So, in terms of the Challenge, I was mainly busy this week in the kitchen, before the op, trying out different recipes and making vats of nice healthy soups, all ready to aid my recovery when I came out of hospital. Firstly, I made Spinach Soup (4 servings), which, despite the spinach being a minor ingredient compared to the amount of potatoes in it, still came out a horrible, or, as I like to call it, ‘healthy’ green colour. The type of colour that makes you really appreciate there must be something terribly good for you in it. I am yet to try it, as it was put straight in the freezer.
Next on the list was Curried Lentils, Carrot and Cashew Nut Soup (6 servings). This one appealed to me mainly because I’ve never heard of anyone putting nuts in a soup before. The end result looked pretty good (and the spoonful I had before freezing it tasted pretty good too) The process for making it was a bit tedious though, involving grating 6 carrots, which takes a surprising amount of time and makes your hands really cold if you’ve only just removed them from the fridge. I’m also not sure what grating the carrots achieved, given it only take about 10 minutes to cook carrot anyway, and the whole thing ends up blended.
With all this cooking, I took a new opportunity of a culinary theme this week and learnt how to make chicken stock. It started with a roast chicken that Matt decided to cook, mid-week, for sandwich fillings. A few days later, I was left with a chicken carcass and a load of bones, which I would normally just throw away. Knowing I was about to undertake the above soup-making marathon, I figured I could put the chicken to good use, and boiled it up for a couple of hours with an onion and some herbs. I’m again yet to taste the results, as it went into one of the soups which is now frozen for next week.
The second recipe was called ‘Cheat’s Pizza’ and was a low calorie alternative to real pizza, using a wholemeal pitta bread as the base, and adding passata, mushrooms, peppers (from a jar) and mozzarella and cooking in the oven for 10 minutes. Super quick and exceptionally tasty!
Finally, this week saw one new hairstyle, a pull-through plait (modelled below) and a new film: The Danish Girl. I really enjoyed the film, marveling at both the performance by both lead actors, and also the bravery of the character through what must have been a difficult and challenging experience.
- When you make soup from predominantly one ingredient, it tastes like something made from predominantly one ingredient………and doesn’t magically taste like a delicious soup….. obvious I know, but a learning for me nonetheless.
- David Bowie – having previously only been aware of him in passing, I have learnt about many of his songs, personnas, films and how much he meant to people. I have also learnt that not knowing about David Bowie seems to be a point of ridicule and bullying among my friends and seemingly a mark of failure on my parents for lack of musical education.
- You use your stomach muscles for pretty much everything. Since having mine cut open, I’ve realised just how much you use them, not only for obvious stuff like getting up off the sofa and turning over in the night, but also for flushing the loo and pouring a cup of tea.