Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Winter, Paying attention to Food Prices and a new 3 litre slow cooker: this one is already writing itself

My first semester at Curtin University has ended. Now there is time to cook and write and take stock (geddit?) of what kind of writing about food is useful. Any-old-person can take a picture of a restaurant plate of food and funnel their "oohs" and "aaahs"through the keyboard and onto the screen but to what end? Great if it works for you, however it's not floating my boat of self-actualisation and feeling of worthiness right now. Plus many people do it far, far better than I can.

I blame Bob, of course, for two things: It was July 1985, my friend Rebecca Nelson and I had boarded the Excelsior Coach to Londondinium, sold some trinkets and emptied our piggy banks for two scalped tickets to Live Aid. If I recall correctly we also had on t-shirts we printed ourselves with day-glo dye and crimped hair. Take a look at your own self 26 years ago and then judge. I blame (Sir) Bob for my addiction to rock concerts (what a one to kick off with) and what I now admit is an indelible connection between what I buy to eat and what that says about Me. Am I a grateful, conscientious Have or a blase, ignorant Have? (I did resist buying 2 litres of supermarket brand milk for one dollar ninety nine because I know what that is doing to the dairy industry and I really should use up all the tins in my pantry before I replenish so maybe I 'm a small part of the way there). Chances are high I am never going to be a Have Not of any description.

I have also been reading the postings of the World Food Programme http://www.wfp.org/our-work and while it is too late for me to skip off to Niger* and do Good Things it is not too late for me to Take A Serious Interest in the way Food Resources are managed in the world.
*Plus, I don't fancy hookworm or being taken hostage by a militia.

I shall not be preaching nor pontificating nor eating any of my own proteins but I shall be considering how Food is Managed as a Resource and how the Everyday consumer can create a discourse with those managers. And I shall be tightening my family's food budget* belt in an attempt to show some empathy with families who have to make hard choices about what they can buy to feed themselves. Also I am thinking ahead slightly: what if it does all go tits up and there is no longer any pata negra to be had on the high street and what if dairy farmers should get paid the real cost of milk production? One should just have to cope and those Ones with the knowledge and skills shall prevail.
*plus I 'm saving up for two weeks in Tuscany next year where I shall have my nose firmly in the trough of conspicuos, nay frivolous and fancy free, consumption.

Which brings me to two of my mother's bequests:* The Pauper's Cookbook by Jocasta Innes, Penguin 1971 and Crockpot Cooking by Mary Norwak, Futura 1977.
* or do I mean gifts? Can one bequest an item when one is still living? Mother this is a stylistic and rhetorical device, I am not asking for a grammar lesson.

watch this space

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