May 12, 2013
After a near heart attack following working out how much I spend on lunch at work I’ve decided I need to find a better solution.
Work lunchtimes are becoming a bit of a challenge, although Maidenhead has a reasonable selection of places to buy instant edible food from once you factor in cost, general health and then diabetes the selection drops dramatically. I appreciate as a grown up I should be capable of preparing a decent meal to bring in with me but mornings tend to be incredibly hectic with a toddler yelling for his breakfast and a general sense of panic to get to work before the world implodes whereas evenings are work filled until late or I’m just too tired to care.
Buying food in the town centre was fine pre-diagnosis (cost issue aside) but since has been a bit more of a problem. I can eat relatively easily if I go to a restaurant but that’s right out on a regular basis for both time and budgetary reasons. So, I’m stuck with supermarket food or takeaways, both of these suffer from the same problem – they tend to be stacked full of the stuff diabetics should avoid: bread, pasta, potato & rice. A large amount of what’s left is either salad or high in fat. The high in fat has to be avoided both because of general health considerations and because diabetics are prone to heart problems. There’s only so much salad I can face and have you looked at the price of a decent salad recently?
The main frustration is with myself, I’m a competent cook, the majority of what we eat at home is cooked from scratch and we have a varied diet I just have trouble transferring this into food I can take away from the house.
So, I need to find a way to eat at work without spending half our profits and without killing myself, my requirements are:
– Must be easy to prepare in advance, preferably in large batches to be frozen.
– Preparation time on the day of eating (or the night before) should be an absolute minimum. Sticking something in the oven for half an hour is fine, anything more is out.
– It must be financially sensible, ingredients should be those we use anyway or things we can make use of elsewhere. If it’s going to cost the same over time as buying lunch in town there’s no point.
– It must be healthy.
– I need to allow for variety, I can’t face eating the same thing all the time. So ideally things I can cook in large batches which can be frozen for a decent length of time.
– I must want to actually eat it. This sounds obvious but since I was diagnosed I’ve picked up some real food issues. There are some meals now which I cannot face and will make me nauseous to try and eat, it’s entirely psychosomatic but I don’t seem to be able to get past it at the moment.
The first solution – pasties! Obviously. Bear with me on this. Normal pasties are clearly right out what with the white flour and fat and all but the general concept is a strong one, a fully contained meal which requires no additional preparation and nothing extra to go with it but contains a decent combination of foodstuffs (carbs, protein, fibre, etc). I make quite a lot of diabetic friendly flatbreads/pancakes at home using a mixture of spelt flour, wholegrain flour, oat bran and flax (it is nicer than it sounds) so I’ve modified the recipe to make a basic pastry/bread type case which I can fill with STUFF, more importantly different stuff each time I make them.
I’ve just finished making the first batch with a samosa type filling (less of the potato and the addition of some mixed seeds/green veg to balance up the carbs/fibre). They look edible, which is a start. Will find out tomorrow and hopefully get away from wasting a hell of a lot of cash.
Any suggestions on recipes will be gratefully received.
December 9, 2012
It’s 9am on a Sunday and I’ve already questioned my mortality and made the worst pancakes it is possible to make without actually poisoning my family.
Had a lovely dream in which I was terminally ill, going to die in three days and needed to work out how my family would be provided for, but my clients would not let me have my remaining time off and insisted I work extra hours those last few days to make up for it.
With this cheerful start it seemed only right to make pancakes. Making pancakes is a fucking convoluted challenge in this house with our growing list of food issues. It wasn’t so bad when I could use eggs but they are now verboten following a toddler face swelling horror. Last week I tried just making (wholemeal/spelt flour) pancakes with no egg and no egg replacement. They tasted acceptable but didn’t behave as you would like a pancake to behave.
This week we had a box of American style pancake mix Caitlin had given us. I found some advice that a reasonable egg replacement was apple sauce. That sounds nice doesn’t it? You would assume pancakes with a build in apple-sauceyness would be full of tasty goodness wouldn’t you. Well they probably would be if that’s what I had delivered to the breakfast table (which also doubles as the lunch, dinner and any other arbitrary meal table). What I delivered was a confusing stack of crispy burned items with a near liquid centre. I’ve not been to the states but I’m pretty sure this isn’t the intention. Karen bravely made her way through two, I stupidly attempted three of them because I had to make the damn things and was not going to throw them out unchallenged. As responsible parents we didn’t give any to Alexander in case it constituted child abuse.
Feeling a little funny now, should probably call a doctor but need to get these servers configured first.
October 9, 2011
Our garden has an incredible amount of edible stuff in it. There was an apple tree, a pear tree and a rhubarb patch when we moved in and I’ve added to it ever since with assorted fruit vegetables and herbs. Every spring I get incredibly excited about the garden and put in an immense amount of effort which dwindles as the year goes on until we hit autumn by which time work is making me want to kill myself on a daily basis and the idea of putting in a few hours of gardening a weekend makes me want to weep. I’ve been suffering progressively worse feelings of guilt the last couple of weeks as there’s been (without any assistance from myself) a fairly impressive amount of fruit slowly rotting in the garden as I run through on the way to work. I usually manage to combat this by ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
We were supposed to be visiting friends today but Alexander has been a little unwell (he’s actually much better today) and didn’t want to risk making him any worse so we canceled (sorry Max and Fi). My immediate thought was to spend the day writing WordPress plugins but considered that my nearly-wife would probably kill me in the face so opted for the more family friendly option of harvesting some stuff from the garden.
We usually make a sort of effort to freeze a bulk of the apples but don’t do that with the pears as they are a pain in the arse to freeze (you need to cook them first), so opted to make pear jam instead. Did two batches based on this Pear and Lemon jam recipe we split it into two batches, one of which we followed the recipe and the other we added some stem ginger in syrup. We thought this would supply us with some gifts for Christmas, I hadn’t realised that 2 kilos of pears makes about 4 medium jars of jam. I managed to burn it (along with my hand) a bit as well so probably best we keep it for ourselves.
It was fairly straight forward, although I fucked up a bit by trying to make jam, freeze herbs, prepare apples and pears for freezing (made the effort to freeze some pears this time) and make pear muffins all at the same time. Nothing went horribly wrong but there were some moments of flailing and disharmony within the kitchen.
Lessons learned today are to do one thing at once, especially if two of the things you are doing you have never done before; wasps like pear trees, they don’t like you being in pear trees; spending the morning in a pear tree makes me itchy; I really shouldn’t have recycled that big bag of jam jars the other week.
We now have a kitchen full of tasty fruity goodness.
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