Monday, May 2, 2011

Live Below the Line, Day One

I tumbled out of bed this morning feeling distinctly peckish and desperate for a cup of tea. Oh well. I picked a sprig of mint (a perennial planted three years ago and no money spent on it since) and made a mug of mint tea. It was very refreshing and made me wonder why I buy mint tea bags. On the other hand, it’s not that big a pot of mint. It will probably last me the week and then I’ll have to leave it alone for a month. This would definitely not be sustainable long term. Nor is the use of an electric kettle just to make a drink.

To distract myself I got Ian to give me a lift up to the allotment with my fork, rake and watering can. Of course, a convenient lift is another luxury not available to people living in extreme poverty. It took me over two hours to clear a tiny bit of weed engulfed land that I then sowed with wild clover as a holding crop/green manure until I’ve got something more useful to plant there. Once the backbreaking digging was finished I picked a bag full of nettle tops. Another free ingredient but one I wouldn’t have walked over a mile to harvest.

Back at the house I fried the first of my four onions in a dollop of olive oil then went into the garden to dig up a couple of leeks. These are going rapidly to seed. It's amazing they survived my garden being decimated by the builders earlier in the year. I reckon I should put 5p in for my leeks and another 5p for the chard running to seed in a pot in the front that I intend to use. This leaves me with 46p. I chopped my straggly leeks up and added them to the pan. I would not usually use the green leaves but this is not time to throw away food value so the whole lot went in along with three spoonfuls of cooked chick peas, the bag of nettle tops and a fair amount of water.  Five minutes later I liquidised the lot. There’s a decent amount, enough for lunch tomorrow as well. It’s a little thin but tastes delicious. Normally I would have grated nutmeg into it and eaten it with a good tablespoon of yogurt and a hunk of bread. Not today.

I’m already starting to worry about the onions. I’ve only got three left. That’s a worry. I had probably better do a bit of planning.

So, at 6.30pm I’m feeling the sort of peckish you get when you’re on a diet. By no means awful, but noticeable.  We’re just waiting for the 1/3 cup of quinoa to cook. One of the things that is increasing my hunger is that Ian is, very ostentatiously, eating a Chinese takeaway in front of me and drinking a glass of Sauternes. Bad Ian!

Dinner tonight, for Sally and me is chick pea and barley stew with onion, carrot and potato. Two onions, three carrots and three potatoes left. Tomorrow will likey be the same meals again. I’m in the office and then will go straight from work to woodwork at the college. I won’t be home until around 9.30pm so there will be warming up rather than cooking. I’ll have to think about what to eat and when to cook Wednesday lunch. 

It's been a pretty good day. It feels like a very healthy diet so far. I'd just really, really like a glass of wine.

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