Day One

Massaman curry with chicken

I started my day testing the stash of eggs we had in the kitchen. Half of them passed the float test, and so began my morning’s task of turning something into something more. My eggs had communicated their wish to go out in style, so I chose an omelette, adding a capful of sparkling water and a few shavings of pecorino cheese… Lockdown what lockdown? Surely, this was just government mandated vacation?

At 10.18, we got a call from a neighbour begging us for a lift from Gaillac as there were no trains running. If we couldn’t get her, she’d be stranded before the noon shutdown… No pressure then.

Jumping into our tracksuits, we raced to make it to her location to pick her up and offer her safe passage home before high-noon. We also managed to hit up an ATM and get some more fresh veggies before heading back to sequester ourselves from the outside world.

All the excitement of racing around in the morning had left us too spent to fuss over lunch so a baguette was rationed for our sandwiches. We decided to go all out on the first dinner, to mark the fitting occasion and decided to make a Massaman curry.

It was chicken as I’d forgotten about the beautiful beef in our freezer (future Chioma would no doubt thank me for this oversight)….

We used some Thai rice we’d purchased in the Before Times, as only the microwave variety had been left on the supermarket shelves. Say what you want about the French, but they’re not savages.

We’d made the curry before but now that I had time to kill, and plenty of time to spend trying not to think about how to kill Bear — should I need to for, for my personal survival — I decided to research some recipes online. That’s the problem (one of the problems) with the Internet; there’s too much choice, and too many reviews, which I actually do read as some recipes are simply not fit for printing. I’m a person that needs eater validation.

Having lost too many hours this exercise, selected a recipe that didn’t have to be adapted too much from how we’d made it those previous times… Heeding the advice from bold voyagers before me, I eradicated the tamarind paste called for in the recipe and reduced the peanut butter and the sugar. I always reduce the sugar in a recipe. I added a teaspoon of peanut butter, more out of curiosity, and I actually quite enjoyed it. I also added a kickass amount of chilli. Then again, I’d add chilli to breakfast tea if polite society didn’t stop me.

It was meant to be a two day portion but by 8.15pm leftovers were nowhere to be found. We’d have to do better in the coming days.

This series was first published on Medium