Kitchen Cupboard



I thought for a bit of fun I’d do a post on the contents of my kitchen cupboard. Pretty pathetic, but I never claimed to be Ernest fucking Hemingway.

There’s some Uncle Ben’s boil in the bag rice at the top left. Uncle Ben is operating at the very top of his game right now. This stuff is amazing, much better than the own-brand alternative. Easily worth the extra pound.

Lots of tuna next to that. Lovely tuna, chicken of the sea. For lunch mostly.

Noodles, penne and linguine packs next. About the only proper meal I cook at the minute involves the noodles. Noodles with prawns and ginger and chilli’s. I used to use a lot of those stir in sauce tubs sitting in front of the pasta. Less so these days. What even is it? They just sit there at room temperature and don’t go off for a year. I’m suspicious of them now.

Below is a box of some ‘light’ popcorn, because I’m a complete woman. I’ve actually struggled with popcorn a bit since the scene in Arachnophobia where the big ignoramus couple sit down in their dressing gowns with a bowl of popcorn to watch Jeopardy, and as the guy dunks his hand in the bowl, with his eyes glued to the tv, a little black spider emerges from below the top layer to deliver it’s lethal bite. It’s just the spider being about the same weight and shape as a bit of popcorn that’s so shudder inducing to me.

Going left there’s some more tuna, then beans and some bargain tinned dinners for when I really can’t be bothered. Chicken Jalfrize and tinned meatballs. Pretty shameful. I have some chickpeas back there too. I got excited about chickpeas a couple of years ago but I’m over it.

On the bottom shelf there’s some bread sitting on top of some own-brand fruit and fiber cereal. The cereal has no fruit in it whatsoever! It’s just bran flakes. I put my hand in and scooped right to the bottom and all. I’m tempted to write a letter of complaint. I’ll have to get Kellogg’s next time, but that shit is seriously expensive. The bread sitting on top is this Northern Ireland’s own thing. It’s extremely doughy, like 200 calories a slice. It’s a real treat but as with the pasta sauce I’m wary.

The box with the green side is sea salt. Huge great shards of it. It’s great. You can almost eat it by itself. Then some vinegar next to that. I originally bought that vinegar to add to the bucket to mop my floor. The whole flat stank of vinegar for several days, so I’ve reverted to classic vinegar use- strictly food.

There are some spices and stuff next, renaissance man that I am. I’d very much recommend the coffee there- Nescafe Azera. It’s rich and creamy ‘barista style’ instant coffee. It’s fantastic. Who cares about coffee machines and what have you. Instant coffee would have blown your mind a few centuries ago. I’m happy enough with it. The white containers are some supplements for my joints- fish oil and ‘glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin’. Absolute bullshit. Do nothing in all likelihood. Rarely remember to take them. I sometimes leave them on the worktop to remind myself but if anyone is coming they go back in the cupboard, so it doesn’t look like a convalescent home.



Sweating the Small Stuff

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “State of Your Year.”

My major challenge of the last six months was furnishing the flat I moved into, to which end I used the savings I had from a very fortunate purchase and sale of bitcoin in 2013. I dreaded the task and thought about hiring an interior decorator. Decorating and even dressing and stuff is always more about self-assertion than self-expression with me. Trying to position myself a certain way to outside eyes over an entire flat was not a fun prospect. Plus the interior decorator, namely a cool girl, would charge just 15% of the price of the stuff to make all the choices for me.

I couldn’t bring myself to hire one in the end though. I thought I couldn’t live with myself if I ducked that responsibility. It’s a rite of passage, doing up your first home. I saw it in an ad for Mastercard once- the young woman covering a crack in her wall with her new mirror from the fleamarket, then dancing around her new living room in joy. Priceless. What kind of monster would I be to hide in the gloom while some girl comes in and does these things for me? I’d be barely human. And then to live in an environment someone else has created. It would have been a capitulation. On top of that, one of the first things I found was a nice lamp which I liked with instinctive certainty. That encouraged me to keep going with the rest.

But as it turns out the lamp was nearly a one-off (a two-off- I like the table I bought too). Everything else was a complete ordeal of endless second-guessing and I’m only lukewarm about the result. Being able to create a pleasant home for myself would be good but I’ve found out that for me it’s more worry than it’s worth. If I ever had to do this again I would give the 15% to a decorator. It wouldn’t be giving in to weakness, it would be the smart move.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Those Dishes Won’t Do Themselves.”

My least favourite household task is changing the duvet cover. I’m vaguely aware that there’s a trick to it and I should google that actually, but as things stand it involves pushing one side in a bit, walking to the other side of the bed, pushing that side in, yanking the underside up to match, then walking back round to the other side and so on. It’s such a messy operation, there’s the threat there that it’s not going to work out, unlike with doing the dishes for instance where you have a great sense of progress. I somehow managed to arrange things on New Years Eve 2013-14 so that I was changing the fucking duvet cover as the year turned. That was maybe a half-conscious, fairly lame attempt to ‘bottom out’ so I’d be motivated to change my life- potentially the beginnings of a duvet cover problem- ‘Man, back then, I’d wake up in the morning and the first thing I’d do is change a duvet cover. It got to the point where I was changing duvet covers five, six times a day. I’d change a duvet cover like other people have a glass of wine. There was a time when I would have sold my own mother for fresh duvet covers to change. If I saw a duvet cover, I’d have to change it. It was that simple’. But the duvet cover thing turned out to be a one-off. 2014 wasn’t great in the end, but I can be thankful for that at least.

Ice Cream Challenge

A daily post prompt: A local ice cream parlor invites you to create a new wacky flavor. It needs to channel the very essence of your personality. What’s in it?

My goal is tasteful unremarkableness these days. That’s the ideal. It’s a strategy rather than the essence of my personality, I reckon. There’s an urge in me to defy. I tried to make fashion statements at university. Not a feather boa exactly, but things like oddly patterned cardigans and black boots instead of trainers. It was a strenuous, joyless effort to look cool in an alternative kind of way. But there was no ease, so no cool. I should have and still should take Henry Rollins’ example and just own being awkward, gauche, a bit of a clenched psycho. Doing that would be a major lifestyle choice though, it looks like. I think I’ll just continue to lack integrity but at least know my place while I’m at it. So anyway I was a lonely reject for a lot of university and deservedly so. Now I avoid like the plague being arch in any way, which is good. I feel like I was doing the wrong thing then and now I’m doing the right thing, despite the bad rap ‘conformity’ gets.

I do like some element of fun, once I’m sure I’m doing things as they should be done on the whole. In my flat that would be my beloved boldly coloured bedsheets- purple with black pillows and black with green pillows. Then on my person it’s my purple t-shirt which I wear going out sometimes with my inoffensive grey hoodie and jeans.

So in terms of the ice-cream flavour, there’d have to be vanilla. Then a scoop of garlic seems right, looking at a list of ice-cream flavours on wikipedia. And raspberry ripple. I’m happy enough with that.