We’re supposed to get hit by the tail end of Storm Jonas (when did we start naming winter storms?) today, and here in the generally rainy and windy northwest, we’re anticipating the worst of it. We aren’t due to get snow, alas, just more of the rain that’s been tormenting the north for the last month or so. And yet, nothing’s really happening so far, leaving me with a conundrum — do I hurry up and get dressed, and go out to get stuff done, and hope to beat the rain home, or do I resign myself to getting wet no matter what, and stay here until I’m damn good and ready to go out? The text on the Beeb’s weather page is promising watery doom, but the little cloud graphics are all merely grey, with no raindrops, so I am uncertain.
Given that I’m waiting on a load of laundry, and about halfway through a cup of coffee, probably nothing is going to be decided in the next fifteen minutes. So here’s a picture of our cat I took with my iPhone last night. Phil may be the fancy camera wizard chez nous, but I am the quick-and-dirty iPhone snap queen:
A noble beast, albeit kind of a stupid and slightly defective one. That manky-looking pink and beige thing in the lower left is his “raft,” and placed directly under the dining room radiator as it is, he spends quite a lot of time there this time of year. I don’t dare do more than just try to hoover up the matted fur off it, from time to time, because he will freak out and abandon anything or any place he’s previously loved if it changes in any substantial way. (See the basket in our bedroom window I ruined for him forever by a.) putting up new curtains, and b.) exchanging the nasty old fleece blankie for a soft and clean new one, as proof.) So just throwing the grimy old thing away and buying a new one is out. Still, he did better than usual as a photographic subject, by continuing to look directly at me while I took his picture, instead of moving or looking away.
We spent last night hanging around the house waiting for the quasi-nephew to show up and collect a bunch of kitchen and dining stuff I boxed up for him to take to his first flat. It is so very weird to be one of the older, more established, relatives who does the giving away, instead of the receiving, I can tell you that. It feels like most of my adult life has been spent surrounded by the hand-me-downs of kindly older relatives, and to find myself in the opposite position is kind of disorienting. But nice! I’m glad to carry on participating in the cycle in my new role! I gave him our old dishes and pasta bowls, a couple of cooking pots, and a pair of skillets, a set of water/wine goblets, and some other random bits and bobs, all of which are in great shape, but were going unused, as I have my late paternal grandmother’s addiction to dishes and serving ware, meaning every few years I just want new ones — I will never be a pricy bone china person because of this — and recently I’ve hit critical mass on swopping out many of my older pots and pans for enamelled cast-iron ones. Most of what I like to cook really needs heavy-bottomed pans, and while buying an entire set of Le Creuset in one go is probably on par with buying a freaking compact car, if you’re a TK Maxx/thrift shop shark like I am, you can slowly accumulate a collection of great stuff over time. It helps to not be overly concerned with everything being the same colour, which I am not. It also helps to not be hung up on every single piece being OMGLECREUSET, which I also am not. My latest acquisition, the jumbo dutch oven I used to cook the chili in yesterday’s post, is something I picked up at Sainsbury’s for fifteen quid, in the post-holiday clearance.
Anyway, for dinner, while I waited, I hacked together a nice salad out of about 100 grams of salmon leftover from Sunday’s starter, along with half of an avocado from same:
It’s pretty similar to the one I made for Sunday dinner, which was, roughly, Nigella’s salmon, avocado and pumpkin seed salad. I add cucumbers and radishes to practically every salad I make, as they’re one of the small number of salad fruits/veg that you can pretty reliably count on being decent year-round. Also, I like them. My tomatoes I buy year-round, and resign myself to slowly and patiently ripening, accepting the occasional failure as the price of eating fresh tomatoes in winter. I know, I know, I know: this makes me a terrible excuse for a seasonal eater/locovore, but I can’t help myself. I need salad. I need it daily, or I just do not Feel Right. At least I don’t buy bags of salad and then end up throwing them away when they turn to slime, uneaten, which is evidently one of the most common ways food is wasted here in the UK. There is little that can send me into a spiral of shame and self-loathing like wasting food, something I do only very, very rarely, so I console myself with that, when I am buying non-seasonal produce. Also consoling in this regard is the compost heap. I am not wasting food, I tell myself, as I chuck another failed tomato into it, I am making more England.
And there’s the spin cycle complete. Time to get moving.