Friday, January 3, 2014

My week in food

As promised, a week of food porn!

Every day begins with coffee, because I'm a serious addict. I only drink real coffee though, that instant shit hasn't passed my lips for years. I have my own coffee machine that I bought about 10 years ago for about $1000 that grinds the beans and makes an espresso to my personal taste. I tend to make a pretty strong long black and rarely froth my milk. My preference is to add a few chunks of ice and a dash of milk and voila: espresso iced coffee. Mmmmm..

Expensive coffee machine yes, paid itself off many times over. Coffee costs $4-5 retail and I'll have up to 5 or 6 coffees some days, but my usual is two to three. 2kg of Colombian beans costs $39 which lasts me just over 3 months. I use rainwater because not only does it taste better, Geraldton water is very destructive to plumbing and would likely have destroyed my machine's innards by now.

Breakfast is a single egg omelette with greens from the garden. Slowly I've reduced my egg intake, helped by using a smaller omelette pan, and find that this simple meal is enough to sustain me through the morning. I cook my omelettes with butter - margarine is not welcome in this house. One large block of butter can last me months. Oh yeah - I ignore use by dates...

Eggs: $4.50 a dozen. 2 dozen eggs per month. Source: Farmers Market from a farm where the hens run around outside all day.

My alternative breakfast is muesli with yoghurt. 1 1/2 cups of skim milk powder added to water, add one heaped dessert spoonful of live yoghurt from the last batch, makes one litre of yoghurt. I use the Easy-Yo setup - I use their yoghurt sachets to start then just make ongoing batches with skim milk till the culture seems to tire, which is about 4-5 batches. The Easy-Yo yoghurt containers are made from crap plastic and they crack and leak - I now just use a yoghurt pot from a commercial yoghurt, which I buy from time to time when I'm too lazy to make my own. It fits perfectly in the Easy-Yo thermos. Skim milk powder from 2Brothers: $9 a kilo. I've only just started buying my skim milk powder in bulk, so I'll see how I go. I think I go through a kilo a month.

My muesli is home made. Two scoops each of rolled oats, rolled rye and rolled triticale. One scoop each of pepitas and sunflower seeds. Mix. One scoop of muesli and a generous helping of natural yoghurt makes a nutritious breakfast - and sometimes a lazy dinner as well....

3kg rolled rye cost $8.70, 3kg organic rolled oats $8.90. Rolled triticale cost about the same but I haven't bought any since earlier last year and I didn't keep my receipts. Those nine kilos of grain lasts me at least half a year - omelette being my preferred breakfast after all. Pepitas $10/kilo last bought in October, Sunflower kernels $5/kilo last bought in June.

Midmorning a small handful of mixed raw unsalted nuts gives me a little boost. If I remember. Often I'm just too busy at work to stop for a snack. At home I rarely snack between meals and sometimes even forget meals. I get so involved in some home project the hours just fly by. Anyway, 2kg nuts costs $30.50 and will last me about 2 months. By the way, these nuts are the freshest yummiest tasting nuts I've ever had. Even the ones from the local health food store tasted stale and bitter compared to these.

Lunch is a salad. Chives, lettuce, parsley from the garden. Tomato - sometimes from the garden, or else from the market - cucumber - sadly my current crop carked it, so also from the market - avocado or feta or grilled haloumi - from the market - and either chickpeas or a mix of pepitas and sunflower seeds. Mung bean sprouts. Add a dash of extra virgin olive oil - sourced from a local producer and friend at $24 for 3L - and vinegar and that's it. Sometimes I also add fried shallots from the Asian shop. I feel a bit guilty about this because I think the shallots are cooked in palm oil. Crunchy and yummy though.

Chickpeas. I have a bit of an addiction to these nutty tasting pulses. I buy the dried uncooked peas in 5kg lots ($22.50) which lasts me 3 months. Simply soak overnight then boil in unsalted water for just over 10 minutes to maintain their firmness and nutty flavour. Boil a bit longer if you plan to puree them. Make in batches so you have a ready supply of cooked peas in the fridge. You will NEVER buy canned chick peas again.

Evening meals are either based around rice, quinoa, noodles or none of the above. Sometimes I just have a sandwich. I'm probably at my most versatile for my evening meal. There is often a side splitting amount of chilli involved.

Often with a glass of red wine from the cellar. Did I mention the cellar? Oh well, another time...

So that's the starting point. I'll photograph my ingredients and meals for the next week and post a daily piece of food porn. I'll tell you how much I spent on food too.

A word of warning: my food photography sucks, so if it's a little out of focus I apologise, but hey, it is porn after all!

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