My kitchen looks like a bomb hit it.
Actually, to be more accurate, my kitchen looks like a bomb hit Sydney and I’m providing the bomb shelter. Long-life packaged foods and tins adorn the bench top as I brace myself yet again for a long fridgeless week.
I feel like our good friend The Pianist, Wladyslaw Szpilman, with just one lousy sprouting kartoffel and a few questionable tins to my name. Or perhaps a modern-day Anne Frank, subsisting on the kindness of others and the rations they bring on their infrequent visits to my hiding place.
Ok, so I’m not Jewish, and this isn’t war-time (at least, not here in Sydney), but I can certainly appreciate how hard it must have been for the Women of WWII to find creative ways to serve the same potatoes and cabbage each night without the assistance of Curtis Stone and his “feed the family for under $10” meals. It’s lunchtime on Day 1 and I’m bored already!
I can also sympathise with the feeling of imprisonment. It’s probably not fair or even remotely historically accurate to compare my flat to the various hiding places of the victims of WWII, but I do spend far too much of my time cooped up inside the same four walls. Living and working from home is the bee’s pyjamas… and by that I mean I rarely have cause to get out of my bee pyjamas. The stench I emanate is probably more historically accurate than I care to admit, and without my daily forage for coca-cola I don’t even really have a reason to exit the front door.
Life is tough.
The thing about ruling out the fridge is not the variety. I have so much choice it’s ridiculous! I live in a Greek neighbourhood, so pickled and tinned options abound… including one dubious option I saw today: A small little tin – about the size of a single serve of tuna. It had Greek writing all over it and the only bit I could decipher seemed to be the word “pâté”, accompanied, rather distressingly, by a picture of a baby chick. I don’t know why I should find this disturbing. I like chicken well enough and I have no qualms with eating lamb or even veal… nevertheless I have not found the need to resort to baby chicken pâté just yet… Nor have I needed to resort to cat or dog food.
Anyway, my point is, it’s not about the variety… it’s about the salt content.
Salt has longed been used as a preservative for tinned goods and it seems everything I can get my hands on is from the “savoury” end of the flavour spectrum. Bear in mind that my beverage options are now limited to tap water, lukewarm coke and red wine, and you will see how this puts me in quite the pickle (pun intended).
So, if I manage to last the week, you’ll forgive me when I emerge less sweet than I began.
Somebody pass me the sugar tin!