Note: contains swearing.
A bit more highbrow than the stereotypical call Polly for a good time or EO loves MD.
The Gladstone Arms (near Borough Tube) has papered the loo with extracts from etiquette books and vintage womens’ magazines. At times it’s hard to tell if they are real or parody.
One item: advising against using vulgar words, has been vandalised in a rather interesting manner.
Book: A few of the current vulgarisms in use today are:
- Young ones, for children
- Winder, for window
- Pillet, for pillow
- Haint, for has not
- Gal, for girl
- Fetch, for bring
Commenter #1: Cunt, for vagina
(It’s hard to tell if handwriting is in italic, but I’ve continued the pattern anyway)
Commenter #2: Cunt is a scientific term, not vulgarism or slang. Reclaim it ladies!
Commenter #3: A wonderful point, well made. EXCEPT. Please remember that not all women/ladies have cunts, and not all cunt owners are women/ladies. ESCAPE THE BINARY!
After a week of being “allowed” to eat whatever I want, here are a few things I’ve learned from vegan week:
- Nothing is a good enough substitute for real milk in a cup of tea
- But food manufacturers put milk into food far too often when they really don’t need to
- I could live without meat (I probably won’t choose to though)
- But I’d find it really hard to live without dairy and eggs
- Avoiding dairy in particular is really inconvenient
- I am going to eat more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods, at least for a while
- I don’t cook my own dinner very often
Following on from that last point, there were quite a few things that I thought about cooking that I didn’t end up making during Vegan week, because I was eating out or because I was tired when I got home and only wanted to make something easy.
But non-vegans can eat vegan food whenever they like.
So when I discovered that a shop near me (which just looks like any other small grocery shop) actually had a wonderful collection of lentils and beans and things, I decided to make some daal.
Approximate recipe: 200g (that’s a guess, I chucked in just under half a bag) big yellow lentils, and the same of the small ones. A large onion, chopped. As much chopped garlic and chilli as you think is a good idea. Two stock cubes. A large dessert spoon (I’m totally guessing here, I just poured some in) each of cumin, coriander, and turmeric. A few dried curry leaves. Pour over some water. Turn on slow cooker. When water absorbed test for softness and add more if necessary. Repeat until it’s the texture you like, then add more salt.
This is not a “set and leave” slow cooker recipe, but if you paid attention to how much was “the correct” amount of water then you could set it and leave it the second time you made it.
The small lentils sort of dissolve into a thick sauce, while the big ones stay in shape.
Very tasty on its own, or with yoghurt if you are eating milk.
I could take a picture of the daal itself but it just looks like lumpy yellow stuff
Morning - I’m not really a breakfast person, and this week I’m quite glad. It’d be hard to have to THINK about food first thing in the morning. These not-cereal-bars from Nakd are pretty good, although I worry about having gooey brown stuff in my teeth.
Lunch - Persuade a bunch of people from work to go to Crussh for lunch. Even manage to get a Spanish person eating a vegetarian lunch! Butternut and spinach curry is very popular, as is veg chilli. So popular that both sell out and I end up eating a tofu miso soup. I’m not a fan of tofu. It’s just so meh.
Dinner – Risotto with broad beans. Would be better with parmesan, but that’s against the rules. Add extra salt instead.
Lunch – What I really WANTED to do here was go to Borough Market and get dosas from a stall at the back near the church. (no idea what they are called sadly) Instead I have two meetings that block out lunchtime, so I have the leftovers from Day 3’s curry.
Dinner – Falafel wrap with hummous and veg and things. Discovered that some prosecco uses milk protein as a fining agent (WEIRD!) so picked Peroni instead at work happy hour.
Morning – I have an exercise class on Tuesday mornings, but I never feel like eating straight after getting up. Getting up at 6am just so I can have enough time to want breakfast sounds like a waste of sleeping time to me, so I’ll usually just have a glass of milk (in my mind milk = “food with everything in”). Almond milk is a decent replacement here, but I still can’t cope with it in coffee or tea.
Lunch – The homemade soup and bread from last night, along with some hummous and carrot sticks that live in the office fridge. I’m lucky enough to work at the kind of place that has food around the office, but so much of it is sneakily non-vegan. Cereal bars etc almost all have some kind of milk or honey in them.
Dinner – Went to the pub. Drank Meantime beer, which I checked on this vegan booze app. Had chips. Very pleased with myself at having foreseen this kind of situation and bought a couple of emergency Innocent Veg Pots – suitable for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Vulcans.
Morning – Really want a cup of tea with milk in.
Lunch – Office free lunch day – most people are getting sausage baps from Boston sausage – the vegan equivalent is a lentil burger which is actually very tasty.
Dinner – Made a massive curry with sweet potato and chickpeas, with brown rice. Very tasty. Might be improved by yoghurt on top, but otherwise really not feeling deprived at all here.
Curry never looks terribly exciting but this was very tasty
It’s not an official “week” of anything, I’ve just decided to eat vegan for a (Mon-Fri) week, and I’ve roped in a few colleagues who thought it sounded interesting.
The plan is mainly to get out of a rut of eating all the same things. And maybe to be healthier or to be better to the planet, if I decide that I like choosing to eat plant-based foods.
Lunch: from Itsu – their detox* miso soup and veg maki rolls
Dinner: homemade (at the weekend) roasted pepper and tomato soup, tiger bread rolls, and banana coconut rice pudding (see below).
*It doesn’t detox you really because there’s no such thing, I have a working liver, but it’s a miso soup with noodles and veg dumplings and it was suddenly really cold like real November weather and I wanted something warm.
The rice pudding was very nice and autumnal, and very simple. I took 200g of risotto rice, 3 sliced bananas, covered with hot water and simmered until nearly done, then added 50g of coconut milk powder and 2 dessert spoons of brown sugar.
It was a bit gloopy and obviously massively stodgy but very satisfying.
Gloopy but tasty
The finished rolls – notice how they spread EVEN MORE in the oven and had to be manually separated
I’ve always assumed that “how to make tiger bread” goes something like this:
- make bread dough
- put something very addictive on top
But this is the first time that I’ve had a go.
I’ve also incorporated some techniques that I learned while visiting Bread Ahead in Borough Market, but I haven’t fully followed their recipe (not even close) so if this doesn’t work out then it’s not their fault.
Ye, I’m writing this while the bread is in the oven. I don’t know if it has worked yet. That picture that you see at the top of the post – I have not yet seen it. Fingers crossed?
- 500g bread flour, 1 sachet yeast, some salt. How much salt? I don’t know. A pinch? Half a teaspoon? Just SOME, OK?
- Mix it up and add 400ml warm water. This is a lot of water. Things will be gooey. Don’t worry, this is the plan.
- Go phone your mum for 20 minutes. This is not compulsory, but it’s what I did.
- Remember that you are supposed to knead the bloody stuff.
- Feel pleased that the mixture is expanding already – at least that confirms that the yeast is alive.
- Knead – sort of. Grab a big handful of the mixture and lift your hand high above the bowl, stretching out the dough. Release your hand a bit to let it drop back down, stretching different bits
- Keep doing this for a while – say 100 stretches
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it for a few hours – at room temperature – til it’s at least doubled in size
- Grease two baking trays
- (note from afterwards – best use greasproof paper as well)
- Grab handfuls of the dough and put them onto the trays – you will lose a lot of the air but that’s OK – leave plenty of room for expansion
- Now put your oven onto the highest it’ll go and wait for the light to go out – you really want the oven as hot as it can be
- Mix together in a little bowl some paprika, celery salt, and salt with olive oil – again I don’t know what quantities I used and even if I did I might not recommend them to you
- Once the oven has heated up your blobs should have gotten bigger than they were – paint them with your paprika mix using a pastry brush (or just blob some on if you don’t possess such an implement)
Here are my blobs
- Put into oven, set timer
- (note from afterwards – I set mine for 15 mins and this was a bit too much)
- Take out of oven, remove from tray and leave to cool for as long as you can manage
- Now you have homemade tiger ciabatta
I sort of made this up, and it sort of worked.
The texture is more like ciabatta than your standard tiger loaf, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The topping is not “right”, but it is “nice”. Further experimentation needed.
Nice big bubbles inside
Not really much of a recipe – but a good storecupboard dinner.
Actually this was mostly freezer but “storecupboard” sounds like the right word anyway.
In chronological order:
- Fill kettle, put to boil
- Get out nonstick frying pan, and saucepan (nonstickness optional)
- Chuck pack of bacon bits into frying pan, put on heat (I had frozen already-chopped-up lardons because I am lazy and they sell them in Lidl – otherwise cut up normal bacon with scissors)
- Put pack of gnocchi (bought fresh then frozen) into saucepan – fill with boiling water and then boil – if yours is not frozen you’ll want to wait a bit because fresh ones don’t take long at all
- Crush some garlic into the bacon – if your pan is not nonstick you might want to add some oil but in my pan the leaking fat from the bacon was plenty
- Halve some cherry tomatoes, add to bacon pan
- Rub bottom of bacon pan vigorously with wooden spoon so the nice bits come off and mix in – use a bit of the gnocchi water if you like
- When gnocchi float, drain and put into bacon pan
- Stir about a bit to get the gnocchi coated with the goo
- (if there are two of you, do two eggs in a minute – there’s only one of me so I took half the food out and put it in a tub for tomorrow’s lunch)
- Arrange the gnocchi nicely so you can crack an egg on top
- IMPORTANT – cover pan with a big lid so the heat stays in – if you don’t do this there is NO WAY you will be able to get the white of the egg cooked without the yolk going hard
- Try very hard to get a runny yolk
- Try very hard to scoop into a bowl nicely without breaking the egg