A peaceful day sorting and listing and chilling and eating. I have way too much food. Mindful Chef randomly decided to send me a box and I’ve already got HelloFresh. Now I’ve got Mindful Chef texting me about payment for a box I never wanted, and a fridge full of food. These recipe boxes though – they are pretty good for my lifestyle. If I go to the supermarket I end up with a bottle of wine and 100 reduced cream eggs and a lamb chop that was reduced to fifty pee but that I’ll forget about and six chocolate bars for the price of 3 and a talking pomegranate machine that was just by the checkout. If I let them send me things in the mail then all I get is what they send me, and I pay for it and it is good and impulse buying is impossible.
One recipe does the whole day, and they are often yummy. Yesterday lunch and supper I had Cajun chicken where the chicken fillets were three days after the use-by date. It was still good. They use decent ingredients and they are overcautious about expiry. Everything I’m eating at the moment has officially run past date as I’m behind on time. I’m eating it anyway. Today was some sort of cauliflower mac and cheese and the takeaway for me was how you can use coconut oil with flour to make a good easy roux. The blue cheese was past it but that only improves the flavour. We forget that expiry dates are decided with a compensation culture in mind. They cannot risk stamping a date when there is even a small chance that the food might have turned. Expiry dates are not science, they are companies protecting their own ass. I remember screaming at my mother not to eat an expired yogurt when I was a child. We are so frequently obedient without even understanding what we are obedient to. I think I thought that mum would die of badyogurt.
Not to say I wasn’t lucky with the chicken. Three days over is pushing it with chicken or pork. But I gave it a good sniff, and cut off a bit for close tasting once it was cooked. And it was fine. Rancid food makes itself known – and I should know because I’ve ruined dishes in the past with my cavalier approach to dates. Even if you drunkenly let it get as far as the plate, you know as soon as it is in your mouth. Three times to my memory, and never sober. And that balances excellently against the waste I’ve prevented.
Today I had my first Waitrose online order. Not food – household things. And booze. Their substitutions are… eccentric, to say the least. I’ll eventually use the dishwasher tablets they sent me instead of salt, but I won’t like them. They had an excellent organic wine on reduced so I ordered 6 bottles. They substituted one bottle of wine that isn’t organic and nothing else so the shopping was much cheaper than I expected. Better than sending six of the wrong thing I guess. I’ll let it lie for a year or so, but my thinking was that if somebody was gonna have to carry heavy stuff it’s better if it isn’t me. Waitrose evidently disagreed, or… felt that I didn’t need to have fucktons of lovely hangover proof wine in my flat. Probably for the best, even if my plan was to put it in the cabinet for guests.
I’ve thought about places that send top quality coffee as well. The state of online shopping is remarkable. But I worry about the high street, and the need to interact with humans. Umar Malik was brilliant and wry when he dropped off all the wrong stuff, so I did get some human contact. But I didn’t leave the house. Had I not needed to post a load of things for eBay I likely wouldn’t have. But this is the state of it for today. I inhabit my lair, posting out computer games and geeky books whilst receiving food and not enough wine. I’ve put more stuff on eBay now. Random crap. I just want it out and need to satisfy any niggles that I might be throwing away things worth loads. Another auctioneer has come back with a sub £500 valuation on my friend’s Maiolica vases that he is convinced are worth £30k. We all could do with a better handle on the true value of our possessions. Spoiler alert: it’s not as valuable as you think it is.