Z enthuses about food. Again.

My arm is sore today, but it still work, as we say in Norfolk. I had more post, too, including an invitation to go online to book a vaccination appointment. But I can pass that by.

Wink asked us in for dinner yesterday and I remembered, during the meal, that I’d got stock cooking gently in the bottom oven. “Remind me,” I said, adding that I didn’t really expect to put the responsibility onto someone else; I was really meaning, remind myself. We forgot, of course. I took it out this morning. The good thing about the Aga is that nothing in the bottom oven ever boils dry. The stock is rich and lovely. We think we might have to make onion soup because that is a celebration of good stock. When I went to the greengrocer the other day, however, I forgot to buy onions. I still have a few left, but if I don’t have at least a kilo of onions in hand, I think I have no onions.

I have become extravagant in terms of food during this lockdown. I have nothing else to do with money. I don’t need anything extra, though I do send the family some treats sometimes. But food is another matter. I fill my basket at the greengrocer and put it on the counter and, while that’s being rung up, I fill another basket. Although it did include a leg of lamb for £20 on Friday (hogget, to be accurate, though i’m not sure when it changes from lamb to hogget), my bill was over £50 and I was happy to stagger back to the car with heavy bags. Some forced Yorkshire rhubarb, lots of lovely local root vegetables and greens, a cauliflower that managed to survive the frost. It was probably, the cauliflower, way more expensive than last week because half the crop was destroyed by frost. It doesn’t matter.

Likewise, I’ve upped my game with condiments, to put the subject broadly. Tracklements are better than Colmans, sad to say. Stokes mayonnaise and ketchup are better than Hellmans and Heinz. I can’t remember the make of crisps, but they’re better than Walkers. Also more expensive and I don’t care. It all adds up to £1 a week extra, if you think about it and it supports a local shop and small businesses. I also bought some passion fruit jam online, which arrived conveniently in time for Pancake Day. With an extra squirt of lemon juice, because I’ve lost my sweet tooth almost entirely, it was fabulous. Singlevariety.co.uk, if you’re interested. They’ve run out of some of their varieties, but I’ll be in there next year.

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