Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Reading, not planning

I faithfully promised my mother on Sunday that I would write a meal planning post.  And indeed, I had every intention of doing so - especially since we actually had a meal plan.  But then I accidentally picked up a book and...suddenly the evening was gone.

As a child, indeed, as a teenager, I was always a bookworm.  I was one of those kids who started getting twitchy if there was nothing around to read.  Unfortunately, I read incredibly fast which made holiday packing tricky (this being in the time before Kindles).  I seem to recall one trip when my exasperated parents banned me from taking my usual mountain of reading material and I ended up practically memorising a copy of Woman magazine that my mother had bought at the airport.

I loved reading so much that when it came to choosing a degree subject, there was, in the end, no contest.  My head said that something vocational like law was the way forward, but my heart pined for English literature and was ultimately victorious.  When people ask me what is the purpose of an English degree, I can talk the good talk about the critical reading and communication skills that you pick up, but the truth is that most English students that I encountered were the kind of children who, like me, dreamt of being accidentally locked in a library overnight.

Anyway, the point of all this is that recently I have been trying to get back in touch with my inner bookworm.  I don't know whether it is part of growing older, or the demands of work, or the fact that I no longer have a daily train journey, but I just don't seem to read as much anymore.  D and I therefore declared a mindless television ban (it remains off unless there is something that we specifically want to watch) and our evenings are to be devoted to literary pursuits.  Which is great.  But yesterday, I picked up an old copy of Sebastian Faulks's "Engleby" and barely looked up until bedtime.  So I forgot to meal plan.

Sorry about that.

I did manage to throw together a delicious dinner for us, as per the abstract plan.  Pan fried salmon, warm potato salad dressed with olive oil, lemon and mustard, and some lightly pickled, dill drenched cucumber ribbons.  Gorgeous stuff.

The rest of the week we are aiming to eat as much of the perishable stuff in our kitchen as possible, prior to our departure for Scotland next Monday.  Which means cod curry tonight (the second half of the batch that we made last week), then haggis hash and 'nduja spaghetti with garlic bread later on.  It all sounds like pretty tasty stuff.

When we get back we plan to revisit some of our recent budget ideas to ensure that any profligacy while enjoying the whiskies of Islay and the seafood of Mull (not to mention the pre holiday Kindle binge), is balanced out.  I see macaroni cheese in my very near future!


  1. I'm the same, I get seriously panicky if nothing to read. I've been known to prowl up and down a train hunting for discarded Metros or, well, anything!

    Enjoy the eating up in readiness for your lovely hols!

    Lesley xx

  2. You sound like me as a kid! And now, in fact. I love kindles for the convenience of not having to heft piles of books everywhere but on holiday in Israel once my kindle broke - I think I nearly had a panic attack. Luckily a bit of switching it on and off and recharging had it set to rights again.
    Love Sebastian Faulks too. Actually my recent resolution is to read less easily digestible crap and make an effort with worthier (and more satisfying) tomes. Just finished last year's Booker prize winner which was enjoyable but rather harrowing.

  3. Ooh I want to know how to make dill drenched cucumber!

    And yes 're books. I read ALL THE TIME. P thinks it's weird I read whilst cleaning my teeth - but what else would you do with a spare 2 mins?

    1. It's basically just a very quick and light pickle - salt the cucumber and then squeeze out the excess moisture, make a liquor of vinegar and sugar (2 tbsp of vinegar to 2tsp of sugar is about right for half a cucumber) and then a hefty amount of dill, leave to sit for a while and voila! Absolutely gorgeous (I think that I might be slightly addicted to pickles).

      I am seriously in awe of the reading while brushing your teeth. That is dedication indeed!