Stroganoff is a dish I make on a semi regular basis. I make it with mushrooms, frozen peas and chunks of vegan burger. When it come to the sauce it’s either based on cashew nuts or plant milk.
However lockdown has left me with just a handful or 2 of cashew nuts. And the mylk is getting saved for granola.
However bizarrely I do have loads of sunflower seeds and plenty of miso. So I fashioned a sauce from these with plenty of paprika and black pepper plus a random spoonful of hummus that I froze at some point.
And amazingly it turned out ok. The sauce was plenty creamy. It worked well with the other ingredients. I had an excuse to make a batch of fresh pasta to serve with it.
In the strange world of lockdown all seemed ok for a while. Truly comfort food.
Today started off promisingly. I woke early and did a couple of hours of work.
Then I started seeing shimmering lights and I knew the headache wouldn’t be far behind. So that was it for most of the day. Hiding under the covers feeling nauseous.
Tomorrow will be better.
Baking isn’t my strong point. I can manage bread and crackers. Although the bread is a bit hit and miss.
So it was a small lockdown triumph to actually bake a cake today. It used blended pineapple instead of fat. This made mixing much easier.
Also pineapple cakes have a much less formal vibe, right? So the rich brown colour of the cake and super moist texture was all part of that.
Then I got to cover the actually rather tasty caramelised cake in white chocolate spread and sprinkles.
It felt like a tiny victory.
It’s a dear friend’s birthday today so I shared photos with her rather than a slice.
All of the days seem strange right now. It would be odder still if they didn’t.
Today was assisted by the weather. A hail storm followed by blue skies.
And the random road works going on in the street. A team turned up about 8.30 and started digging up the tarmac. By 2pm it was like they’d never been there. Except for a different coloured strip of road.
Maybe it wasn’t the best day to return to drinking coffee. It seemed safe enough. I wasn’t going anywhere so giggles followed by sleepiness didn’t seem like an issue. But it’s added to the odd feeling. I’m clearly safer with a glass of wine!
So what to do to restore a sense of normality?
Make gram flour pancakes for lunch because getting busy in the kitchen in calming.
Plan what I’ll do each day next week because that is something I can control.
And as a bonus look what turned up in a copy of Bleak House I pulled out of my to read pile!
It seems that every week I have a pile of paper and card for recycling following a clear out. I’m always convinced this is the last lot but then another mound appears. Where does it come from? The Green Rooms are spacious enough for my needs but dint have that much storage space! Does paper breed in unopened drawers?
Things really didn’t run smoothly today. My doctor’s appointment was interrupted 3 times by people who needed to access the cupboard in the room. Then I got on a bus to go to a meeting and arrived to find that I was the only one there. It then took about half an hour to get an internet connection and discover that I was in the wrong town. Even more embarrassing was that I’d booked the room!
Then there was the fun of waiting and hoping that another bus would turn up that would get me to the meeting before the end. This did not occur.
Oh well tomorrow is another day.
I was uninspired for dinner. So I fell back on pasta figuring I could add in Calvo Nero, onion, garlic, chick peas and a slug of the lemon olive oil that we (the royal we) bought back from Canada. It tasted a bit on the sweet side. I scrabbled for other ingredients to balance out the puzzling sweetness.
Then I glanced at the label. It wasn’t oil. It was lemon balsamic vinegar.
So the lessons are always read the label even if you think you know and there is probably something that can be done to make most situations more palatable (in my privileged first world existence).
I felt perfectly dreadful on Saturday afternoon so I took to my bed. Clearly my body approved as it decided that I should remain there until the early hours of Sunday morning. As this point I woke up and was unable to get back to sleep (again). Even a spot of Dickens was unable to return me to the Land of Nod.
So a bit after 5 (an improvement on 4) I gave up the fight. I made good use of my time cooking pearl barley, prepping and roast a butternut squash (flesh, skin and seeds) and making an oil free salad dressing (cashews, sesame seeds, lemon juice, dill, coriander and fresh mint). Then I had a shower, washed up and went back to bed where an hour later I was able to sleep again.
It must the shorter days and the cold nights that make me want to hibernate.
A visit to a friend, a slight misunderstanding over which parking spot, the note on the car and the horrible realisation that you’ve taken some else’s space.
But when the owner of the space was so gracious about our mistake that it made me want to be more forgiving of transgressions too. It’s small stuff not worth sweating over. It is incompetence being attributed to malice.
Last night was the first frost so I can stop saying, in a suitably menacing tone, “winter is coming.” Winter is here.
I was chatting earlier in the week with chums about staying warm, wearing onesies and turning the heating in as late as possible. It reminded me of this article from the New York Times I read a few years back which considers how low to turn your thermostat (spoiler: a lot lower than you think)!