Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today I am ... eating my way through the double-dip recession

Is it just me or does a ‘double-dip' recession sound a bit like a slightly disappointing 1990s sweet? I remember having similar sentiments when the term ‘credit crunch’ started being bandied about, as though someone was trying to make us feel better about everything by pretending the recession was a cereal bar. Perhaps giving the economic downturn a frivolous and fun-to-say name is supposed to take the edge off the bad news, like the ‘doodlebug’ bombs of the Blitz.

Or it's possible I’ve just got childhood snacks on the brain; by 11am this morning, I had already cracked into a Drumstick lolly and a packet of Fizzers, left over from a comms networking day yesterday. What else is there to do but eat on a grey Wednesday morning in the wake of the news that we’re facing yet more years of austerity?

We continued to offset the general sense of doom in the office by structuring the rest of the day completely around mealtimes and treats, interspersed with work and endless cups of tea. After the initial sugar rush, the rest of the Day of Eating went something like this…

12pm: We receive an email alert to confirm there are remains of a home-made chocolate and raspberry torte left over in the staff kitchen from someone’s birthday. With no time to waste, one after another we quickly march up the stairs like a queue of orphans in Oliver and take whatever scrapings of the torte we can salvage. The taste of sharp, juicy raspberries cuts through the rich, smooth chocolate goo, topped off with a dusting of cocoa. I haven’t yet identified the mystery baker, but when I do, I will ask them for the recipe or simply demand they make more.

1.30pm: It’s burrit-o’clock! After debating whether or not to order Firezza pizza to the office (always my preference), we decide to brave the relentless rain and head en masse to the cheery Burrito Café on Caledonian Road. The staff are like magicians, somehow transforming a mountainous pile of pulled pork, guacamole, sour cream, peppers, rice, black beans, salsa and cheese into a tidy, compact, foil-wrapped cylinder. Of course, it all unravels when it’s time to eat it and the hidden contents of my burrito make a bid for freedom, bursting out of each end of the tortilla. After our gargantuan Mexican lunch, I somehow leave feeling only comfortably full (but as though I need a good shower).

Above: The menu at Burrito Cafe, Caledonian Road, Kings Cross

3.15pm: We’re crashing. Help is at hand when our lovely fundraising events team announce they’ve bought ‘thank you’ treats for everyone who volunteered at this year’s London Marathon. And guess what? Yet more Drumstick lollies! (I have no Drumstick lollies for at least fifteen years, and then two in a day. What can this mean?) There is also an impressive spread of salt and vinegar chipsticks, bacon frazzles, dolly mixture and some token grapes and strawberries (whatever).

6.45pm: I head home, looking forward to a duvet and TV night with my housemate, but lo, the cupboards are bare! Or so they seem. I have Marmite, and where there is Marmite, there is a way. I cook up some pasta and sweet petit pois, and once they're cooked, stir through plenty of extra virgin olive oil, a large teaspoon of Marmite, a good handful of freshly grated parmesan, and some rocket leaves.

Fittingly, in the wake of today's economic news, this is cheap, storecupboard, student food which many may scoff at (or worse, if they're Marmite haters), but trust me, for the better half of the population, it's a perfectly good dish for a cosy night catching up with Gossip Girl and The Voice.

9.10pm: I eat some cheese.

So to conclude, my message to David Cameron is this. Please sort it out, or I will be adding to your obesity bill and making matters even worse. That is all.

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