I was calm today when we went to the Queen Victoria Market. The only time I audibly gasped was when I saw a stand selling bratwurst on a good-sized baguette and with sauerkraut that reminded me of insipid atchara. I’ve been here three times so it wasn’t at all startling to see mounds of antipasto (six kinds of olive, octopus, apricot stuffed with sweetened mascarpone), french pastry, cured meats and pale-pink langoustine cooling on beds of ice. I had the bratwurst and then $10 worth of what locals call chicken ribs (which is really a chicken’s scapula, the meat on which is part of the breast) which has a bit of crispy, rendered skin and a good enough sliver of meat). And it wasn’t even 9:30am.
But I tell myself, I’m on holiday and of course, normalcy goes out the window.
And that’s good because at some point, you’d really want to go back to the normalcy of ‘normal’ food. It’s cost-effective (I got a $20 sliver of truffled manchego cheese) and healthy (the last time I had greens was four days ago). In the afternoon, rummaging through a clearance book centre I found what I thought was a good $3 deal for a cookbook or any book for that matter. Nutrient Dense Food on a Shoe-String Budget by Arabella Forge won’t win you Master Chef, but that’s the whole point of real cooking- simplicity, flavour and practicality (guess how I could buy that Gucci bumbag I’ve been eyeing? Yup, by savings from preparing basic meals, a compromise which to me, is a win-win).
Basic in this sense, means the right kind of food; unprocessed, fresh, nutritious and cheap.
Looking forward to:
Making my own DIY bacon
Shifting shopping sources to local farmer’s markets
Stricter food planning
Making natural sauces
Baked apples stuffed with mince and peas
Making kim chi
Making lemon curd cheese
Pickled salmon (yum!)