Tag Archives: haggis

The Back of the Cupboard

It is five days since I last went shopping, and we are planning a new expedition. I’m not looking forwards to it – I don’t really want to queue around the outside of the shop as they allow us to enter one at a time for a tour of the empty shelves. We have tried ordering home delivery, but can’t find a delivery slot – they are all booked up for weeks to come.

I won’t carry on with this complaint as I’ve said it all before, but I am confused as to why the shelves are still empty despite the restrictions on buying.

I feel a bit guilty about buying more food while we still have plenty, but it’s a question of quality rather than quantity. We have food, in the sense of having things to eat, but in terms of having a proper balanced diet we are nearly out of a number of staples.

To manage our food more efficiently I have been checking the backs of the cupboards. I didn’t find Narnia but I did find some mango chutney to go with my previous discoveries. I even found a tin of rice pudding whilst I was shuffling packets and counting tins.

We have, I think, enough food for three weeks, if I really push it. Unfortunately, this is only one week of balanced meals, as we are running out of fresh vegetables. It won’t include bread, as we are about to run out. Nor, soon, will it include milk, eggs, or salad. Our vegetable stew will be served without dumplings due to a lack of flour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Happier Days…

Week Two will see us running out of fresh fruit and relying on tinned vegetables – beans, mushy peas and sweetcorn. Sadly, the fish fingers and tinned mushy peas will be served without potatoes, which are in short supply. The cheese will have gone by the end of the week. On a brighter note, we will have plenty of marmalade, though without toast to put it on this is a mixed blessing. If we have any surplus cheese biscuits I will try them with marmalade.

Week Three will see some real culinary horrors as the tinned haggis comes into play, teamed up with chick peas and lentils. I bought two tins of haggis when I was worried about Brexit but haven’t been able to face actually eating them.

Julia told me that there is a spoof email doing the rounds, and taking advantage of the fear of food shortages. It promises tins of pork, but people are advised not to open it as it’s just spam.

Sorry about that – when Julia told me I couldn’t stop laughing. We have a tin of spam on the shelf next to the haggis. We will have to see if I’m still laughing when we are reduced to eating it.

Haggis and root vegetables

Haggis and root vegetables

 

 

 

Haggis

At the risk of upsetting any passing Scots, we had a haggis with meat tonight and I’m not sure it won me over. It’s a long time since I last had haggis and comparing it with the vegetable version we had last week there is no clear winner.

They were both spicy and tasty and in terms of texture the meaty one was a bit spongy. As it is 33% sheep’s lung (with added beef fat, liver and heart) I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise.

To continue the downward trend, the veggie burgers are currently in the oven, and they are not holding together quite as well as last week’s attempt. They seemed a bit wetter when I mixed them, which I put down to the quality of the mashed veg.

That is the eternal quandary. Do I treat it like a chemical experiment and measure all the ingredients, or do I just lob it all in and enjoy the mystery?

I think we all know the answer to that.

Alea iacta est, as Caesar said – the die is cast – and it is too late for me to become a Michelin starred chef. I’m a rough cook and I’m fated to remain a rough cook.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Close up of the vegetables

Sorry about the small size of the photo in the text – I only have a choice of two sizes and the next one up is so large it could cause alarm in people who aren’t expecting life size carrot slices.

I really should try to do something about the quality of my photography.

The veggie burgers are out of the oven now, and hanging together. I’ll have to see what they taste like tomorrow. A quick test of some bits that fell off indicates that they will be OK. After Julia’s complaints last week I’ve been less forthright with the spicing and they are tasty without being to fierce.

I this my life? I wanted to be a captain of industry and leader of men, when I wasn’t being a famous writer or doing good works or fishing for Nile Perch.

Instead, I’m wittering on about haggis and the big excitement of the day was when I was trying to park outside the shop this morning. I stopped to allow a young woman to walk past and she tried to get into the back of the car, mistaking me for her regular taxi. Like me, he has a silver VW, and was parked outside one of the other shops, waiting for her.

Tomorrow I am planning on polishing the counter tops.

Be still, my beating heart…

 

Hands, Haibun and Haggis

I had a shock this morning. As I waved to Julia after dropping her at work I realised I had my father’s hands on the ends of my arms. I have the same ageing skin, the same slightly bent fingers and the same way of holding my hand when I wave. I even have some brown spots, though mine are freckles rather than age-related.

It was a bit of a shock.

I once wrote a poem, my first published poem as an adult, about looking in my shaving mirror to see my father looking back. It wasn’t quite accurate (or “authentic”,  if you prefer), because I don’t, as you may have guessed from the beard, shave. And in those unguarded mirror moments I actually look a lot like my maternal grandfather who has handed down his distinctive head shape to me.

Eventually, I will probably write a poem about this. It will be much more complicated than the anecdote I have just related and will include angst and a word I can’t quite remember. I’ll remember it when I stop thinking about it. It’s like ambivalence. It might be ambiguous. Something along those lines anyway. Editors, it seems, like that sort of stuff, and I don’t have enough of it.

That reminds me, I have a haibun in Contemporary Haibun Online January Issue. I feel that it may be the last for some time, as one of the main magazines is closing and the chief editor, who has accepted several of my haibun, and offered editorial advice, is being replaced by a man who I do not get on with quite as well.

Time to work on my craft, and begin battering editors with my brilliance.

There were eighteen parcels to pack this morning including several with multiple content. We also bought in a pair of Great War medals and some sovereigns.

We turned down the tin of worthless coins and the stamp collection. It was plain that the owner of the coins thought they were worth a lot more than we did so we persuaded him to keep them as their interest outweighed their commercial value. The stamps, we were truthful about – the market for modern First Day Covers has been dreadful for years and we don’t buy them unless they are autographed or have a coin on them. Or they belonged to Freddie Mercury’s father.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Falklands Crown 2014 mounted on postal cover and autographed by Sir Tom Courtenay

For tea, we will be having haggis. This time it is made with meat. I’m looking forwards to it, and to making veggie burgers with the leftover veg,

As a welcome coincidence, it begins with “H” and allows me to indulge my passion for alliterative titles.