We wandered around town for a bit last Sunday, at a loose end, floating from record shop to record shop with nothing much to do. Eventually, we got hungry, and stood outside Jumbo Records, uncertain what to do.
Leeds is blessed with a superb restaurant scene. There are dozens and dozens of first-rate places to go, but sometimes choosing one feels like those times you’re sat in front of the TV, trying to choose a film to watch from the thousands available, paralysed by the choice.
I made a snap decision, to break the deadlock, because asking a teenage boy to make a decision is never really going to end well, is it?
Fuji Hiro. Just around the corner, (shockingly) never been there, noodles, done.
Hipster hamster food?
Not exactly. Maybe. OK, yes.
No. That’s not fair. This is a book about the Holy Trinity of preserving, namely fermenting, pickling and drying. Three related but very, very different processes.
Kool kids love kimchi?
Kool kids do indeed love kimchi. And rightly so.
Yes, it’s fashionable right now to ferment anything that doesn’t move fast enough, but there’s good reason for that, because a lot of fermented or otherwise preserved food is both delicious and versatile, so maybe the Kool Kids are onto something here. More …
In my quest to crack the ongoing puzzle of eating well at lunchtime when lunchtime slips to about twenty minutes at most, I’ve started to experiment.
This all began when this article popped up on Facebook. It reminded me of something Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall had done a few years ago, that thing I’d made a note to have a go at and then promptly forgot about.
The idea here is that the base ingredients for an excellent noodle soup are packed into a jar, the top screwed tightly on, transported spill-free to work, and finished with water from the kettle.
Imagine the humble Pot Noodle, but made with fresh ingredients, and better tasting.
To begin with, you need a jar, something fairly wide-mouthed that you can get your ingredients into easily, and more importantly, that you can eat from. I found a couple of glass mason jars for about £2.50 each, and figured that a fiver invested would be recouped if I avoided buying just one sandwich at lunchtime. These are really preserving jars, and they come with a tight-fitting screw top lid, so no leakage expected.
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I often struggle with lunch.
Sometimes, there are too many meetings and it just slips by unnoticed, and other times, I fail to prepare and end up grabbing another mediocre sandwich here or there.
Other times, my planning and effort collapses as I stare down dismally into a plastic box full of whatever was left after yesterday’s dinner, repurposed carelessly as something that just about passes for ‘lunch’.
My two recent successes on the lunch front are the discovery of homemade sauerkraut and kimchee, which make a simple salad of a few tomatoes and some cucumber explode with flavour, and tinned sardines that my colleagues detest for smell-related reasons, but which give a huge boost of protein at a time of day when its much-needed. I stockpile cans in my locker, like some sort of office-bound survivalist. It’s a point of great amusement to others.
This leads me to Savage Salads, the break-out book by Davide Del Gatto and Kristina Gustafsson written on the back of their influential street food business, which takes the idea of a ‘salad’ and gives it a serious shake up.