Today I’m going to explore a theory that I concocted in my kitchen. Last week I came to the conclusion that any unsettled feeling I had about moving to another country, starting a new job, etc was manifesting itself in my diet.Read 'The quiches of my labor'
I noticed that what I was eating was low-effort food. I got cereal for breakfast. Pre-baked scones, yogurt and fruit, and peanut butter on celery was my lunch. Dinner I would up just snacking on whatever other ready-made things that I had bought when I went grocery shopping.
In the rest of my life I felt pretty comfortable, but not necessarily motivated. Whenever I got home I immediately felt like crashing in bed and not getting up. I’d work on my computer or watch Netflix. Keep it simple. But at the end of last week, I realized I’m running out of time. This past weekend was one of the last ones I will spend fully in London, so I started thinking about ways to keep exploring the city without the convenience of a weekend. Naturally, going out after work was the answer. But how was I supposed to do that if my body was begging for my bed at 18:00 on the dot?
I came to the food conclusion when I texted my dad about feeling melancholy (read below). There were too many unknowns that made me anxious. If I wanted to cook something, would Tesco have the proper ingredients? Would I have the proper cooking gear to make what I wanted to? Would I be in the way of my roommates? I felt scared of getting halfway through a recipe and realizing I needed something I didn’t have (ingredients, cookware, time, etc).
This weekend, I took some risks. I researched some recipes and I decided to commit myself to them. I was interested in using pastry, so I catered some flexible recipes to that. I decided on quiche and stir-fry that I could turn into little savory pies by filling the pastry with them. I knew I didn’t want to make my own pastry. The thing about moving every 3 months is it becomes really difficult to buy bulk ingredients like flour, sugar, etc because you won’t necessarily be able to move it to your next place. It gets very wasteful very quickly. So I bought pre-made shortcrust pastry that just needs to be baked.
The stir fry turned out to be really easy because Tesco has a lot of pre-cut veggie packs and noodles specifically for it. All I had to do was cook the chicken and stir it all together. I put much more effort into my quiche. I chopped everything myself, I made my own baking tins, I concocted my own recipe, which you can find below.
My final conclusion is that cooking is an extraordinary creative outlet and a fabulous way to familiarize yourself with your space. Cooking a bunch will really truly help you settle into a new life because you get used to your own apartment, the surrounding grocery stores, and your own capabilities. You control what you eat, and you can make sure it’s food that is going to make you feel good (tastebuds and the rest of you, too). I am feeling more confident and energized since this weekend of cooking, and I am looking forward to what I may scrummy up in the future.
*NOTES: 1. apologies for sloppy handwriting, 2. the shortcrust should be BLIND-BAKED before you add the filling, my crust wasn’t quite done when the egg concoction was, 3. TO GET FLAVOR, put your flavor filling in the crust first (to the TOP) and pour egg + cream over top (if you mix it with the egg there won’t be enough to get serious flavor and the egg will overwhelm.. I think. I will test and share updates)