In which Theo Clears out the Cupboard

You find me in something of a posh mood today. He Who Knows Everything has received a letter from a young man named Chris Fellowes who styles himself a “Retention and Loyalty Manager”. It opens with the words “Why give one gift to Ms Theodosia when you can give 13?”.
Young Master Fellowes mentions, rather familiarly it must be said, how sure he is that Ms Theodosia is still very interested in the subject matter. The coy lad even slips in a joke, claiming that a magazine subscription is not the same gift as last year as a magazine changes with every issue. The stage has clearly missed out on a great wit.
I am very pleased with this new moniker. I would henceforth instruct all people to refer to me thusly, but as it would mean an end to gender based confusion, I don’t think I will.

Anyway. Maybe it’s because Spring has sprung and the sunlight is occasionally streaming through the sunroom windows and necessitating the wearing of sunglasses indoors, maybe it is because when I opened the top cupboard next to the oven a bag of rice fell on my head; whatever the reason, I have been sorting out the kitchen.

My kitchen is stuffed with what many in my area would regard as highly improbable foodstuffs. You would not regard them so, but that is because you are devastatingly attractive and cosmopolitan. I once heard Waterford City described as cosmopolitan by a good looking gentleman friend of mine and have yet to figure out if he was being drier than Michael “I gave up homosexuality because it made my eyes water” Gambon or was actually being serious. I fear the latter.
Some time ago, at Mammy’s instigation, I became an expert in Asian cuisine. My Beef with Broccoli and Ginger could bring a tear to the eye of many a Michelin starred chef. If the Chinese government had offered the pro-democracy demonstrators a bowl of my Sweet and Sour Chicken, tanks would not have been necessary to clear Tiananmen Square. Still, Mammy liked it and that is the main thing. The fact that Mammy’s palette only responds to salt and coriander is neither here nor there, as far is she is concerned I am a top chef.

As a top chef in foreign cuisine, any meals out in foreign restaurants are immediately followed by a request from Mammy to recreate the dish at home. Unfortunately, living in a field, basic ingredients are rather difficult to come by. Up until 10 years ago, you couldn’t buy an avocado south of Wicklow so you can appreciate that my local supermarket can be rather remiss when it comes to stocking such exotica as Shaoxing rice wine or noodles which are not based around eggs.
To solve this, when we go to the UK, we take a trip around the gargantuan Tesco and stock up on various exotic goods. Mammy grows wildly enthusiastic at such moments and encourages me to throw goods into the trolley with growing abandon. Occasionally I attempt to ask a sensible question such as “Are you sure you want that? When you tasted it before you said it was like eating slugs”, but Mammy is blinded by the bright lights and myriad choices of marmalade and can only respond with a vague “Yes I am. Get lots!”

When we return home to our silent field, Mammy looks at the spread of ingredients.
“Can we have spaghetti bolognaise for tea?” she asks.

From time to time I attempt to interest Mammy in the prospect of rice noodles but she refuses to eat them because it’s like eating slugs. Eventually I give up and the ingredients sit neglected in the top cupboard until one day, a bag of rice falls onto my head and I regretfully find a bin bag and begin clearing out the things no longer edible.

The amount of food I had to throw away was so disgusting that I have instigated a new rule. If you insist on buying it, you are eating it. So far we have endured Tikka Masala made from instant spice sachets and several jars of *Meat of Choice but Probably Chicken* Tonight.
We have a Bombay potato spice mix earmarked for next week.

Maybe slugs would improve it.


sarah said...

Theodosia! Sounds like one of Shakespeares little dancing fairies... Puck, bottom and theodosia. I approve heartily.

My cupboards were of similar nature when I lived with people in SA... Now I live alone, grocery shopping has fallen to the wayside-it's cheaper to eat out than cook here. Which suits me down to a T.

Have you ever eaten slugs? (wow odd question... But o never know about you Europeans) ;) I once ate a mopane worm in Botswana. It was gross.

Theo said...

*dances with faeries*

Compared with Mammy's legendary Aubergine Bake, slugs are always welcome.