Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Dem spuds, dem spuds, dem dry spuds

Alone again tonight, but still two meals to prepare: one for me and one for CJBS to take to work.

Stung by Merseytart's shock at yesterday's spam sandwich meal for the former Golden Voice of Merseyrail, I've taken his packed lunch (his "scoff" as he insists on calling it as if he hadn't gone to a fee-paying school) upmarket. He's taking rivita, chopped onion, sliced tomato, hummus and cottage cheese with him. Less convenient for eating at his desk than sandwiches (there's no meal break on late shifts) but sufficiently middle class to please everyone except his drunken passengers.

For me, I really really enjoyed last night's snacky meal that has become CJBS's pack up today. But it's better to have something more filling after such a dinner, so it's baked potatoes for me. Two ounces of cheese doesn't make for much in a baked potato, so I'm experimenting with alternate, fat-free fillings.

Three potatoes, three fillings. First up, cottage cheese (which I always thought I hated but it turns out to be quite nice, despite looking like cheese someone else has chewed for you) with sliced onion and paprika. Normally I'd make this up the day before (to get the onion flavour through the dairy medium) but it didn't occur to me until about an hour ago.

Second, chopped tomatoes marinaded in balsamic vinegar; again, better done the day before.

Third, I've made up some Paxo sage and onion stuffing. It'll be a bit dry without any added fat (it'd be best with sausagemeat in it, but the whole vegetarianism thing has been preventing that since about 1989) but should be interesting.

In practice, I'd imagine I'll end up with a tasty presentation nightmare as I mix the various elements on the plate. A benefit of eating alone is that no-one needs to know just how awful-looking your food is that day, nor that you're breaking fundamental laws of nature by mixing cottage cheese and stuffing.

The potatoes are being prepared all wrong due to rationing and compressed time. Normally, I'd scrub each one, then rub them with olive oil before cooking them for about 4 hours in a slow oven. But there's no olive oil and I want to eat before midnight, so today they're just in a hot oven for a hour or so. With luck, they might burn slightly on the outside, simulating the crispy skin the olive oil gives you, but stay moist inside like in a slower oven. But in practice, I suspect I'm about to serve three dry potatoes with three dry fillings.

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