Old Habits Die Hard

Much excitement in this neck of the woods as I write this. And in case you are interested it's because I'm going to make a risotto, specifically a mushroom risotto with maybe a smidge of saffron too. Yes I can see you're absolutely bowled over by this news, you can barely contain your excitement ..... wild here isn't it!?!

The reasons it's exciting in my household are:

- I've not made a risotto for about 30 years

- my sister scarred me for life for serving M&S prepared mushroom risotto for about 5 years every time I went for a weeknight dins (I hate it)

- and lastly because continues to demonstrate a fairly significant change

Like many people during this uncertain and restrictive time I've rather changed my behaviour and no it's not sitting around in my dressing gown all day - although I've been sorely tempted!! I've been cooking, specifically baking a lot, lot more. However there has been a significant change that has also occurred.  We no longer eat meat, well let me clarify, the 2 legged residents no longer eat meat, all of our 4 legged friends still do :-)

It wasn't even a particularly conscious decision, it was something I thought I might get to when I had a free moment, one day in the future, perhaps or perhaps not, when I was really old, when the meat ran out.... You see I've always been a meat lover. Meat that's been organically raised and humanely culled - wonderful! And all sorts too, all bits and pieces, not just a steak girl me. The only thing I really don't care for are kidneys.

Since living in the US a variety of meat has been difficult to come by. In the UK game for example ie venison, pheasant, guinea fowl, wild boar etc was available. Pubs that served a delicious game pie were always worth a visit. I found Stateside that even good quality, organic lamb scarce. For a while there it made me even more desperate. When returning home I would grill a whole pack of English bacon and eat it. No bread, no eggs, no nothing just bacon!

So when the pandemic kicked off and we were well and truly confined I thought to myself well let's just see if I can do this. I'd been seriously going off chicken for some reason for about a year and whilst lamb still held its appeal, the odd steak was fine but it was mostly minced or ground beef that we were eating. So I began to substitue the minced/ground beef with tofu and just like that meatless Mondays turned into meatless months, which has now turned into meatless, since around March.

We eat more fish, which I love anyway, tofu, mushrooms as a meal, aubergines/eggplant, beans like pulse lentilly things and of course eggs and cheeses. A vegan friend of mine asked the other day how was it all going? Well I feel absolutely no different physically, I don't miss meat at all and in fact I think we're almost eating too much protein - go figure!!

The thought of a yummy beef bourgignon or coq au vin still very much appeals, but it's not as thought I haven't had my fair share already? So who knows this may last forever or for the next fortnight. But I do rather blame the pandemic for this habit I've changed.

So tell me are there any habits that you've changed or adopted since "this" all began, I'd love to know?

Stay Well, Stay Positive, Stay Safe - Sophie

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