Okay, this recipe book is getting weird. The first few meals were really tasty and proved to me that there were more types of food that I like than I thought there were. It also proved to me that I can cook for myself- something I was convinced I couldn't from about age 11 onwards.
I didn't see the point of recipe 25: “Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce”. It's basically boiling spaghetti and adding the sauce, which I already made for the pizza.
I had no enthusiasm for Spinach and Squash Lasagne. I'm not a big veg eater, although I know how important greens are. But there's actually nothing but veg in the recipe. I can make a salad if it comes to that.
I turned the page straight over for “Pasta with Lemon and Cream”. Tesco's Carbonara sauce would do fine for that kind of dish. I'm not a cream fan, and seeing as cream is fat, why should skipping this one be a problem?
And that led me to the noodle dish. This was a semi-successful venture. The cooking of it was fine, but finding the Goddamn ingredients, not so. The shelf stackers in Tesco were convinced they stocked tofu, although not one of them could fucking find it on the shelves. Neither could I. I also came up short when looking for spring onions, which according to the book look a bit like carrots, although I'd never seen or heard of these things before in my life. I stuck with regular onions.
I used chicken as a substitute for tofu, seeing as chicken goes in stir fry. Here's Tesco's mint sprigs supply:
I substituted this with a sprinkle of “Chinese Five Spice”. Due to an apparent case of mental retardation, I also bought a bag of monkey nuts instead of standard peanuts and egg noodles instead of rice noodles. I don't have a nut crusher, so I substituted the monkey nuts with some pine nuts that I had left over from the pesto recipe. Check the creativity!
I was supposed to use a rolling pin to crush the peanuts (now pine nuts). I do have a rolling pin somewhere inside this one-bedroom flat, but I STILL cannot find it. So I used a pestle and mortar instead. Hard work!
I continued through the instructions. There's no further mention of spring onions in the recipe, after all that searching for them, so I ended up with a chopped onion that I didn't throw in.
Keda seems to think you can eat bean sprouts raw. The Tesco packaging suggested otherwise, so this added three minutes to the cooking time.
It tasted good, and not like anything I'd eaten before. It took so long to get all the ingredients together- a number of shopping trips- that I'm not sure all of the elements were particularly fresh. I've been fine though...
A few days later I had another bash. I used roasted peanuts from a packet, chicken again, and some white wine vinegar that I manage to find. It was a lot more flavoursome even though I forgot to put the mint on the plate at the end.
Hard work, but good food.