Week Thirty Nine – On The Side

Debbie has taken to referring to me as Sally. No, this isn’t the Sex Post I threatened several months ago. She calls me Sally because, when it comes to kitchen gadgets, I like it all on the side.

In Debbie’s ideal world the kitchen worktop would be an empty expanse of white formica (actually in Debbie’s ideal world it would be Italian marble but until we get around to doing the kitchen up she will have to make do with formica). The view from one wall to the other would be uninterrupted by gadgets as I would have put them away after every use. Unfortunately for Debbie I am the main user of the kitchen so, most of the time occasionally, what I say goes.

I have tried to argue that in our flat there is not enough room to put stuff away. I have, rather weakly, argued that if it wasn’t on the side I wouldn’t use it (I stopped using this one when I was asked why we had bought the gadget in the first place). I have now decided that my gadgets live on the side because I want them to.

Apart from the kettle and newly acquired coffee machine I actually only have three electrical appliances annoying Debbie on the work surface. The toaster and deep fat fryer have been put away as we are no longer buying bread or deep frying things so that leaves the blender, the spice/coffee grinder and the food mixer. The blender is used quite often for soups and sauces, the spice mill is used a lot as I buy all my spices whole rather than ready ground but I have to admit that the food mixer doesn’t get used that often. It does look nice on the side though!

The one thing I don’t have on the side or even in the flat is a microwave. This is partly because I am a cooking snob and partly because I have never really found a use for one in the kitchen. You can cook excellent rice in a microwave but it takes as long as it does to cook it on the hob. You can cook jacket potatoes in them but only if you really hate yourself would you want a microwaved spud instead of an oven baked one. My friend uses his to reheat cups of tea that have gone cold. I try to never let cups of tea go cold and anyway, as I drink it black, it doesn’t taste that bad cold.

We do have a microwave in the office at work however which I use everyday to heat my soup up.

This week I had a day where I had forgotten to make a soup the night before. I had a cooked chicken breast in the fridge along with some of Flavours of Spain’s excellent beef chorizo. So at 6.41 am I made this:

Ten Minute Microwave Soup (makes 2-3 servings)
1 Cooked chicken breast, sliced
100g Cured chorizo sliced
1 red chilli sliced
1 clove garlic chopped
1 Carrot cut into 2cm long julienne
Splash of soy sauce
Chicken stock

Put all of the ingredients into a microwavable bowl. Mix and microwave on full power for six minutes.
I called it ten minute soup because, assuming the chicken is cooked, it should only take ten minutes from start to finish. Of course as I made this at quarter to seven in the morning it had a few hours marinading in the fridge at work but I don’t think that actually did anything.

At weigh in this week I had lost one and a half pounds. I have been swimming five mornings this week and, if it wasn’t for the indulgent weekend I would have expected to lose more. Still, a loss is a loss.

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