What’s happened to foodie Erin?

It’s not that I have lost my appetite – far from it – I am eating in huge quantities. What’s changed is what I eat and how I think about it. I used to spend hours thinking about different ideas, ingredients, combinations, ways of doing things, planning future meals and treats, as well as reading about food, where it comes from and how. I’ve lost the spark, the joy.

I want to eat quick, easy and filling – comfort food. Mainly bread. I fantasise about bread and toast and crumpets and potato cakes, ideally warm and oozing with butter, perhaps with eggs. I’m carb-loading like an athlete, except I barely leave my bed, let alone the house. Complex flavours are out – the most I crave is sweet and salt. Sweet, plain biscuits, like hangover food. I eat Pringles by the tube (luckily Asda has them for £1 at the moment). At best, handfuls of dried fruits and nuts. And if there’s nothing else, I eat sugar with a teaspoon straight from the packet. My teeth ache.

 I suspect this is partly about hibernation eating – my body wants more insulation from the cold, although aesthetically, I’d rather not. I’ve always eaten for comfort. That’s fairly normal. It’s just where has the rest of the food love – even the food self-respect – gone?

We’re having the same few simple meals in a cycle. Going through the motions. Pasta, stir fry, chips. The other night some friends came round for dinner, and everything went wrong, despite using tried and tested recipes. I even burned the rice. When a boy came round, instead of trying to impress him, I let him cook for me. In a way, that’s good, but I feel perhaps it’s gone too far. In the mornings, porridge seems like too much effort. I can’t even be bothered to bake! Not even a Christmas cake yet – I have a bowlful of sherry-soaked fruits sitting sadly in the kitchen who haven’t made it yet.

It’s partly to do with motivation, of course, partly financial, and I suppose I still don’t have the kind of community and food-loving peers I had in London. I’ve also learned important lessons about being too much of a control freak with the food.  It’s probably best not to become too much of a snob. I hope it’s a phase that will pass and perhaps in the meantime I’ll have more time for ‘more important’ things. It was one of the sources of joy in my life, though, at a time when I feel they are needed.

I look forward to getting that back, and any ideas, recipes, suggestions, challenges you have for me would be very welcome!

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One response to “What’s happened to foodie Erin?

  1. I know it’s that time of year when the darkness creeps in a little earlier each day and everything can feel like such. an. effort. Comforting things are all you want; when I lived in Dundee for three months after finishing my degree and didn’t have a job, the duvet and I were pretty inseparable.

    Do you like soup? I want you to have something comforting and nourishing! Here are a couple basic recipes ffrom a friend. They’re dead easy and can be altered to your taste, what’s in the fridge, etc.

    Spicy Red Lentil Soup
    250g split red lentils
    2 carrots
    1 onion
    2 sticks of celery
    1 clove of garlic
    Paprika – about 1 tablespoon
    2 pints of vegetable stock

    Chuck all the chopped veggies and lentils into a pan, pour over your stock, add the paprika and some black pepper, bring to the boil for 10 mins, simmer for 20 then wizz with a blender.

    Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup
    1 Butternut squash
    1 Red pepper
    1 Onion
    Garlic – as many cloves as you want
    200g soft cheese
    1/4 pint milk
    Chives
    2 pints veggie stock

    Fry your onion and garlic for a few mins, add the squash, pepper and stock and some black pepper, simmer for about 30 mins until your veggies are nice and soft – add the soft cheese and milk and whizz until smooth then put back into the pan – more black pepper and some chives and heat up again. (NB – I use a hand blender, so the last two steps are combined)

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