Resourcefulness and a Plum Tart

I never made it to campus today, in spite of having a meeting at 10:00. Instead, I skyped in around 10:45. The meeting lasted until about 3:00. I am in group meetings so often around here that I am basically working full time.

I made a grocery run by a different route today. I wanted to stop by both the Continental Food Store and the Halal. I spent too much time pondering my purchases there. I was sorely tempted by the most darling baby eggplants at the Continental Food Store, but they were expensive and I didn’t know how to use them, so they stayed. I had difficulty finding whole wheat flour (or at least thought I did.) It turns out they just call it by a different name. Once I started reading ingredients lists it was a snap to find. I bought brown basamati rice and beautiful globes of garlic at the Continental Food Store and a 1.5 kg bag of whole wheat flour at the Halal. I could spend so much money there is isn’t even funny. As it was, I spent approximately 5 pounds between those two stores, then traipsed to Lidl by a route that took me winding behind high rise apartment towers and through residential streets. The trees are slowly burning to their winter bare. I will spend Friday evening out photographing their fall splendor, I think. The new route is likely to become my favorite route to Lidl. It is longer, true, but more interesting. That’s a theme–I will often take the longer route that is more interesting.

At Lidl, I spent a long time shopping, which included recording the price of each item and repeatedly tallying all of my items to ensure that I stayed on budget. I eschewed Parmesan cheese (at 3.99 pounds) and olive oil (2.39 pounds) and honey (2.37 pounds) as too expensive, even though they were on my list and I (ostensibly) “need” them. All told, I went 15 pence over budget, which is not bad at all.

On the way home, I took the route alongside the main road, and discovered a package of pasta, a can of apricots, and a box of super pasteurized skim milk, all abandoned beside the road. I adopted the pasta and the apricots–scavenger’s prize! The packages were undamaged, so I figure they’re safe to eat. The pasta is Sainsbury’s brand, too, very high-falutin’. I’m not even sure where a Sainsbury’s is… much less what these three items were doing in Hilltown.

I came home and made a plum tart with a whole wheat pastry crust. It’s tasty, though imperfect in execution. At first I thought it was 70% awful, but it grew on me as I ate, and at the end I rate it closer to a 15% awful. It’s a touch too sour, and the crust , while you can tell it’s trying to be flaky (it separates in layers and so forth) only manages to be dense and heavy. Next time, I will use some whole wheat pastry flour and it will turn out better, I think. In any case, it will be a damn good breakfast for my ungodly early morning tomorrow.

I did a lot of laundry today, and now it is hanging everywhere all over the living room. I need to develop a drying system for the winter.

I have decided what my budget will be through January. I will be alloted 30 pounds a week of money to buy food and other things (such as transportation). I had originally thought 25 pounds a week… but after today’s grocery run I am unconvinced that that will happen. After all, I do like Parmesan cheese.

Resourcefulness and a Plum Tart

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