Gosh, this year is speeding past! Which means four things to me:
- It’s nearly my birthday, woohoo!
- Christmas is awfully near (anyone who knows what it is like to be pitifully poverty stricken knows how quickly Christmas can creep up)
- I probably should have done a lot more studying than I have actually managed
- Most relevant to this post: NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us…
For those of you who don’t know, the point of NaNo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve managed once in four years and am planning to finally do it again this year. My novel is plotted, my main character has a name and there’s a title involved and everything. I’m as prepared as I could possibly be. Except for one tiny thing – I don’t like ready meals or takeaways, I like to cook proper healthy food. Which means time in the kitchen, away from my novel.
So this year, I planned ahead – I created a varied and interesting menu, worked out what I’d need to buy for it and set aside a day for preparing it all. Today was that day.
- 1st – chickpea pancakes (recipe coming before NaNo, I promise! It’s my new favourite dinner)
- 2nd – homemade pizza & sauce
- 3rd – spinach and lentil dahl
- 4th – mushroom soup
- 5th – my birthday!
- 6th – baked chilli and eggs
- 7th – pasta with tomato and lentil sauce
- 8th – vegetable cous cous
- 9th – birthday party! (so will likely have vodka for dinner…)
- 10th – shepherd’s pie
- 11th – tomato and lentil soup
- 12th – vegan mac and cheese
- 13th – spinach soup
- 14th – enchiladas
- 15th – homemade pizza & sauce
- 16th – spinach and lentil dahl
- 17th – chilli bake
- 18th – chickpea pancakes
- 19th – vegetable cous cous
- 20th – mushroom soup
- 21st – shepherd’s pie
- 22nd – pasta with creamy cabbage sauce
- 23rd – tomatoey baked vegetables
- 24th – enchiladas
- 25th – vegan mac & cheese
- 26th – tomatoey pasta bake
- 27th – tomato and lentil soup
- 28th – chilli and baked eggs
- 29th – spinach soup
- 30th – takeaway and celebrating!
After 6 hours of cooking, we had produced this:
Not an insignificant amount of food, I’m sure you’ll agree. But still, not 30 days’ worth either. So after a brief break to sit down, have a cup of tea and discuss House Issues with our landlord (he wanted to know about our leaking conservatory, we wanted to know how to turn the heating on), we got back to work. Finally, 9 1/2 hours after we had started cooking, we had produced food for almost every day of NaNo:
Every tub is labelled with the contents and the date it should appear on the menu. There are a couple of gaps – chickpea pancakes do not store well and are superspeedy to make from scratch in any case. Likewise, vegetable cous cous is barely any work to cook, so I just made the tfaya to serve with it, which made the house smell deliciously Moroccan just in time for my landlord and his partner to arrive.
It was a productive meeting – they regrouted the bathroom, resealed the conservatory and made our outdoor lights work again! I was extremely grateful. We negotiated where the rent should be paid from now on – Norway, apparently – and also the date it should be paid. I think we all left the meeting pretty happy. What made me happiest was being told that I am now allowed to have pets in the house, which means I get my Sassy back!!!
Apologies for the lack of recipe today, but it’s nigh on impossible to document the cooking of a single dish when trying to make 30 in one go and talk to landlords about changing contracts. Suffice to say, it was a rewarding-if-exhausting day. Now I must get back to watching Game of Thrones before NaNo starts properly on Friday!