One of the most interesting features of this recession is the speed with which it has happened. Only a few days ago it was all ponies and private schools for the average Chelsea Yummy Mummy and now it is time to ask Daddy to sell a kidney so that Stephanie can have another term at St Paul’s.
The speed of the recession has also drawn to my attention the shifts that supermarkets are seeing in consumption. Goodbye gourmet range, hello economy own brand. What is strange is that the average middle class family has a store cupboard full of yesterday’s little luxuries like truffle oil, saffron and a few bottles of Chateau Potensac 1970 but is about to be forced into a diet of salad cream sandwiches.
However, there is a solution. The Yummy Mummy Recession Cookbook. Out in time for Christmas or repossession which ever comes sooner.
You wake up one day and your house is worth 4p, your husband is unemployed and being a banker is as unpopular as a traffic warden with genital herpes. Your car cost £25m a month to run and you can’t afford even Ryanair to nip down to the cottage in the Dordogne. To make matters even worse Peter Jones has posted a profit warning. However, your store cupboard contains those fond, foodie memories of better days so surely you can find a way to mix the food treats of yesterday with the slop that you’re buying from Aldi.
Welcome to the world of Cuisine Gastropov, the art of combining the sublime and the ridiculous on a plate. Here are a few recipes.
Fish Finger Risotto
Take your last few handfuls of Arborio rice, some butter and the remaining piece of that simply wonderful Parmigiano Reggiano you bought from Luigi’s and make a risotto. At the end mash in six or eight grilled fish fingers. Think of Tuscany as you are having your stomach pumped.
From the freezer take your last few Vietnamese fresh water shrimp and lovingly stir fry with palm sugar, chilli, fresh coriander and the juice of a lime. Serve on top of a nest of Batchelor’s Mild Curry Super Noodles. Try not to let your tears smudge your mascara as you remember the beachside bar in Koh Tao.
If you are a strong willed you will still have a tin of cassoulet from your last trip to Castelnaudray. If you are a Slummy Mummy you will have wolfed it months ago and so will be forced to make do. First of all slow roast a Bernard Matthew Bootiful Turkey drumsticks for a few hours. Then take two cans of HP’s All Day Breakfast and mix. Heat and serve.
Now how do I spell projectile vomiting?
If you want a taste of what is in store for you in a can of HP’s All Day Breakfast visit the excellent review of this gastronomic masterpiece by thingywhatsit called ‘Eating strange body parts’. Her review concludes
“…..then chicken licked by the dog would be a treat after this breakfast !”
Alphabetti Spagetti Vongole
This is only for the battle hardened aficionados of Cuisine Gastropov. This is the equivalent of putting Heinz Toast Topper on Proust’s Madeleine. This is hard core. Imagine you find yourself so financially strapped that a packet of Carluccio’s hand made spaghetti is a pipe-dream and that even Sainsbury’s Quick Cook is looking like a big ask. Fear not. Open the jar of fresh vongole in their shells that you bought at Wholefoods in High Street Ken, when Jeremy still had a job, and warm them in your last tablespoon of olive oil. Then heat a can of Alphabetti Spagetti, add the vongole and serve in the dining room, with the curtains drawn and the lights out so no one can see your shame. For desert try a new take on Summer Pudding. Tinned Pinapple in a HotDog bun.
Being a resourceful type you’ll always be looking out for ways to recreate the taste sensations of happier times. You know that a skiing trip in 2009 is about as likely as being offered a free spa treatment at Harvey Nic’s or McDonald’s going Vegan, so you’ll have to improvise. This fondue is not a subtle emulsion of Gruyere, Vacherin, Kirsch and white wine but rather an actual recipe from the United States. To all my Swiss friends, I am sorry, truly, truly sorry.
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) Cambell Cheddar cheese soup
2 pound process cheese (Velveeta) cut in cubes
12 oz. can beer
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
2 drops liquid smoke flavoring
Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir to mix. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. After 1 hour of cooking time, stir. Before serving, whisk to blend. Serve with bread sticks or broccoli and cauliflower for dipping.
So there you have it, a few choice recipes from the Yummy Mummy Recession Cookbook. You know the saying; when the going gets tough, the tough go cooking followed by a few days in A&E having their lower bowel removed.