July 3rd, 2009

Home Economics

Ourdert invited herself to lunch at short notice- but instead of panicking as I would once have done- or suggesting we race off to the chippie- I reached for a cook book and the store cupboard and- in about 40 minutes-  threw together a very interesting little stew containing chicken, potatoes, tomato and lots of coriander. Where I lacked ingredients I improvised, throwing in a couple of chillies instead of a splash of tabasco sauce. This was a test of my confidence and resilience- and I believe I passed it.

I've learned how important it is to have a well-stocked kitchen. There are certain things one should never be without. They include chicken, vegetables in season, fresh herbs and a wide range of sauces and seasonings. The challenge- and this is going to take some smarts- is to balance the need to have all this stuff to hand against waste. I despise waste.  I think it's immoral to throw food away. 

But it must be doable. Our mother's couldn't afford waste- and they managed without fridges or freezers. I'm just old enough to remember a time when perishables were stored in a cool room- a sort of walk-in cupboard- called the larder. I guess I must have eaten  a lot of rancid butter in my time. 

We went shopping yesterday afternoon. We spent more than usual because it was a store-cupboard shop. I bought a chicken because I need to have chicken in the freezer.  Also some lamb steaks and a piece of basa- also for the freezer. The basa (cheapest fish on the block) will go to make a fish curry or something along those lines. And I now own a bottle of tabasco.

A Shaming Anniversary

40 years since Armstrong's giant step- and we've been shuffling our feet ever since.  Yes, we've built a space station, landed robots on Mars and sent probes to the outer planets, but where's the lunar colony that Kubrick and Clarke envisaged us building by 2001? Where are the manned expeditions?

I believe we've let ourselves down. 

File:Apollo 11 lunar module.jpg