We like to keep cooking simple on Chertsey, but also reasonably nutritious. I like to stock up before we leave so that we don't have to find shops - or stop to use them - en route. When we do, it's a bit of a bonus. Not having a fridge, paradoxically, makes this simpler. Also, we can decide on an impulse to go to the pub without worrying about those pork chops we really meant to cook tonight. The Origo is a brilliant stove, but I don't want to be boiling pasta or rice (or even potatoes) with the concomitant condensation.
So what I stock up on before leaving is tins of pulses (butter beans, kidney beans, chick peas, borlotti beans, haricot beans, lentils, cannelini beans, etc.); jars of cooking sauces - Loyd Grosman are favourite (this is the least healthy part), and sachets of that pre-cooked 'microwave' rice. I also take whatever vegetables I have lying around the house (and sometimes some tinned veg too).
Then every evening, I start with whatever veg needs using up, pick a sauce and a pulse to complement it, stick it all in a pan and put it on a low heat til the veg is cooked (I tend not to use things like carrots, that need a lot of cooking, much - but mushrooms, cabbage (don't knock chickpea and cabbage korma until you've tried it!), tomatoes, all sorts of greens, peppers (I fry them a bit first), courgettes, fresh beans all work well.) Sometimes I'll add extra ingredients like olives, or maybe tuna. Then when it's cooked, I'll pick a suitable sachet of rice and empty it onto the top for the last couple of minutes. The resultant meal may end up sprinkled with grated cheese. It's possible to achieve quite a lot of variety in this way, and the only fresh food we ever need to buy is the vegetables - and at a pinch, they can be left out (at risk of scurvy, of course).
I do miss having fresh milk in my tea, but putting up with soya milk seems a small price to pay for not having to worry about where the next pint's coming from. Talking of which, the serving suggestion for all the abovementioned recipes always includes a bottle of beer.
Life on the down slope
1 week ago