Small pleasures

Dear readers,

I don’t have a new name so ‘Peanut Diaries’ it remains for now (I’m an optimist at heart!). I should probably warn you that today’s post was largely written by my stomach, so I apologise if the next few lines leave you hungry. You might want to grab a snack first.

The past ten days have been full of small joys, like coming home late at night to leftover cake in the fridge. It’s not something I would want to make a habit of, but last Saturday, after a chilly cycle home from a friend’s house, I was still a bit hungry and was toying with the idea of having a cheeky slice of cake before bed. Tom and I had baked our favourite chocolate cake earlier that day (and those of you who know me well will know how much I love chocolate cake).

We don’t bake that often, and when we do it’s usually for a special occasion involving other people so this was unusual. I came home to find Tom on the couch having a cheeky slice himself so I got myself a plate and joined him. It was a moment of pure indulgence, and a moment I’ve revisited a few times already. ☺️

However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, so we decided to freeze what was left of the cake (which is another fuzzy feeling all of its own, knowing that we have a chunk of cake in the freezer ready to be defrosted whenever we feel like it!).

But it’s not just cake in the freezer that gives me a warm feeling, I also find that knowing that we have a few key staples in the kitchen makes me feel more relaxed. The list of staples used to be: rice cakes, bananas and peanut butter; these days it’s more like yoghurt, nuts and muesli. It’s a trait in me that Covid seems only to have accentuated, that feeling that you have all you need to survive at home for a few more days. Which brings me to a neighbouring desire: the desire to use everything you have in your kitchen and waste as little as possible.

Lately, we’ve managed to nearly empty our fridge, using leftover ingredients from one meal to the next. It’s something we always strive to do—after all nobody wants to waste food—but life often gets in the way. But not this week! Coconut milk from Sunday’s curry made it into Wednesday’s curry. Dried mushrooms from Tuesday’s ramen made it into the gravy of Friday’s köttbullar. And Friday’s leftover mashed potatoes became today’s side of vegan potato cakes. You could call it a game, trying to come up with ideas for dishes that use up as many leftover ingredients as possible. Fortunately, it’s a game that seems to get easier with practice.

As we come up with new meal ideas, I’m also starting to make a mental note of those that we’ll be able to rustle up easily once the baby arrives and we won’t have the luxury of putting a lot of thought into our next meal…

Eat well,

Alicia

PS. In case you’re interested, the chocolate cake recipe came from the book I Can Cook Vegan which I can highly recommend (the vegan mac n’ cheese is a hit!).