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Mostly Concerning Food

I’ve mis-laid the camera three times this week. Each time has been the same. I download photographs and instead of leaving the camera by the computer where I am bound to look for it, I decide that it would be better somewhere else. Twice that somewhere  has been a pocket (it’s a little point and shoot camera) and the third time remains a mystery. This is a pity from a visual point of view, as we have just enjoyed a most delightful Saturday breakfast of creamy scrambled eggs on bagels with some grilled asparagus. It would have looked nice in the photograph. It certainly looked nice on the plate; and tasted even nicer.

I can’t even go back into the photo library. We haven’t had scrambled eggs with asparagus before. We’ll have it again and hopefully I will have discovered the safe place.

The healthier diet continues with occasional treats. The important thing is that no meat has been eaten and temptation has been resisted. The health lessons seem to have been heeded. I don’t really want to think that I’m hauling a hunk of half digested meat around in my gut for so long that it has begun to give off toxins. I’m enjoying feeling healthy and allowing my middle age discovery of cakes and sweets to act as sufficient treats.

A mushroom tagliatelle begins the week. Because vegetables cook so much quicker, and because pasta dishes require very little meat even at carnivore times of year, a tagliatelle is not only a most enjoyable Monday evening meal, it is also really quick and easy to make.

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Aldi is good for pasta. They are having a little Italian season and have a choice between two tagliatelles that both look good. We go for the one that has a nice serrated edge. It isn’t necessarily any better and it takes longer to cook. The pasta is thicker and the eating experience is a different one. It is fabulous as an evening meal to celebrate another good start to the week.

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And it tastes even nicer for an easy lunch on a busy Tuesday. Lots and lots of freshly grated parmesan. Pasta always sits lightly on the tummy, even when generous portions are involved. I can manage long periods without other ways of eating carbohydrates; I wouldn’t want to be without pasta for too long.

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I’m going through something of a phase where I don’t want to do much to good ingredients. A little gem lettuce, sliced tomato, cucumber and chopped scallions have a dribble of olive oil and a squirt of lemon juice. It’s a good enough meal in its own right. (That makes a good sentence for practicing apostrophes).

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I rarely have a fruit yoghurt. I’m a little bit on the side of those who prefer plain yoghurt with fruit. I’m the same with cheese. I’m not a great one for cheese where the added ingredient has already been added. This raspberry yoghurt from the nation’s favourite discount supermarket makes a welcome pudding to my solitary lunch. Once in a while.

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Picking up on the ready meal theme, I try out Aldi’s tomato and basil soup. Good soup is so easy to make that this is the first ready made fresh soup I have ever bought. T’s work colleagues have given it a good reference and I must admit it serves to make a very acceptable lunch for one. I like to stop what I’m doing and have a proper lunch at the table even though it is only me (with three pairs of eyes watching). I’ve had a lot to do this week and it’s good to know that there are standbys that don’t take a lot of making but serve a proper feeling of celebrating lunchtime.

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There is no excuse on Tuesday night. I’m still sitting at the keyboard when T gets in from work. Neither of us fancy cooking. Who needs meat when you’ve got a chip shop just round the corner. It is years since I deep fried anything at home. I agree that there are no chips like home made chips but the downside is too great. What do you do with that pan full of oil? The smell from frying (even in new oil) is strong and persistent. The danger of accident is high and there is a man a hundred and fifty yards away who fries fish and chips really well. They are perhaps the only meal that I much prefer to have made for me.

Fish and Chips Edinburgh style with salt and sauce. (Except I don’t bother with the salt)

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Wednesday is an away day. Not one for the blog. Just a day out in the peak district and the chance to catch up with a friend I have not seen for fifteen years. I start my day in a chain coffee bar in Buxton along with a dozen other early retirees. There’s a way of being part of the leisured silver generation. And there is a uniform. I’m not sure I have passed the entrance exams yet. I still feel like I’m playing truant.

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Even though I’m meeting up for lunch I find myself in Tideswell at ten o’clock with a pie shop selling some very nice looking pies. I can’t resist a cheese and potato pie and a cup of tea.

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A little further down the village another rather good food shop sold me a slice of Victoria sponge cake. It was an extra breakfast and was very nice indeed. Suitably loaded, I parked up an hour early in Lathkill Dale and took a walk up a valley I haven’t walked up since we used to take the children camping.

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It’s the most glorious walk and the weather couldn’t have been kinder. I want to write more fully about this side of Derbyshire in future blogs. For now I leave you with a few photographs. Everyone you meet is retired, well kitted out and very very happy. At weekends and during the holidays these walks are busy with families and groups. On working days there are only those who have worked hard to have time to see things the way they wish to see them. They are unfailingly courteous and are there for the simple and honest reason that they want to be there.

I meet my friend at 12.30. It is one of the most enjoyable two hour conversations I have had all year. The food is fine but the company and views out of the window make it an occasion. For the sake of completion, I had a smoked trout salad.IMGP3304 IMGP3299 IMGP3294 IMGP3289

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On Friday I mostly write about rugby league. I’ve a little bet going with myself to try and get an article published before the end of the summer. If I do I will treat T to a day trip to Scarborough. If I don’t, I will have watched and awful lot of rugby league matches as an end in itself. Sometimes life is enough. A toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon is quite a good accompaniment to a life well appreciated.