There is quite a lot of space in the freezer now – I can actually pull open the drawers without them being blocked by big bags of frozen chicken stock – and the dry goods area is much depleted, but there’s still a way to go.
I’m buying bread, fish, meat, dairy produce, fruit and veg – but that’s it. And one bottle of every day olive oil, although I’ve made myself start using the very special bottle I bought last year in Istria, Croatia, for salads, which is a big deal for me.
According to my normal form, I would have saved it for best for so long it would have been rancid by the time I cracked it open.
We’ve had some really good meals, including a curry night when I used up two different bits of leftover curries and made some dahl from the lentil mountain still in the cupboard. That was a feast.
The most slung together dinner we’ve had was bacon, brown rice and frozen peas, but it really wasn’t that bad. The food groups were covered and it was rather tasty – it just didn’t look very glamorous. I was tempted to put it on Instagram as a statement.
(I secretly want to start a new app called Uglygram, because sometimes the Loveliness of My Life thing gives me the shits and I’m as guilty of it as the next poseur.)
It really was a perfectly good dinner, but I felt like some kind of failure for serving something so under realised. It was three bits of perfectly acceptable food sitting on a plate – but it wasn’t a ‘dish’, or a ‘style’ of cuisine.
My sense of failure and shame about serving it to my family – who were perfectly happy to chow down on three of their favourite staples – made me realise how self conscious we’ve become about turning every flipping meal into a lifestyle statement.
Of course I prefer my dining table to look like a photo from an Ottolenghi book, but sometimes it’s fine just to have some nourishing grub.