Thursday, 15 April 2010

Organising a pea soup

This stupid virus (well, it's now a bacterial chest infection, but I'm an asthmatic smoker so I've brought that upon myself) has slowed my cooking and blogging down to a dribble.

This is no use when trying to remember what I've made recently: my memory is dodgy at the best of times, but when ill I can (and have before now) forget my own name. Vaguely, I recall making a pea soup, although details are hazy (like, what day).

The pea soup was fun to make. CJBS has entirely appropriated both of our fat rations (cheerfully) but I snuck a spoon of his margarine and fried off a small onion and a leek. I made the roux with a small pot of single cream, made it up with stock and then added an (anachronistic) bag of frozen peas. I brought this to the boil, then took it off the heat and went to bed to feel sorry for myself.

The next day, I strained the liquid from the solids, blended the solids and recombined. Brought back to heat and served, this was lovely: sweet without being desserty, a lovely colour (many recipes require adding green food colouring - ignore them unless you wish to channel Fanny Cradock, in which case pick a colour other than green) and a fascinating texture. I had two bowls. Then I went to bed to feel sorry for myself.

The next day (no, I don't know which days these are) I didn't have seconds. CJBS went off to the late shift with tinned sardines, toast and the fat ration. I went to bed to feel sorry for myself.

Today (possibly), CJBS ate the rest of the soup. He tried a spoonful, then heated the rest up and ate it much in the manner of Cookie Monster. So it was clearly very good. I made myself a vegetable chilli, but picked at it and in the end gave up and opened a bag of Fox's Glacier Dark, bought on points. I've been craving aniseed for the entire time I've been ill and aniseed balls would've been ideal... but impossible to come by. These liquorice-aniseed boiled sweets are not the same thing, but they're doing for the craving nicely. I'd still like a bag of aniseed balls, though.

My policy is to never ignore a craving, especially if it is truly odd: I trust my body to know what it wants and to ask for it. Previously when ill I've craved blue cheese (I hate blue cheese) but a cube of it has been all I can think of. I suspect there's penicillin in them there veins (or equivalent, as I'm told I'm allergic to penicillin, according to childhood medical notes). A craving for aniseed fits this pattern (although I love aniseed normally... but, just to be contrary, dislike black liquorice and hate Ouzo and Pernod) and I've been obsessing about aniseed in my fever-dreams, so this is obviously going to do me good.

And it was worth taking the bag of sweets out of the sugar ration, even if it does put me back on the Camp coffee-substitute in a week.

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