Sometimes Mark struggles to “see” the ways a meal can be made with what is available.
His brain goes: “it’s lunchtime…a sandwich or salad would be good…we don’t have much bread and there’s no lettuce! Nothing to be done!” and then there’s a great panic and his head explodes.
He’s very good at following recipes to the letter but he finds it challenging to substitute alternatives or tweak set instructions. So he ends up running to Waitrose to spend a fortune on food we don’t need, while what we do have sits back at the flat, forlorn and forgotten.
Conversely, I like scrabbling around and finding things to do with odds and ends.
Those TV programmes where the chef stumbles upon pristine “leftovers” that “just happen to be at the back of the fridge” (cough Nigel Slater cough) can be tedious, particularly when they are beautifully wrapped, expensive artisan ingredients.
Things I “just happen to have” tend to be incongruous items bought when a bit drunk on the way home.
The other day the chirpy fruit & veg man at Vauxhall station had some fat avocados for a bargainous price and they ended up joining me on my train to Clapham Junction.
So later when Mark’s head was on the verge of detonation, it was a simple matter to grab a ripe one, add some fresh diced tomato, a squeeze of lemon and bung it on some toasted sourdough rubbed with a clove of garlic and olive oil. Instant and delicious lunch.
As my lovely mother would say, you would pay a lot of money for that in a restaurant!