Saturday, 15 September 2012

Fat Woman and the larder

Fat Woman is a foodie. Fat Woman loves trying new food and really appreciates great quality food. This year Fat Woman is listing the trout, pigeon and pheasant provided by Personal Trainer alongside the freshly picked raspberries, courgettes and runner beans generously donated by friends with allotments as the best things to make their way into her kitchen. Fat Woman relies on friends with green fingers because the only things she can grow successfully is Jerusalem artichokes. Fat Woman was so pleased by her first crop of Jerusalem artichokes that she provided all her friends with some to eat and some to plant. Apparently, Jerusalem artichokes are the Japanese knotweed of the vegetable world and Fat Woman's name has been mentioned at the Allotment Owners Social, not in a good way. Fat Woman offsets her inability to grow produce by producing baked goods throughout the year, and turning large volumes of produce into preserves such as chutney. Fat Woman's kitchen is just recovering from her recent runner bean chutney efforts.

Fat Woman has a gorgeous kitchen if she says so herself. At the time of building both Fat Woman and Thin Husband worked in offices where they were surrounded by pale wood furniture. Thin Husband was insistent that he did not want his kitchen to look like his office. Fat Woman didn't think that a hand-carved oak farmhouse kitchen with granite worktops was going to bear much resemblance to Thin Husband's technology bunker, but when Thin Husband puts forth an opinion Fat Woman nurtures it as though it was a delicate seedling of some rare plant that appeared in the garden. Fat Woman's kitchen therefore has red cabinets with white counters and tiles with black and white checked floor. Fat Woman thought this was terribly stylish and a little bit 1950s Americana, although she became slightly less pleased with herself when the builder assured her that he now understood how the colour scheme was going to work because he'd seen the same thing at the weekend and it had worked really well. The stylish place using Fat Woman's combination of black-and-white diagonal squares with red was Burger King.

Fat Woman doesn't really care what her kitchen looks like, although she is terribly pleased with her vintage octagonal smoked glass table, which just completes the look, but she adores how marvellously well designed and functional the kitchen is. Fat Woman particularly loves what the builders called "the return" - the piece of counter sticking out into the room that separates the food preparation area from the dining area - and often stands there preparing dinner whilst chatting to friends.

The crown of the kitchen as far as Fat Woman is concerned is her larder. Fat Woman has a proper larder with vents leading directly to the outside. Visitors are often surprised to find an old-fashioned larder in a modern kitchen, or even to learn what a larder is. There isn't room to walk into Fat Woman's larder because it has modern pull-out baskets nearly all the way down.

Fat Woman likes to "turn over" parts of her home on a regular basis. This means that Fat Woman picks a location that needs some attention - the study booksheleves, the airing cupboard and her jewellery box have all gone through this process in the last year - and spends some time going through absolutely everything, weeding out damaged or unwanted items and putting everything back neatly. In order to make space for the latest batch of chutney Fat Woman found herself turning over the larder.

Fat Woman won't generally eat things past their "best before" dates. Fat Woman isn't a supertaster but she can tell when a can of something is past its BBF (Best BeFore for any pedants). Fat Woman has proved this ability in blind testing and has ruined too many dishes by thinking "it'll be okay" and remembers one particularly upsetting evening when she was so looking forward to a pancake with cherry pie filling and the pie filling had a metallic taste because it was a week past its BBF. To the frustration of elderly relatives Fat Woman simply won't eat stale food. Fat Woman spent far too many years of her life feeling guilty about needing to eat and now she has got over that she isn't going to risk developing food issues by forcing herself to eat things she doesn't need to. Fat Woman agrees that food past its BBF isn't going to kill her, but she also believes that manufacturers make the BBF as long as possible to increase shelf life.

By the end of the larder turn over Fat Woman had filled two sacks of food.

Fat Woman no longer makes carb-heavy Italian food such as lasagne and risotto:

  • three pints of semi skimmed long life milk
  • a pint of whole long life milk
  • three kilos of high grade pasta flour
  • a box of dried tagiatelle
  • wild mushroom sauce for risotto
  • a packet of dried lasagne verdi
  • a packet of dried mixed mushrooms
  • a packet of mix for minestrone soup

Fat Woman no longer makes cakes and puddings outside special occasions (even if means not finishing up food):

  • two jars of mincemeat (Xmas mince pies)
  • half a packet of trifle sponges 
  • a packet of semolina (Xmas shortbread)
  • a packet of Italian Ratafias (dinner party)
  • four packets of sugar free jelly (home eating)
  • a tin of macaroni (food for when Fat Woman is ill)
  • half a packet of pudding rice (from making rice pudding when Fat Woman was really ill)
  • a packet of dried mixed fruit (Xmas stollen)

  •  tub of glacĂ© cherries (Xmas cake)
  • a jar of strawberry jam (jam tarts)
  • a packet of whole blanched almonds 
  • a tub of cream of tartar (meringues)
  • a snack packet of dried apricots

Fat Woman no longer makes calorific food such as burgers, sausages or bruschetta for weekend brunch:

  • a jar of onion marmalade
  • a bottle of reggae reggae barbecue sauce
  • a bottle of HP barbecue sauce
  • a jar of Devon fire chutney
  • half a bag of sundried tomatoes

Fat Woman no longer makes a full roast dinner:

A packet of apple, cranberry and roast chestnut stuffing

a packet of paxo

Fat Woman was going to make recipes with these ingredients but changed her diet and they are no longer appropriate:

  • Massaman Thai curry paste
  • a spice mix for "cajun rice with beef"
  • a packet of soba noodles

Outside these items, Fat Woman had just the following:

  • two bags of coffee beans - from when the cappuccino machine needed maintenance.
  • a Food Doctor wholesome bulger wheat and quinoa pot - no matter what Fat Woman hoped, it's not as eatable as a  pot noodle
  • green Thai curry paste - this was a simple accident as Fat Woman does a Thai curry every other week.
  •  jar of gravlax sauce - Fat Woman is not entirely sure what she was thinking.

Fat Woman rather regrets the soba noodles but will find a specific recipe before she buys any more.

Fat Woman doesn't hate waste. Fat Woman hates it when people say they "hate waste". Fat Woman doesn't purposefully waste food, but giving the messages she has received loud and clear over the years about how obesity is so awful, even a killer (which she doesn't actually believe or she would be dead five times over by now) she would rather "waste" food than compromise her eating.

Fat Woman is only turning over the larder as a form of procrastination. Really Fat Woman should be turning over her clothes.

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