The morning routine is going fine. Porridge and yoghurt and hot water seem perfectly ok for breakfast. I do miss my lovely home laid eggs if I think about it but if I just get up and get on with it all is fine.
Today I am going to meet someone for lunch. I have explained what I am doing and we have agreed to bring a boxed lunch with us and to eat outside. My lunch is the remains of my curry and rice. I suddenly have an insight into what it is like to be someone whose relationship with food is simply that of "food as fuel". I know several people like that and I imagine it saves a lot of time, but because we love food in our house I have always been interested in cooking it, eating it, thinking about it, planning meals for special occasions and using food to bring people together around the table. This lunch is pure fuel. I don't enjoy it. I don't not enjoy it. I just eat it. There isn't quite enough but I am not actually hungry. I drink lots of water but am really longing for a cup of tea.
My friend thinks that it can't be that hard to do what I am doing. We are allowed to cook? Wouldn't it be more of a challenge if you had to scavenge from bins? Yes. It would.
I decided this morning that I had to find something to make a difference in terms of the texture of my food so when I made my morning porridge I made it thicker than usual and left some to have a go at making some sort of fritter. When I get home, still longing for a cup of tea, I squash the porridge together into little cakes and fry them in oil until they are crispy on the outside. Sprinkled with salt they are the first snack food I have had. It sounds disgusting but they were really quite nice. Ian and I sit on a bench in the sun while I eat them. I would absolutely love to go out tonight for a drive through our beautiful countryside to a village pub. There I would have scampi and chips and drink beer. Ah well. Push the thought away and shut the lid on it. I am more than half way through now. By the end of the day there will be only two more days to go.
I need to cook something for my evening meal that feels interesting and tasty. I am wondering whether flour and water will make a batter sufficient to allow me to make onion bhajis. I could make some dahl with the lentils and possibly find something growing in the herb garden to liven up the rice.
Well dinner was actively good! I made onion bhajis, using my oil to fry spoonfuls of onion and batter mixture. I used my flour, some curry powder, salt and water to make the batter. I also made lentil dahl and plain rice. The introduction of the crispy texture of the bhajis really cheered me up. Now I just have to see if I have created lentil overload again!
I have found today hard going until tonight's meal which showed me that if I really try to cook I can produce the sort of food I would be happy to eat on any day of any week. That is some small consolation for not being able to go to the pub!
So a bit of a headache again through the earlier part of the day which has been banished by a largish evening meal; a realisation of how eating frugally really restricts your life as well as your diet; a general sense that I am digging in, determined to do it now, and a reminder that the plainer the ingredients the more you have to work at translating them into something good. So far Indian based dishes have been a godsend.
I am glad to be doing this but I will be pleased to get to the end. That is my greatest luxury, that it does have an end. Now for a drive and a walk in a beautiful evening.