farfalle-w-figs

Farfalle Arrabbiata w Mushrooms, Figs, Bocconcini & Pancetta. Sweet + Salty + Spicy = No longer hungry. I haven’t cooked in days, just working, travelling and sleeping. This is the first decent homemade meal I’ve had in whenever. And it still cost less than eating out. There was a second plate which I mopped up soon after. I’m actually still drooling now an hour later. One thing that sucks about cooking for one is how constrained you are in terms of ingredients and variety. It gets pretty expensive to cook for just one especially because I haven’t got a workable freezer. My freezer at the moment works more like a fridge. And my fridge just doesn’t.

When I do cook, invariably, its always just some form of noodle and an assortment of protein and veg. I hardly cook rice because a.) It takes twice to thrice as long as pasta/soba and b.) I can’t keep any rice or I’ll die from listeria given my shitty fridge. The other thing is if I ever want to cook, its best if I have 2 days off in a row so I can actually just shop once for 3 or 4 meals. Otherwise, I shop every time I want to cook. Going to the fishmonger, getting a weird look when I ask for 3 prawns or 1 squid or from the butcher when I want 1 chicken thigh or 100g of mince.

Cooking is definitely a communal thing. I realised some of the best meals I’ve had were cooking with friends when we had huge pots of chilli crab/chicken rice/korean beef stew/etc/etc. You get a the quantity, quality and variety and the work is split. Someone cooks someone washes up. There’s also that bit called conversation and sharing that makes everything just taste better.

The Fridge.

The fridge is caked with ice in the freezer compartment. I resolve to take my axe and hack away at it but remain fearful of my housemates, whom I hardly see due to time differences. I am nocturnal whilst they live amongst the scorching sun’s rays. Their semi frozen beer and a bag of sugar are terrifying to me, like a rosary draped around garlic. It torments the hell out of me why anyone would drink Toohey’s New frozen or otherwise and keep a bag of crystallizing sugar next to it. Below the freezer, is an empty space. devoid of the object I call cold. In fact, its actually cooler in my room today than the fridge is. Which scares me even more since it is summer. Fear is rampant in my life.

There was a bottle of Korean black bean sauce lying on the second shelf, leftovers from the last time I had friends over. Those were the good days, when the fridge actually worked and I was able to store my supply of coagulated blood, chilled. Nowadays, I have to get it fresh, which can be a hassle. In any case, at least the endless beeping has ceased. There was a time when it drove me insane going beep beep in the day, when I needed my sleep. I swear it bears a grudge because I stick things like sambal and prawn paste in it which stink it up. I miss kangkong. I will cook some on friday.

5 months ago, it was still winter. I bought a bottle of milk for a spot of hot chocolate. I kept the remainder in the fridge. I didn’t touch it for three days and came back to it wanting more hot chocolate. The expiry date wasn’t going to pass yet for another 4 more days. Yet, I felt the stirrings of oddity when the carton lifted a touch odd. The sides buckled ever so slightly then remained firm to the touch. I tipped it over into my cup of chocolate and received a mild splash of whey in the face along with a small clump of curds. I put down both the carton and cup and proceed to dissect the carton for answers. Lo and behold, I had achieved what any aspiring fetta producer might have fawned over. Only I am no aspiring fetta producer. Also, it stank like hell. A tall, off-white, rectangular block riddled with holes, yellowish grey liquid oozing from the pores stood in my sink. I picked it up, threw it in the bin and decided henceforth that the fridge would no longer contain anything. It was with some regret that I did not leave it longer. On friday, I will buy a carton of milk and break that 5 month old vow. Does anyone have any blue veined bacteria I could borrow?

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