The final countdown

April 22, 2010

Either I’m proving the adage that life begins at 40, or I’m heading for a mid-life crisis – because, at the age of 41, I have decided to make some scarily bonkers changes in my life.

Part One of these life-changing events takes place in less than a month, when I’ll be moving out of my lovely bijoux Borough flat, putting my stuff into storage, and then living out of a suitcase for a couple of months. The aim is to live as rent-free as possible until the end of July, at which point, Part Two kicks in, and I’ll be heading out to Istanbul to move in with my boyfriend Süleyman.

As excited as I am about finally living with Süleyman, I think I’m going to find it just a little heartbreaking to move out of the place I’ve called home for nearly ten years – not least because my second home, Borough Market, is five minutes down the road.

So, to try and distract myself, I’ve set myself a challenge… to literally empty my food cupboards by the time I move out in the middle of May.

Looking through my cupboards last night, I realised I didn’t have a vast quantity of stuff to get through (I’ve always been quite good at not buying useless ingredients that I use once and never again), but there are still one or two items I’m not sure what to do with.

How I’m going to use up a nearly full bottle of rose water and an unopened tin of black treacle in four weeks, I just don’t know! Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

I’m actually rather fond of my ramshackle collection of spice jars (pictured above), so I think I might try and take them with me to Turkey. What the customs officials at Istanbul airport will make of an odd collection of powders, seeds and pods is anyone’s guess. But I’ll just put Midnight Express out of my mind, and run the gauntlet!

So, it looks like I’ll be eating lots of lentils, rice, couscous and quinoa over the next four weeks – but I’m certainly going to try and come up with as many variations on those themes as possible. And, as I generally make lunch to take into work every day, that gives me five more opportunities every week to make a dent in my supplies.

I won’t be using much of anything tonight, though, as Little Sis and I are going out to eat with our grandmother at our favourite north London restaurant, the Singapore Garden. But I’ve got some friends coming over for dinner this weekend – so, Nick and Kerry, beware! You may be finding a rather odd concoction of dishes on your plates come Saturday night.

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5 Responses to “The final countdown”

  1. jasnieres Says:

    I had treacle every day when I was a child – on my porridge. I used to make the most wonderful Dali-esque abstract patterns on it, before eating it with great relish. The pleasure of holding the spoon about 30 centimetres (or 12″ in old money) above the porridge and seeing what appeared was nearly as good as eating the results.

  2. jasnieres Says:

    p.s. Baba used to make flapjacks with treacle – oh joy!


  3. Trouble is, I don’t really like the taste of treacle. So I’d definitely have to use it in something that is dominated by other flavours. I’ve found a few rye bread recipes that use it, so I think I’ll try that.

  4. Choclette Says:

    Oh wow, that is a move and a half! I know you like Turkey and it must be really exciting, but also a big change to get your head around. As for rose water, you could make a big batch of Turkish delight to give away to all you hold dear or make some sort of new and exciting rose cocktail to celebrate. Or again, give it away – you’ll be able to get plenty of that soon.


  5. Thanks for your suggestions Choclette. I did think about making Turkish delight once, but, oh boy, does it seem like a complicated procedure!
    Now, cocktails… that’s something I’m willing to try. Maybe something involving some bubbly. Hmm…


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