i should tell you: Dear Time’s Waste

Well hello there, and welcome to the fourth installment of I Should Tell You, the new-ish blog segment that I’m gradually becoming more comfortable with instead of overexplaining, now that it has been going for a while. Nevertheless, if you’re new to these parts: every Friday I ask a cool musician who will answer my emails three short questions about food. Just to see what happens!

This week I talk to Claire Duncan of Dear Time’s Waste, whose music I want to describe as Cocteau Twin Peaks – but mostly because I really enjoy slightly forced portmanteaus. In fairness to Claire, I will be a little less self-indulgent and simply say: I love her songs with their push-pull between intensity and lightness, unsettling and swoony. Her videos are stunning as well, all cinematic and shadowy, and you can watch every last one on her site, starting with her latest release, Heavy/High.  You can also find Dear Time’s Waste being excellent on Tumblr.

The interview begins…now. Thanks, Claire!

Where’s somewhere you’ve eaten that you kinda like to brag about or drop into conversation? 

I’ve never had spare cash to eat anywhere particularly flash, but I used to review hotels for a living which involved a fair amount of restaurant-dining and room-service. Eating potato gratin at three am in bed at the Museum Hotel in Wellington while watching Food TV is a personal highlight. Another favourite was banana and tomato pizza on an island in Vanuatu during the local village’s night-time celebration of thirty years of independence from Britain. 

What do you fix for yourself, or where do you go to eat, when it’s just you on your own?

I almost always cook on my own. I often make spiced lentil/bean/brown rice dishes with heaps of fresh spinach, yoghurt and cucumber…that sort of thing. Otherwise, soups in winter (tomato and capsicum with fresh goat’s cheese is a favourite) and salads in summer (chickpeas, onion, whatever kind of vegetable is on hand). I like making unfussy dishes that can be easily amplified to involve extra people. I’m also a sashimi fiend so if I’m lazy/hurried I’ll often get Japanese either from Bian (near home) or Haru No Yume in Mt Eden (near work). Or, if I’m in the region, the lemongrass Bun Ga from the Vietnamese place at Ponsonby Foodcourt goes bloody well with a cold beer and there are a lot of solo diners to be communally alone with.

What’s one of your favourite food memories from your childhood?

I was obsessed with macaroni cheese; I learnt to make it from the back of the diamond pasta packet when I was about seven years old and practiced it whenever I got the opportunity; it was all the more fun if I had an audience. We started cooking very young with minimal instructions, as a result I would make ‘everything stir-fry’ which involved chucking whatever was in the fridge in a pan and sizzling the sh*t out of it.

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