I am a couple of days late in rounding off my fleeting Calais trip for you – apologies! I was rather too exhausted on Saturday evening plus incredibly frustrated at how slow the internet was in the hostel, and my plan of writing while I was on the ferry was foiled by… sleep.
Day Three followed much the same pattern as the previous two; preparing salad to be taken out to the camp along with the curry and rice, then preparing vegetables for the next day. I also spent time slicing bread to be dipped in the curry – ten big sacks in all if I remember correctly (although not on my own of course!).
The Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais benefit from the recent change in French law which requires all large food retailers to give their surplus fresh food to charity. Feeding approximately 2500 people a day means that bread and vegetables which the supermarkets won’t sell because it wouldn’t last long enough in peoples fridges can be used straight away to feed some very hungry people. Other ingredients are either donated or purchased in bulk with donated money.
As promised, I did manage to leave the vegetable prep area for a short while on Saturday to talk to the cooks and chef about what they were making. I will share a curry recipe with you soon, but I want to have a go at scaling it down first because I don’t think that you will need to feed quite so many people as we were feeding in Calais!
Emma and I continue to cook together on a Monday. This week it was quiche, my mum’s recipe. We didn’t quite follow it; I think that we added an extra egg in because it looked a little bit too runny.
Usually Emma and I eat together after cooking but I had to rush off this time :(. I have it on good authority that it was yummy though!
It is a week since pancake day and I have yet to share my Lent Challenge with you which is rather remiss of me, sorry. I was a bit torn as to what to do this year, not least because in some ways fasting for Lent is quite a personal thing, and I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t choosing something just because it would be interesting to write about!
In the past I have given up various things; I have had a dairy-free Lent, gluten-free, vegetarian (much to my mother’s annoyance when I was living at home and she was cooking!), caffeine free and last year I gave up coffee and wine. These have all been challenging in different ways, in some cases forcing me to broaden my repertoire of recipes and giving me an appreciation of other people’s food allergies and intolerances.
So, back to 2016. As some of you will know I am pretty passionate about sharing food, not wasting food and about being mindful about where food has come from. I wanted my Lent challenge to build on the discipline which my £5 a week challenge had instilled in me, and in addition to heighten my awareness as to the origin of the food that I eat. I had a few ideas and a few suggestions from people including a vegan diet, something food-miles related, abstaining from alcohol, following the strict Greek Orthodox Lenten fast (effectively vegan plus wine-free with a couple of full fast days thrown in for good measure), cooking without the contents of my storecupboard, a zero food-waste Lent, cooking something new every day, and a complaining-free Lent (I like that idea and might try to do it anyway!).
I really liked the idea of having a ‘Local Lent’ based around food-miles, however, I found it rather difficult to get my head around what food-mile parameters I should set myself. Would it be just Gloucestershire, England, the UK, Europe? Or should I set myself a number of miles per week, so that if I had a cup of coffee I would be restricted in what else I could have? If things weren’t labelled with country of origin would I have to make the assumption that I couldn’t have it? All a bit complicated! Given all of the above what I finally decided upon is to have a Supermarket-Free Lent; so still a ‘Local Lent’ but with less maths! In addition I want to continue to be mindful about the quantity of food that I buy, making sure that I only have as much as I need, so I am giving myself the slightly less ridiculous budget of £10 a week for food and drink.
So what can you expect in the next few weeks? Probably lots of drooling over the delicious Pippin Doughnuts at the wonderful and award-winning Stroud Farmers Market – it’s a good job that I have given myself the £10 budget! There will also be some pretty amazing recipes coming your way; I have no idea yet what they well be, we will all have to wait and see what inspiration my local shopping gives me!
So begins my entry in to the food blogging world. I am not very good at this internet thing (I suppose I will have to join Twitter?) so any (polite!) feedback you have would be much appreciated. I quite often look up recipes on-line and get directed to someone’s blog – I tend to like the recipe but often find the paragraphs and paragraphs of waffle I have to skim through first somewhat irritating, so I will try and be short and to the point!
My January Challenge (apart from getting my head around the ‘tinternet) – to cook all month with only the contents of my store cupboard and freezer and what I can buy with £5 a week. This includes cooking for visitors, so if you know me and live locally please do invite yourself over for supper!
No recipes today I’m afraid – I currently have a baked potato in the oven and I’m sure that you can cope with that (if not, drop me a line!). It’s time for me to go and make an inventory of my cupboards and plan what to spend this weeks £5 on.