Tim is off at his awkwardly early staff Christmas party, to which partners (ie me!) are not invited. With him is the camera you see, and since I forgot to upload the latest photos it will be a wee while before you can see how the roasted pork turned out, and indeed, the Thai stirfry with cubes of leftover roast pork that we had for dinner the next night.
All is not lost though, because as per usual, I have plenty to ruminate upon. I walked into town with Tim today, and left him at Starbucks to begin his shift while I went off to wander round town, clutching my complimentary Chai steamed soy milk. It was cold and drizzly today- the perfect weather to be inhaling the spicy gingerbread scent of Chai. While on a fruitless mission locating Kilner jars (for Christmas food projects!) I ended up in Kirkcaldie and Staines – a place I don’t really frequent for fear of knocking over something expensive, or having some long thin woman look down her long thin nose at me.
However, in their “Cuisine” section, I found the place where I want Santa to visit for me this year. It’s as though they read all of Nigella’s books, wrote down everything she uses, and then sourced it out for this shop.
I found all manner of enticing goodies including (not exclusively, by the way, I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things in the excitement):
-Dried Trompette De Mort mushrooms, sold 25g at a time, along with chantarelles and porcini
-Beautiful glace fruit, glistening with sugar; Orange slices, figs, and muscatel grapes
-Carnaroli Rice (like arborio rice for risotto, but well, more expensive)
-Tiny sugar flowers for decorating cupcakes
-Canned chesnuts, whole and pureed (I was lucky enough to get a can of them last Christmas)
-Mushroom Ketchup, something that has presented a giant question mark in my mind since Nigella mentioned it in How To Eat…well, it exists!
In the cookware section I salivated over copper pots, mini bundt and savarin tins (although what on earth would I do with them?) ceramic pie weights for blind baking and of course, Nigella’s range of Living Kitchen gear. I had a moment of wishing I could buy the lot (singing “If I were a rich wo-man, do do do de do de do de do de deeee) but sometimes it is nice just to dream, and happily I felt satisfied and inspired, rather than resentful and skint. In the end I bought a present for Tim – some very classy looking sugar-free shortbread. The man before me at the checkout had bought some leaf gelatine, but he didn’t look at all pleased about it like I would have. I suppressed the temptation to say to him, “Isn’t it a trifle off-putting that in large letters the label states that the main ingredient is pig skin?” Maybe he’d already noticed.
Thus, with my Starbucks takeaway cup and Kirk’s bag I must have looked a lot richer than I really am, strolling down the road.
In other news, after seeing the headlines in the Dominion Post (can’t remember specifically, but it was tantamount to “The End Is Nigh and nothing you can do will stop it”) I unplugged all possible power cords at our flat, and quaked nervously for a bit. Our flat is actually pretty green – most of our lightbulbs are the aforementioned long lasting ones, we recycle religously, we only use cold water in the washing machine, we only buy free range eggs, do all our groceries in one go (less car trips!) and anyone who leaves a lightbulb on while out of their room gets a withering look. I know every bit helps, but it’s not easy to keep from freaking out at such headlines as the Dom Post had. I do, however, see the irony of doing all this while drooling over imported foreign Nigella-friendly food items…c’est la vie…