Sunday, February 17, 2013

Weekend 3: Day 16-17

Finally, a calm weekend. I have long been looking forward to a weekend at home when I could wash clothes, cook copious amounts of food to then freeze, read, clean and work from home. And I was finally able to do that this weekend.

My former partner recently moved to a house that is, Google Maps tells me, 131 metres from my house. This means that I now have easy access to the coffee machine and wok that he seems to have taken custody of and that we also can still cook together quite a lot.

Something I didn't think about when I started this experiment was my coffee addiction. Well, I did, but I told myself that the coffee in the lab was free and that I could survive on weekends. I cannot survive on weekends. I wake up on weekend mornings and the first thing I think about is coffee. And then my new neighbour and custodian of our coffee machine gets a text requesting a quadruple espresso in a thermos. Please. Now. No, seriously. Now. I'm not even trying to be cute. I want four fucking shots of espresso now.

Something along those lines anyway.

To be fair, I normally give something back in return for the coffee. On Saturday it was a vegan version of No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls. On Sunday it was root vegetable soup straight off the stove with fresh wholemeal bread that I had baked the night before.

My first loaf of bread!

I cooked quite a lot this weekend. I used up all of the onions and root vegetables, that were shrivelling in my room, in the root vegetable soup; I used up lots of oats, linseed, dried fruits, soy milk powder (which I had originally bought for camping but found the taste so damn awful that I gave up on it) and hemp seeds in different versions of the no-bake balls; I used up lots of strong wholemeal flour and finally used the fresh yeast I've been keeping in the freezer to make my very first loaf of bread; and I used up almost dead eggplants/aubergines and chickpeas in a recipe for Eggplant and Chickpea Peanut Masala, although this latter recipe did require some ingredients that I did not have but I went around to my new neighbour's house to cook, since my landlady was having her family over for dinner, and we pooled our resources to make the dish. Combined with the mung dahl I made on Friday night using the last of my dried mung beans, I'm quite impressed with how much stuff I used up this weekend.

Of course, all of that is a lot of food and I do tend to cook with people and share or freeze the food for lunch during the week. This does mean that I might end up eating the same thing for lunch or dinner a few days in a row but considering there are people out there who eat instant ramen for every meal (or have to eat at the Cavendish canteen), I think I'm doing pretty well.

Something I am really enjoying from this experiment is getting together with a friend and merging resources to create a meal that uses up something I may have otherwise wasted, using a recipe I've never tried before. I'm getting to know other people's kitchens and pantries and am starting to think of my own as a complement to theirs which, I think, is a much funner (and obviously communal and environmentally friendly) way to think about cooking.

So there were no tales of drunken revels this weekend, just a whole bunch of cooking. Apparently I've actually not been further than 131 metres from my house for the last 48 hours which is kind of nice to do every now and then despite the fact that today was the first pleasant day we've had in quite a while. I think I might wait for the temperature to creep into double digits, though, before I get as excited as everyone else.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls:
made from peanut butter, oats and everything else I could find!

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