Food Diaries #1 – Not Mr Slater

by John Pope

John has decided to keep track of what he eats – but definitely not for calorie counting purposes.

No, I’m neither turning into Nigel Slater, or writing a review of his book (although v. concisely, it’s really very good).

Furthermore this is definitely not the first post in any kind of new direction for my writing on this P&G. In actual fact this is not really for you at all, this is all about me. A personal project ultimately for no reason other than my own interest and amusement.

I have decided to keep a diary of whatever I put into my mouth – not to count calories, rather the opposite, to remember the lovely calorific things that I ingest.

I could do this on my laptop or my phone, using a tablet and a cloud service, but that would be missing the point. Eating is far more sensual and tactile than typing ever could be. This needs to be done in a more personal and far more ‘retro’ way, so I will in my own scrawly hand be laying ink onto paper.

I love technology, I surround myself with it, but nothing will ever be able to replace a handwritten book. So, I have been out and bought something beautifully bound with thick paper that is a joy to touch, and I have loaded my pen with new ink, and will try to discipline myself to put the two together on a regular basis.

On the rare occasions when I feel that my dietary habits might be fascinating to the rest of the world then I will share snippets of it here.

The first entry from this weekend might not be the most exciting, but after all of this build-up, I feel compelled to share anyway….

30th June 2013.

Upp and out early, wandering around the city in the cold grey drizzle. After a couple of hours of getting damp and chilly it was time for breakfast.

Both fridge and cupboards pretty devoid of interesting content. No interesting shops on the way, so managed only a super unhealthy, but ultimately yummy and warming toasted muffins filled with bacon, eggs and tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • English muffins
  • Lightly salted butter
  • Eggs
  • Smoked bacon
  • Tomatoes
  1. Cook the bacon however you prefer to do it, I’d recommend either grilling it or baking it in a hot oven, as frying will leave it a bit greasy and you will end up with a soggy muffin.

  2. While the bacon is cooking, slice the tomatoes reasonably thinly, and heat up a little oil in a frying pan to fry the eggs.

  3. Split and toast the muffins until they turn golden brown, and spread them with salted butter

  4. Fry one egg per muffin, until the white has set well but the yolk is still liquid

  5. Remove the bacon from the grill/oven and drain on a piece of kitchen paper

  6. Layer the bacon, tomatoes and egg onto the bottom half of each toasted muffin

  7. Season with just a touch of sea salt, and some freshly ground black pepper, and pop the top on the muffin

Lunch was eaten out, near to the park. Pretty traditional pubby menu, I chose a ‘home made’ burger with chunky chips and a mixed leaf salad, and whilst nothing to write home about it, it wasn’t too bad at all.

In an attempt to appear modern and funky, the burger was served in ciabatta rather than just a bun, and the salad was decidedly Mediterranean. The chunky chips were great, the salad was nicely dressed, and the caramelised onion relish and slightly spicy salsa that came above and below the burger were all tasty, I didn’t eat the ciabatta. It’s just a shame that the burger itself didn’t live up to the rest of the plate, not just under seasoned but positively bland, it tasted more of onion than anything else, and still trying to work out why why when I could clearly see that it was made of beef.

We got home in the early evening and I really didn’t feel like a meal of any kind. Instead, I spent most of my evening grazing on bits of cheese, cold meat and pickles, with a bit of crusty bread. Why bother to cook when you have things like brie, stilton, some goats cheese and a nice crunchy pickled onion?