Saturday, 23 January 2010

Environmental impact assessment

Despite the (fully justified) nay-sayers, the cabbage colcannon soup was delicious and the Environment Agency didn't have to sue me for breaking emissions targets, even after two bowlfuls. That's useful, because I have another two bowls of it to have tonight.

What this soup didn't have was any suggestion of cabbage. I don't know whether I overwhelmed it with the potato - it seems unlikely - but it tasted of cream of some green vegetable rather than being specifically cabbagey (hey, no red underline! Cabbagey is a word!)

Tonight, therefore, is the same again; something that rationing forces upon you quite often. I dare say that the leftovers could be turned into something else, perhaps thickened into a sauce for cauliflower cheese or broccoli mornay (red underline: apparently not a word), but that would be asking a lot of Morrisons and their supply chain. Their cauliflower today was from Africa and their broccoli was from Spain, whilst Colin Lunt (fnar fnar) couldn't offer cauliflower at all and the broccoli was from Israel.

[By the way, I'm a very pro-EU Welsh lefty, not some Little Englander; I just normally watch my food miles anyway and during this project have specific rules about not eating stuff I couldn't get in 1940... in this case because Israel didn't exist and Spain, although neutral, was fascist and if I wasn't a wuss I'd've been in the International Brigades. I've even run away in faintly-absurd horror from condensed milk from Germany]

So, leftover colcannon soup it is, backed with some lettuce, tomato, onion and (yet more) cabbage in sandwiches. Tomorrow, CJBS isn't at work in the evening so for the first time in two weeks I get to actually cook for two (he's had 4 days off in that time, but I think I've fed him leftovers of my previous meals each time) and I've actually managed to get fish for him. Fish fingers, but fish all the same.

So tomorrow is fish fingers, both real and Redwood, a mound of mashed potato and some creamed leek. CJBS will also have baked beans, but cotton buds in vivid orange sauce are not how I'm spending my points.


Michelle said...

Are the shortages of good produce you mention typical for your location, or a particular side-effect of some of the rough weather you've had? Just curious. We're doing the local/seasonal thing as well, but there is definitely no shortage of good cabbage, carrots and potatoes!

Kecske said...

As a fellow veggie I must say I find baked beans an invaluable source of protein.

However, I must admit, once you've had a good red (i.e. parprika) Hungarian bean soup with "csipetke" you never look at them with quite the same fondness again.

Tip: Spanish paprika tastes of nothing - if it's not Hungarian it might as well be red oxide.

RJGraham said...

@Michelle: We only have one supermarket in my town, Morrisons. They're generally not very good compared to the other 3 chains (Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury) but having a monopoly doesn't exactly galvanise them into action. They also air-freight a lot of fruit and vegetables, so a lot of the "shortages" aren't real: they always have tomatoes (although often of poor quality), but if the tomatoes have been flown from Spain or Kenya, the environmental impact is appalling - especially when British tomatoes are rotting in local greenhouses because they're 3 or 4 pence (2 or 3 cents) more expensive wholesale than the Kenyan ones. But there have been real shortages and they can be spotted because they also happen at the local independent greengrocer, Colin Lunt's. The recent snow and ice here ruined several crops of winter vegetables that grow on the surface and also froze the root vegetables into the ground. The root vegetables are now out, but expensive and sometimes damaged; Morrisons will fly in replacements, but they don't have regular contracts for root veg so there's a supply gap; Lunt's just go without until they become available again.

RJGraham said...

@Kecske: I'll be treating myself to the food hall at Fortnum & Mason's in that London at the end of this project and will look in their exotic spices section for Hungarian paprika!

peezedtee said...

I too find mainstream baked beans (Heinz, etc.) completely disgusting, but it is indeed the sauce that is the problem, not the beans. When we lived in Belgium there was a local version with a lot less sugar. Better still, Greek "gigantes" in a jar; bigger beans, much nicer tomato sauce, but probably expensive here. I bet they have them in Fortnums.

Kecske said...

Unless you shop at Tesco, all the baked beans in Hungary are Italian and have a sauce which is much lower in sugar, less starchy and is a much less luminous orange. You have to cook them a little longer but they actually taste of beans.

I do buy the Tesco kind too - they're a guilty pleasure and remind me of school dinners.

@RJG I recommend you pick up a good Tokaj while you're at Fortnums to have with the puddings you'll be able to have when rationing stops!