Monday, 19 December 2011

New Year's Recipe Resolution

My cooking has been quite sporadic since I got back to uni this year. At the start of term it was going well - my meal planner meant I was cooking something new most days and I managed to get ahead with my freezer stash. That's a good thing since I somehow stopped cooking about half way through the term. It was a combination of work piling up, choir taking over and time feeling more stretched that meant I mostly fell back on pasta and sauce, and whatever I had in the freezer - mostly pasta sauce, oddly.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

To Make Your Kitchen Complete

Sorry for the hiatus, I have not  really been cooking a lot lately due to a massive lack of time (thank goodness for my freezer stock! It should see me through to the end of term) but I did do some baking last week for a charity coffee morning, and I really miss having proper mixing bowls for the purpose.

All I have with me, in fact all I own, is a large plastic storage bowl. It does do the job, but it isn't really big enough and the seam at the base collects flour and is hard to clean. It's also very scratched and rough from being used so much.

I miss my mum's Mason Cash bowl! I had a look in Lakeland at the ones they're selling but they're the new ones, flimsy and not the same gorgeous cream colour on the inside.

This bowl is for sale on eBay and I'm resisting buying it because I can't really justify the expense, but I want it so much! There are often bowls on eBay and I look at them closely to see which ones are the nasty new ones (still nice really, but not the same feel to them) and which are the Real McCoy. Then I put them on my eBay watch list and forcibly resist bidding. Sigh. One day, when I am a real grown up person with a real kitchen, I will own a real mixing bowl.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The First Graze Box Arrives

Doesn't it look inviting? I love the packaging!
 I chose Thursday as my delivery day purely because it was the next available day when I ordered, but it is actually a sensible day. It's the day my money comes into my account (from my other account - a sort of self-restricting budgeting system that works surprisingly well) and it's the day before I go shopping, so I'm likely to be running low on food. So I was quite excited this morning when I got back from lectures and looked to see if the post had arrived.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Freezer Meals

My schedule is becoming an increasingly large problem. Sunday - Thursday I am not home before 6.30 and usually more like 7.30, and I am not keen on starting to cook that late. I've found myself eating dinner at 9pm before now, although only once have I fallen into the trap of just grazing on whatever is in the cupboards instead of having a proper meal.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Graze Boxes

I had heard about Graze a while ago, I think from my brother, and thought that they were a good idea, but as I was living with my parents at the time and not responsible for the food shopping or really for my own diet, it would have been unnecessary to try it.

However, I was reminded by a facebook friend who had a useful referral code which gives the referrer £1 off each box, and the referee two boxes free - the first and the fifth. I decided to look into it.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Food Waste and Planning

Image by Colleen Lane, used under Creative Commons licence

Over lunch today, I've been listening to a BBC Women's Hour podcast from October 11th and there is a very interesting discussion about waste, and in particular food waste. I found two things very interesting. The first was a woman who said that she didn't use a shopping list and just shopped "with her eyes", which is a great way of putting it! Later on, she went on to say that she kept buying melons because they looked nice, and then putting them on the counter and watching them rot. So now she doesn't buy melons.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Microwave Meals: The Healthy Way

This year my schedule is at least as mad as I thought it would be, if not more so. And students are famous for their junk food addiction - and it isn't all due to going mad with a credit card for the first time. It's about convenience.

Balanced, simple and delicious
What is more convenient than that? I made the cheesy lentil dip on a free day last week, and froze two portions. The peas took five minutes in the microwave, the lentils about the same. Fast food at its finest.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

An Update on the Freezer

I've been living here for a little over a week now and I'm still so pleased to have a freezer. I've yet to use any of the freezer meals, but that just means that I'll have more meals (and more variety) when it really does come to crunch time.

Thursday might have been a day when I should have eaten a freezer meal. I was busy from 4pm til 8.30pm without any time at all to eat - I just sprinted into my room to change my shoes or drop off my lectures notes and grab a glass of water. It looks like every Thursday will be this way, so I'm going to shift things round and eat a cooked meal at lunchtime and pre-prepare a packed tea for whenever I find a free minute in the evening. It's all about flexibility :-)

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pear Crumble and Ice Cream

Remember a few posts ago I mentioned that I'd got a free sample of Angel Delight ice cream mix? I made it and it's nice! The mix is just vanilla flavour, but I grated some milk chocolate into it and you can put just about anything in.

I got given a large tray of apples and pears from my dad's garden when I arrived back at uni, so for the last two days I've been stewing fruit and freezing it in various quantities and mixtures.
I made all of this! Except the bowl

After my Sunday lunch today (which was very successful - it's the first time I've part-boiled the potatoes before roasting them and it was definitely worth the extra time and effort) I made pear crumble and had some with the ice cream. Delicious.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Back at University

Well, I'm moved in and (mostly) unpacked. I've discovered I've left a few kitchen items at home - my washing up bowl and the whisks for my hand mixer are the biggest problem but I can cope until I get them. And I've cooked my first back-to-uni meal, using some of the spices from my brand new spice rack.

This was a present from my brother - the most delicious present ever!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Potato and Courgette Pancakes

This year has been a good one for courgettes, and I've been looking for recipes which use them. I'm not really a fan of stuffed marrow and although I have tried roasting and frying, both those methods produce more of a side dish than a main meal.

However, I get the Everyday Cheapskate newsletter from Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living and every week it features a selection of recipes. One week the theme was courgettes, and I scribbled down a couple of recipes.

A delicious way to eat your vegetables

Tomato Sauce From Scratch

We've got a bumper crop of tomatoes this year (also a bumper crop of courgettes - more on that later) so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and try making some tomato sauce from scratch.

It was surprisingly easy! I had found a recipe from somewhere, although as usual I couldn't tell you where that was, and it only involved five ingredients. I'm a big fan of recipes where I can count the ingredients with one hand.

These were not the actual vegetables used, but a representative sample

Monday, 5 September 2011

Two Delicious Things

Not just one, but two delicious updates today! A successful recipe attempt, which I have to admit is unusual, and an exciting free sample of Angel Delight ice cream mix which arrived through the post whilst I was away.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

How to Avoid Soggy Crumble

Fruit crumble is a regular feature in our household - we make one every Sunday and it generally lasts for a couple of days during the week as well. The fruit content will depend on what is in season from the orchard, or what we've got an abundance of in the freezer, but my favourite is probably apple/pear with strawberry.

One problem with crumble is that the juice in the fruit can bubble up and spill over whilst cooking. Although this makes a delicious chewy fruity layer on top of the crumble, it also makes the entire topping go soggy and lose its bite, which to me is the best part of any crumble. If the whole thing is soggy, it might as well just be stewed fruit.

So to get around this difficulty, my mum had a moment of inspiration. Now, whenever she makes fruit crumble she sprinkles a thin layer of oats on top of the fruit before adding the crumble topping. The oats soak up the excess juice and are barely perceptible when eaten. No more soggy crumble, but the fruit juice isn't wasted either!

Easy Cheesy Lentils

I'm back from a summer of varied and disparate activities, and I come bearing food inspiration! To ease myself back into the habit of blogging, I'll start with a very simple but completely amazing side dish. My younger brother, who has been known to have some rather conservative food tastes in the past, raves about this recipe and I have to agree with him.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Uses for Leftover Vegetables

I was hunting around on the Sainsburys website for recipes that I could either use or adapt. I am rather biased towards Sainsburys because they used to pay me large amounts of money every week, but I think that their online Recipes and Tips feature is incredibly good. Recently they were doing a promotion called Feed Your Family for £50, which provided recipes for the main meal of the day along with a shopping list. Of course most of the ingredients are Sainsburys own, but despite the fact that it's obviously a marketing strategy it also has lots of great recipes.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Free Food

I volunteer at a centre which has to feed a large number of people on fairly short notice and as a result the store cupboard is jammed full with dried foods which can be cooked quickly. Every month the shelves have to be checked for things which are going out of date, or are already out of date. At the end of June I was set to the task, and told that I could take anything I wanted if I put a donation in the food kitty.

Well, it was quite a haul! I suspect that the checking in previous months had been interrupted part-way through, as some things were rather badly out of date (but as the date is checked again before it's cooked, I don't think anyone will have been served out of date food).

I sifted through the stash at the end of the day and chose the things I thought my family were likely to use. I'm not too fussy about best before dates, or even use by dates; as long as I can't detect any signs of actual problems then I'll eat it. That's a good thing about being vegetarian - it's far less likely that your food will kill you.

Anyway, here is what I brought home, as guarded by my cat Mo:

You want some foods? I have foods.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Grocery Shopping - Advance Planning

Image by Ian Britton, used under Creative Commons licence
 Money is going to be tight when I go back to university. I already know that, and I've got a rough idea of how much I'm going to have - not anything like as much as in previous years, so I need to make some big savings!

Most of the savings will be through not buying clothes, not going on foreign holidays, not eating out as much or visiting the cinema as often; all the usual things that get cut back when the budget has shrunk.

But I'm really hoping that I'll be able to make big savings by being canny with my groceries.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

In the Spotlight: Strawberries

Image by Digital Wallpapers, used under Creative Commons licence
It's strawberry time! Our strawberry patch is beginning to produce several ripe strawberries a day, which is great because we all love strawberries. At the height of strawberry season in previous years we've had too many to eat before they start to go off, so many are either frozen whole, or pureed and then frozen. It's a great way to make sure we've got fruit throughout the winter.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Chocolate Curd

Earlier today I was at a local garden centre, idly browsing the shelves, when I came across something so delicious that I almost couldn't believe it was real... chocolate curd.

You can buy this glory through Amazon

I'm a huge fan of lemon curd, and I'm a huge fan of chocolate, so the idea that I could get the two together was fabulous. It was quite expensive, though, so I thought I might try my hand at making my own first.

Friday, 3 June 2011

In the Spotlight... Carrots

The edible part of a carrot, like many other vegetables, is the root. It is possible to eat the leafy greens as well, but that's less common.

Image by Sunrise, used under Creative Commons licence

Bubble and Squeak Cakes

I tried this weeks ago, back in our cabbage glut before the excess made its inevitable trip to the freezer, and then forgot all about it until now. Loosely inspired by this recipe, here is how I made bubble & squeak cakes.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Red Bean Burritos

Yesterday afternoon I swung by a supermarket on the way home to pick up some tortilla wraps, some guacamole and some tomato salsa. I had asked my stepdad to get them for me when he went shopping, but he wasn't sure he'd even recognise them and had no idea where to look, so we figured it would be quicker for me to go.

Before it was wrapped - you can see the second tortilla underneath

Mexican food isn't popular in a big way here in the UK like it seems to be in the States. When I was visiting the Mid-West we went to Chipotle several times and there was a Mexican restaurant on almost every food court, but here choice is very limited. Some of the big cities have started to have Mexican places, but here in my little town we don't even have a McDonald's so I doubt we'll be getting Mexican any time soon.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Meal Planning

All the food blogs I read agree: meal planning is the way to go if you want to avoid food waste, daily shopping trips, lack of inspiration and general cooking malaise.

For the last few weeks I've been kicking around an idea for a meal planner that takes a list of possible meals, along with a points value based on healthiness, ease of cooking and opinion (so for example something that is complicated, unhealthy and not really popular would get three points, whilst something that is quick, healthy and delicious would get one) and then generates a weekly meal plan with a maximum of fifty points per week, ten per day.

That was the plan. When I sat down at my computer to create the spreadsheet I had envisaged, I hit a problem. I had absolutely no idea how to do it.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week: Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunch is such a traditional British meal: a roast joint of meat, roast potatoes, vegetables, gravy. But it isn't just meat eaters who can enjoy a traditional Sunday meal. My mum and I are both vegetarian, my stepdad a meat eater, and we eat a Sunday lunch every week.

A winter-time Sunday lunch (sprouts and parsnips)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Leek and Mushroom Pie

This pie is one of my mum's recipes, and I hadn't actually tried making it before, but it's so simple to do and you can change it to any other vegetable and it'd work fine! Sorry for the poor picture quality, this was taken after a night in the fridge and it looks a little sad.

Friday, 27 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Macaroni Cheese

I've been wanting to try this recipe since before I bought my rice cooker, but my family are not big pasta eaters apart from me, so it's taken until now to get round to it (and I'll probably end up eating it myself for the next four days).

Macaroni and cheese has become such an incredibly American food that I bet some people wouldn't even think of it as being Italian, but it is! It's thought to be medieval in origin, and was a very upper class dish! I wonder what Kraft Foods would make of that?

Anyway this meal didn't really bear much resemblance to the bright yellow powder of the instant packets or the cheese and pasta casserole of medieval Italy, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Home-made Pizza

Pizza is one of the country's favourite foods (I've got no statistics to back that up with, but I'm sure it's true) and it's one of my favourites too! When I go out to a restaurant I usually just order a margarita, or maybe a mushroom if I'm feeling particularly wild, but at home we like to pile our pizzas high.

My piece of the finished product - we bake square pizzas

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Vegetable Curry

Today's recipe isn't a recipe exactly, because it is a great way to use up left-overs! The vegetables in this curry were cooked on Sunday – half were roasted for our Sunday dinner (more about that at the end of the week) and half were boiled and kept in the fridge.
So, left-over vegetable curry. I cheat and use a jar of curry paste, because frankly life is too short to be mixing your own.

It wasn't as orange as this in real life! Not far off though.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Pasta Bolognese

I really love pasta. Filled pasta with a creamy sauce, macaroni cheese, spaghetti, gnocchi, any kind of pasta with any kind of topping. One of my no-time-to-cook standbys is pasta with tomato ketchup and grated Cheddar (but don't tell anyone, it's my shameful secret).

Vegetarian bolognese with tricolore pasta

Monday, 23 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week - Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risotto is one of my favourite meals, both to eat and to cook. I love it because it's got a reputation for being difficult but - here's a secret I don't tell everyone - it is so easy.

The recipe I use comes from Vegetarian Kitchen by Sarah Brown, but I have adapted it for use in my rice cooker, which makes it easier than ever. If you don't have a rice cooker (and aren't tempted to buy one after my glowing recommendations) then you can still make this with a few small adaptations.

I'll admit, I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo until I'd eaten some

National Vegetarian Week Starts Here!

Let's get cooking!
It's officially the first day of National Vegetarian Week. Here in my corner of the UK it's a wet, grey day without anything much to inspire people to cook but that's ok, you can get your inspiration right here in the warmth of your own home!

I've been pre-preparing some of my recipe posts, because whilst we do eat vegetarian meals every day, not all of them are very interesting - some nights we have fried eggs, baked beans and chips, some nights we just boil a load of vegetables and eat them with a baked potato. The first recipe will be published shortly and it's one of my favourites...

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Packing Lunches, Part Two

Last time I spoke about how my mum's idea of a packed lunch was sandwiches, a piece of fruit and a slice of cake or fruit loaf. This is basically what I took to school with me as a child, except I didn't normally get the cake - and the bread we ate then was the heavy, wholemeal, home-made bread which I hated. Usually my lunch came home with me, uneaten.

I know lunches can be more exciting than this, because I read blogs about them. All over the blogosphere there are women, and some men, creating interesting packed lunches for themselves and their children. This blog began as an attempt to emulate them, but quickly ran out of steam because I didn't really have any need to make a packed lunch while I was at university.

The Water Challenge is Over!

Friday the 20th May finally arrived and the water challenge finally finished! The thing is, I wasn't actually all that bothered. I was aware of the date and I mentioned its significance to a colleague (more on that in a minute) but I still reached for my water bottle when I was thirsty and at dinner I drank water out of habit.

Half way through the meal I suddenly thought "I can drink squash again!" and I sprang up to fetch the bottle of summer fruits squash which has been patiently waiting on the countertop for the last four months - my parents don't drink it, so while I was in France it was untouched and of course I started the water challenge as soon as I got back.

It was vile. Too sweet, too strong, even with added water to dilute it I didn't want it. My mum noticed my look of horror and laughed at me. My stepdad pointed out that I'd just eaten a sticky treacle pudding, which was so sweet itself that the squash didn't stand much of a chance, but I think the fact of the matter is that I've gone off the taste of sweet, sugary drinks forever. As I said at the table, only half in jest, what have I done?!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

National Vegetarian Week

National Vegetarian Week
National Vegetarian Week has been around for almost a decade, and this year it falls on the 23rd-29th May. Of course, for me every week is vegetarian week, but I still enjoy the buzz and all the recipes, events and information packs which come with the official event.

Packing Lunches, Part One

I've recently started volunteering at the same place my mum works, so we've been travelling in and out together and also meeting for lunch. She is an early riser and I am very much not, so while I'm dragging myself out of bed and trying to wake up, she packs our lunches.

It's a good arrangement because at that time of the morning I would probably forget that lunch even existed, but the problem is that my mother is of the "lunchtime means sandwiches" school of thought, and I am of the "sandwiches are boring" school of thought. It doesn't help that we rarely have anything more exciting that cheese to put into them. I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to persuade her to include left-overs from the previous day.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Water Challenge Update - Nearing the End

It's ten days until the end of my one-month water challenge and I thought it'd be good to update on how it's been going. There hasn't been a single mishap - which I put down to the fact that I've allowed myself a hot chocolate in the evenings if my parents are having one and I'm sitting with them. This might seem like it's rather ruining the point of the challenge but the fact is that until I started doing this, I would drink fruit squash, fruit juice or hot chocolate whenever I was thirsty, and if I was out in town I would buy a fizzy drink. Now, I'm drinking water for 90% of my drinks and that one hot chocolate is a luxury instead of a habit.
Image by DeathByBokeh used under Creative Commons Licence

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Rice a la Greque

When my rice cooker arrived, naturally the first thing I wanted to do was play with it! I looked through the recipe book (forty-two recipes, many of them delicious and surprisingly complex) and cooed over how exciting it was. I read the instruction manual from cover to cover. Then I made... plain brown rice.

Well, sometimes the meals have already been planned and you just have to go with it.

Monday, 25 April 2011

In the Spotlight... Spring Green Cabbage

Spring green cabbage is "in season" for at least half the year, but unsurprisingly it's at its best in spring. We've got loads in the garden at the moment, so we're eating cabbage three times a week just now.

Image used under Creative Commons licence

The palate is not logical

The half-drunk bottle of Sprite which started this whole Water Challenge is still in my bedroom, on the bedside table. I've kept it there as a reminder of why I've restricted myself to drinking something I've always disliked, and as a symbol of my willpower.

But today I really wanted some. I really, really wanted some. For over two hours I resisted its siren call, but the memory of that flavour wouldn't get out of my mouth.

I took a sip. One single sip, just enough for the flavour to hit my tongue. It was warm, it was flat, but it was still sweet and delicious. Then I put the lid back on and went downstairs to get a glass of water. I gulped it down in three gulps and realised that it was so much better - cooler, more refreshing and much healthier. When the glass was empty I filled it up again and it's here by my side. I'm taking frequent sips and it's making me feel better.

But I still want to drink that Sprite.

Guess my tastebuds don't care about health, huh?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Cheesy Cabbage Bake

My mum and stepdad have a fairly extensive vegetable garden and orchard, and as a result almost all of our fruit and veg is home-grown. We're almost always eating in season, and it's as fresh as possible - in the summer we walk out of the door with a pair of clean scissors and cut ourselves a salad.

At the moment there's a bumper crop of cabbages, and as I type a full-scale blanching operation is going on in the kitchen in order to store some of it. I never used to think I liked cabbage but that's definitely turned out not to be true and just in the last week I've eaten it three times.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cookery Classes for the Masses

I don't think I mentioned it here, but while I was in Paris I got the chance to go to a five-hour cookery class which took a small group of us (five, on this occasion) around the market, learning about the different shops and how to spot the freshest and best produce. Then we decided on a four-course menu based on what was in season - including, naturally, a cheese course - and took it all back to the cookery school to cook it.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

One-Month Water Challenge

Image by Rajiv Shah,  used under Creative Commons Licence
I made the long trip back from Paris at the beginning of this week, and on the final train I succumbed to temptation and bought a snack from the trolley. As I was idly perusing the back of my Sprite bottle, I made two discoveries in quick succession.

Monday, 18 April 2011

A New Start

It has been a very long time since I last updated this blog, and lots of things have been happening. The main one is that I am a matter of hours away from moving back to England, so I am currently procrastinating from packing by looking at crockpot recipes on the internet.

Being in France has opened my eyes to a lot of cooking and a lot of new recipes - from watching the housekeeper create amazing food out of vegetables, pasta, olive oil and salt, to taking an incredible cookery lesson which focused on selecting and using fresh local produce, to cooking with a friend who really enjoys it. I've now got five months back with my parents before I move into my own home, and I intend to use that time to teach myself to cook properly!

So, this blog will branch out a bit and no longer be about lunches (which never really interested me very much anyway). Once I've located my camera charger I will start to document my journey towards cuisinary competence, and I hope we'll get there sooner rather than later!

My first step has been to locate a rice cooker/crockpot/steamer/porridge maker which I will buy as soon as I can justify the cost - hopefully that will be soon.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Let me eat cake

I know, I know, the phrase has all kinds of political connotations and is a mis-translation anyway but frankly French cake is so amazing that I believe the revolting peasants would have definitely chosen to eat it instead of bread if they could.

I've been systematically trying each type of patisserie deliciousness and so far my favourite has to be the macaron - I've only had pistachio flavour but I'm going to try coffee next.

Today, however, I had this:

It was quite nice, but a bit rich and gooey for me (I'm recovering from stomach flu, which has rather put the kibosh on the whole eating thing). It might have been nicer if I had eaten it yesterday when I bought it, but that is when I started feeling really ill.

Thursday seems like my day for buying lunch at the local bakery so expect lots of gorgeous cakes and a regular repeat of my favourite sandwich.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Bit of a hiatus

Well, it has been a while since I updated in here! That's because all kinds of things have been happening. I don't think I have mentioned it before but over the summer I got pretty sick with viral tonsilitis, which knocked me out for a week and would have lasted longer if I hadn't just had to suck it up and get on with things (I had flights booked to go to Amsterdam for a long weekend and then was straight into rehearsals and performances for two shows for the rest of the summer).

When I got back to uni in October I could tell something wasn't right because I kept falling asleep all the time; I would get up at eight after a fairly good night's sleep, go to a lecture or two, and be asleep again by ten. I think I spent a good two thirds of my time asleep and consequently I didn't manage to get any work done. It was all I could do to feed myself and wash every so often.

So in the end I gave up and withdrew from my course for the rest of the year, and headed home where lunch is much less interesting and usually just soup (either in a cup or homemade in a bowl) and some bread or a sandwich. Most days I slept until noon anyway so I often missed lunch and just had breakfast and an early dinner before sleeping again.

Jump to December and I was a lot better and I went off for a couple of weeks at Christmas. In Norway I discovered the joy of crispbread with mustard and slices of cheese! I will take a photo when I next have it, it's sheer heaven.

Now it's mid-January and I'm in Paris, having taken a job here. I'm living in at a family's house and surrounded by wonderful food so I'll make a real effort to take some photos and show you! France has a genius for cakes and bread.

So there we go, that's what's been happening lately.

The thing that inspired me to head back over here and update for once was thinking about breakfast. Since I got here I've been eating Special K for breakfast, which is flakes of wheat and corn. I normally eat at about 7.30am and that keeps me going until midday, possibly with a slice of crispbread or a yoghurt mid-morning. But one morning I decided to have a sugary kind of cereal marketed for children, Frosties, which I often had when I was at uni. By nine I was hungry; by eleven I was so hungry I had to eat lunch way early. It was interesting, particularly since in the past I've often been hungry mid-morning and compensated by snacking on unhealthy or stodgy foods. Now I'll just try to have a more solid breakfast and be more aware of what I eat.

I've also not had any kind of problems with stomach ache since I got here. I've been trying to keep track of what makes me feel ill and I think it's excessive sugar - I munched my way through an entire tub of mini chocolate rolls over two days and felt appalling. It's always been things like ice cream and chocolate which have been the triggers so I've been assuming it was lactose but maybe after all it's the sugar content. I don't know if there is an allergy for that.

Anyway, this has turned into rather an essay and unfortunately I haven't got any pictures to brighten things up. Tomorrow I'm going for lunch with a friend somewhere in the north of the city so I might sneak a photo if the waiter isn't looking.