. I like potato waffles.

4) - My sausage and bean casseroles, which I really should start making again. It's very easy to tweak the recipe to include just about anything and in the slow cooker it's incredibly easy to make.

5) - I've not cooked for anyone in a while. Nick used to say that I cooked chips, burgers and steak to (his standards of, which in the case of steak was well done to charcoal) perfection. I've been praised for my Nutella cupcakes and maple and pecan muffins. And I devised walnut and pine nut fried rice for my vegan friend once that went down surprisingly well.

From [community profile] thefridayfive 
sareini: "chocolate: the other major food group!" (Chocolate)
Because I found myself at a loose end today (mutter grumble limited release) I decided to go food shopping. Actually, I originally wanted to do this last night, but I fell asleep and when I woke up at half past midnight I just couldn't be bothered going out again even though we have a 24-hour Tesco, so today it was.

When I go food shopping, the food generally falls into one of three categories: food that doesn't need to be cooked; food that only requires a small amount of cooking; and food that requires a lot of prep and cooking, which means it will probably live in a cupboard or the freezer until the last possible minute. I try very, very hard to eat healthily, but decades of treating emotional distress with food and a tendency to not notice I need to eat until the last minute tend to get in the way of that. I've certainly gotten better though; I no longer buy cakes and cookies and whole bread and butter puddings that I eat uncooked (ask me about how I'm probably immune to salmonella by now!) and then some actual food as an afterthought. No, I bought things that can be made into casseroles with the slow cooker, and sauces that can go with Quorn... and a big container of potato salad. And a tub of hummous and some breadsticks. And Haagen-Daas because it was half-price. Hey, I never said I was completely better.

I did manage to beat most of my sweet cravings by buying greek yogurt in honey and salted caramel flavours, and a ton of fruit juice (although why is it so difficult to find grape juice now? All I can find is Welch's, and nearly all their varieties have stuff added to them.) I'm also trying out a Vimto Squeezy juice thing because, once again, Tesco are out of the Raspberry Lemonade Mighty Drops (I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and buy i bulk from eBay). The Vimto Squeezy is.... okay, I guess. It tastes a bit too... sweetened for consumption for my taste. I like a bit of bite in my fruit juices and cordials that aren't Ribena or elderflower-related.

In conclusion: I'm probably having potato salad for tea.
sareini: default (chocolate)
I went shopping in the daytime today.

That probably doesn't sound like too big an accomplishment; like it would be on par with "successfully posting a letter" or "having a telephone conversation with someone you vaguely know", but it's a pretty big one for me. Even before Nick's death and my complete breakdown and withdrawl from society, I was pretty socially avoidant and anxious about crowds, so now it's more like throwing myself willingly into a vat of acid with acid-proof sharks swimming around in it.

Normally, if I have to do any grocery shopping that can't be done at the corner shop 100m from my house, I do it in the middle of the night. After all, what's the point of having a 24-hour Tesco's in the area if you're not going to go shopping at 3am? Also it's quiet, there are very few other shoppers around, you don't have to get in a queue for perusing the Clearance shelves and the staff usually play classic rock or party tunes to keep themselves awake as they stock shelves. For someone like me, it's all in all a good time for shopping.

But at the weekends Tesco's closes at midnight on Saturdays because of the Sunday Trading Laws (bah) and so when I realised I needed to go shopping today I was faced with a decision - either wait until the early hours of Monday morning or go during the daytime today. In the end I decided I didn't want to wait. Also I needed batteries.

For me, going out at any time is fraught with anxiety, but daytime is the worst. There's too many people around, and I constantly feel that they're all looking at me, judging me, thinking and talking about me, mocking me. It doesn't help that I've currently got what would be several days' beard growth on a man adorning my face, of which I'm horribly self-conscious about but also too depressed to do anything about (it's a vicious circle) And supermarkets are always crowded in the daytime, especially at weekends. If I could I'd keep my eyes glued to the floor the entire time I was there so as not to make eye contact with anyone for even a second, but that way leads to being run over by a trolley. On the other hand, I'm probably one of the few shoppers who actually notices the people in the disability scooters. I'm not good in the taxi journeys there and back, either; too much traffic on the road for one, and any vehicle that comes too close (in my mind) to the car makes me flinch away from the side as though it's about to come through the door to punch me; and I live in constant fear that the taxi driver will try to start a conversation with me - especially if it's a driver who's picked us up in the past, because they inevitably ask where Nick is and then things get even more awkward.

But I made it through. I had to wait at the Clearance shelves for about five minutes because a woman with quite obvious OCD was there arranging everything on the shelves according to food type and size (not a shop worker, just a customer), but I can understand that urge and it seemed to be making her happy. I managed to not break down and buy a 12-box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts (even though they had new Cookie Dough-filled ones) and bought foods that, when combined with other foods, will make complete meals and will last me a good while before I need to buy more. I also bought foods to snack on while watching stuff on the TV. And I bought the cats a treat of Sheba Tuna with Prawns, which was well-received.

Forgot to buy the batteries though.
sareini: default ('born naughty')
We got a takeaway menu through the door this weekend. We get a lot of them round here, and for the most part they get a cursory look-over before being put in the great big pile of takeaway menus that we never use because we already have our preferred outlets for each type of food.

But Nick calls me through Saturday night to look at this latest menu.

Apparently all its pizza come with herpes.

For each pizza listed, it gives the ingredients. And the last ingredient listed is always "herpes" - ie. Margharita: Cheese, Tomato and herpes.

Typo or no, this is one place I don't think we'll be ordering from...


Oh, and current NaNo word count: 7125
sareini: default (The Pilgrimess)
It's probably reasonably obvious to everyone that, what both the 'flu and the unexpected ending of my new job only one week in, I've been rather depressed this week.

I'd been kind of aware of this, but the point was really brought home to me earlier this evening when I realised that I was eating a can of condensed milk (you know, the kind that's really thick and sweek that you use for making stuff like Banoffee Pie), straight out of the can.

It's weird. I don't actually remember feeling this bad for quite some time - this horrible sort of listnessness where you don't want to do anything because you just can't see the point, and even the things that you do enjoy doing just aren't any fun. So you end up eating condensed milk because you like the taste and you can't think of anything else to do.

I don't like feeling like this, but I don't know how to get out of it.
sareini: default (Angry Princess (one))
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sareini: default (Silent Night Deadly Night)
So, how was everyone else's day?

I got woken at about 8 by means of being climbed on by a kitten (who's not so much a kitten any more now that he's grown into an almost full-grown tomcat who's absolutely huge, but I digress), and woke Nick. Nick wasn't too happy as he didn't want to be woken before 10am, but such is life.

Presents:

I got three DVDs - Land of the Dead, Braindead and House of 1000 Corpses from Nick, and three graphic novels - Batman/Aliens, Batman - A Lonely Place of Dying and Batman: Bruce Wayne - Murderer?, also from Nick.

From Nick's mother I got two packs of drawing pencils - one set of charcoal shading pencils and one set of fineline drawing pencils - and a latch-hook rug kit of Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. Since I've never even considered making a rug before this was mildly bewildering, but it's not that difficult to get the hang of at all and good for keeping your hands occupied while you're watching TV.

From 'Jelli and Mac' I got a chocolate reindeer.

As for Nick - well, I got him three DVDs - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, V for Vendetta and This is Spinal Tap, a pair of Winnie the Pooh socks and a Mint Chocolate Orange. On Wednesday I'm also getting him a late present of a bottle of mint chocolate Bailey's. He also got a chocolate Santa from 'the cats', and several books from his mother and father that I can't remember the names of right now except that most were about politics (and one wrestling - The Death of WCW.

We got Jelli a new soft, fluffy cat bed to sleep on, which she currently doesn't trust and steps around whenever she can. We got Mac a scratching post/tree that he can also sit on - he was completely clueless as to what to do until Nick actually had to pick him up and sit him on the damn thing. After which he spent about an hour sitting on it like Lord Nelson on his column. We also gave both of them lots of cat treats and little toys - Mac has a big fluffy mouse on a cord that he chases everywhere, and Jelli has a little plastic ball that she likes to bat around the room.

After all that, we spent the rest of the day just sitting round watching DVDs and eating Christmas dinner. Nick had steak burgers with onion rings, chips and cheesy nacho wedges, and I had a butterflied fillet of lamb with a winter spiced glaze - which all seemed to go wrong somewhere, because even though I had it in the oven for the required time at the required temperature, when I came to eat it it wasn't just pink in the middle, it was bright red and bleeding.

Tomorrow I'm even getting Nick to watch Land of the Dead with me - not because I'm converting him to the zombie cause, but because he'll watch anything with Dennis Hopper in it... I might also be able to get him to watch House of 1,000 Corpses because of Sheri Moon too...
sareini: default (chocolate)
So our Christmas treats hamper from Nick's mother arrived this afternoon, and in it was a box of Twilight mint chocolates for each of us.

For those who don't know, Twilights are a posh mint chocolate, kind of like After Eights only in smaller, thicker segments. They have a minimum of 40% cocoa solids, which also means that they have a slightly higher than normal ammount of caffeine in them.

Knowing this, I said to myself that I'd have to eat them slowly and carefully so as not to make myself sick.

Then I ate the whole box in half an hour.

Yes, I'm regretting it now.
sareini: default (Number 48)
I just made myself some hummous, beansprout and feta cheese pitta breads.

Next time I'm just eating the damn ingredients seperately.

Cooking

Aug. 23rd, 2005 08:25 pm
sareini: "ambiguous desire" written over an image of Desire of the Endless (Desire)
I miss cooking. And I don't mean the simple tasks of turning the oven on, letting it heat up and then sticking something in for 25 minutes or until golden brown, either (although I miss that too, as our time without a working cooker now approaches the five-week mark, with no signs of recovery). I miss cooking from scratch- all seperate ingredients and you have to mix, chop, peel and blend them all together.

I discovered cous-cous can be done in the microwave last night. So dinner this evening was cous-cous and garlic and herb crouton salad (hold the salad). It's about as creative as I can be right now, since most things in the cupboard need oven-cooking or at least cooking on an oven hob.

I learned my cooking skills from my mother who, being Irish, subscribed to the Irish way of cooking. That is, the only measuring instruments we had were a basic set of weighing scales (for flour, cooking fat and the like) and a set of measuring spoons. Everything else was measured out using the "That looks about right," school of measurements. This included cooking times. My favourite dish of my mother's was Chocolate Upside-Down Cake (mentioned last Christmas, and I'm determined to work out where I went wrong there). When I was seven, we got a microwave, and my father also got my mother a microwave cooking partwork, which led to all sorts of adventures in the kitchen, such as the Fudge That Tried to Escape and the Black Treacle That Erupted.

When I grew up, I started cooking myself, and had lots of similar adventures. People still remember my attempt to make my own Balti sauce, where I misread some of the amounts needed and ended up with two-and-a-half litres of the stuff instead of one-and-a-half pints (some people may still have some of the stuff in their freezers, even). But all of these weren't disasterous events, they were fun. I grew up with the knowledge that cooking was fun.

When I got ill, my cooking obviously slacked off considerably, although I still tried to whenever I could. Now, however, I think the lack of the ability to do even a bowl of pasta is making the fact that I haven't cooked anything 'properly' for some time seem even more obvious to me.

Bah.

I'm so going to kill our landlord if he doesn't hurry up and get back to us. Since I dropped a letter into his office last Friday, he now has no excuse for not responding...

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