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Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Reasons why Fran might do more of the shopping herself

Is it just me? Is anyone else affected by the colours of food?

I've just made an omelette for my lunch. On my days off (Mondays and Wednesdays) lunch is usually an omelette. I'm trying to avoid bread. We have fallen out, bread and I. I can eat most anything else and not put on weight. I have one thin slice of bread: suddenly I'm the size of a Juggernaut and can't get through normal doors.

Two or three slices of bread, and people pass me saying, 'Look at that hot air balloon, out walking.'

I reached into the cupboard for eggs for my omelette, pulling out a box of eggs that looked different from those we usually buy. My husband bought them - they're called 'Burford Browns' and there's a message - I call it a warning - on the box: 'With deep brown coloured shells'.


The chicken at the top is looking the other way for good reason


Fine. Deep brown coloured shells I can cope with. Who cares about the shells? They go in the recycling, to shell heaven.

But when you crack these eggs for an omelette, inside there's a variety of orange that I have only seen previously on people who have been on sunbeds too long, or are trying to cover up acne with an inch-thick coating of 'Desert Sand' foundation, or it's the kind of orange I've seen on .... oranges.

I can't be doing with it. I had to add more than the usual amount of milk when I whipped up the eggs, and even then I needed to avert my eyes when I ate the omelette, as one does when there's too much sun in the room or a gathering of alien invaders is hovering outside your front window, shining extra-terrestrial light into your home.

A friend of ours admits that when he was young and at university, one of the favourite tricks played by him and his friends was to cook food in garish colours. So, they would add dye to a pan of spaghetti, making it blue, or to a piece of fish, turning it pink.

'You didn't eat it, did you?' I asked him.

'Of course,' he said. 'Why not?'

'Did you wear blindfolds?' I said.

'Why would we?'

'Did you turn out the light?'

'No!'

'Did you gag?'

'No!'

'Are you human?' I asked him. ''Were you born of woman?'

My husband is also more adventurous than I. He will happily bring home purple potatoes or black carrots from his allotment and eat them, thinking himself avant garde. Those nights, I have cheese and crackers. Yellow cheese. Light brown crackers. I feel safe. The world is as it should be. My intestines are not going to mutiny as the food descends, wondering why I have eaten a kaleidoscope.

The furthest I'll go is Battenberg cake, and even then, I'm happier if the pink bits are muted, reflecting a sparing use of artificial colouring. 'What's the point of that?' my husband will say. 'You can hardly tell the pink from the yellow.'

'Cake was never meant to be pink,' I'll say. 'If cake was meant to be pink, God would have made flour pink. There would be fields and fields of bright pink wheat, waiting to be harvested and made into flour the colour of a carnation. Being sensible, and sensitive to birds flying overhead who deserve not to be blinded, God made wheat easy on the eye.'

Back to my omelette. I'll be having words with my husband about where he bought the eggs, and whether he thinks it reasonable that I should have to wear sunglasses while cooking.














25 comments:

  1. I don't like those very orange yolks either. They're altogether too off-putting. My husband thinks I'm daft - and this from a man who won't eat beetroot... .

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    1. Now, I like beetroot, but I don't really like it on a plate with other food. If it leaks into my mashed potato, it's like having Tarantino on your plate, and it puts me off.

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  2. You should be more of an adventurous eater--it's fun!!

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    1. Honestly, though, I don't need any more encouragement to eat more widely than I already do ....

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  3. Rich, golden yolks! Yum! When I had chooks (you'd say chickens) there eggs were rather ordinary during droughts.But after good rainfall and a daily scratch through the weeds and dandelions we had the most wonderful deep yellow yolks.

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    1. Maybe it helps if you actually know the chickens. A personal relationship with them might make me think again, I guess!

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  4. but full of vitimultimins
    as opposed to the sad and anaemic (call that yellow?!) battery eggs.

    But, I haven't seen, your yellow.

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    1. But we do normally buy free range, run-around-the-yard eggs and they've not been orange so far. It's just this last lot.

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  5. I was surprised how much more orange-y the free range eggs were when I started buying them. I'm okay with darker eggs because I had them when I was younger, but I'm with you on everything else: don't mess with the look of my food :)

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    1. Yes, I think if I had been brought up with eggs that colour, I may have thought it more normal. I will have a strong word with my foster parents who clearly neglected their duty ;)

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  6. So where do you stand on chocolate cake? Do you never eat any because cake isn't meant to be brown?
    I'd be a little suspicious of "deep brown" eggshells, depending on what you call deep brown. We get brown eggs here, usually from free-range farmers and they can be quite brown and the yolks are almost always orange, because those free ranging chickens have had access to plenty of green growing foods. They are delicious, SO MUCH better than the pale, insipid offerings of most supermarkets, whose "free-range" eggs come from chicken farms with 15,000 hens per hectare. I'm happy to pay the extra cost for truly free-range eggs, just like the ones my daughter used to bring me when she kept a few chickens, just like the ones I remember from my mum's chickens.
    Purple potatoes and differently coloured carrots are heritage varieties and just as edible as the ones you are used to. Long before farming became big business, many vegetables had different colours and varieties, fruits too.

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    1. I love your tellings-off, River. You are quite right and we do try to buy truly free-range eggs, but the ones we've had so far have been less ... er ... starkly-orange ... so these ones were a shock. And I found the taste too strong for me (maybe I'm a wuss about eggs) And I know you're right about the heritage varieties. Forgive me my fussiness xx

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    2. But the chocolate cake thing ... isn't chocolate naturally brown, and therefore chocolate cake is brown. That's how I think of it. It's not a dye or anything.

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    3. River, ther's white cake, and yellow cake, and spice cake, and chocolate cake, and those are fine - now green cake or blue cake or purple cake would be just wrong :)

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    4. That would be called rainbow cake if the layers were all different colours like I've seen at cake wrecks dot com. I believe a lot of colourings now are vegetable dyes. I make a tan/orange coloured cake which is someone's grandma's ginger cake recipe, the colour comes from golden syrup and ginger powder, (ground ginger)

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  7. Those deep yellow yolks just taste so much better!

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  8. Funny, the things that can turn you off food..colour, smell, shape, the name, those eyes on the lobsters...ick.

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    1. Eyes on LOBsters? Oh yuk. That would freak me out.

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  9. My husband picked the same eggs off the shelf on one big supermarket shop one week because they were on offer. They did indeed have very orange yolks. The next week we had blue eggs, pale blue shells which was very strange

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    1. Blue eggs are just wrong. Who laid them?

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    2. I don't know but they just didn't look right in my egg cups even if they were a pretty duck egg blue, confused now !

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  10. Battenberg! My kind of square meal.

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    1. Ha ha! Indeed! I used to love the stuff, but strangely it's not on the Slimming World list of okay foods ...

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  11. You know I would be so interested to find out what breed of chicken laid those eggs. With free range eggs I never seem to find white shells only brown. Now you can see why I shop online for food, questions like these add hours to shopping in an actual shop.

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