As planned, today I made Jack Monroe’s chocolate, chilli and black bean soup. It wasn’t a particularly labour-intensive process but anything involving dried beans takes a while to put together, so I used the various simmering times to whip up a batch of shortbread and put the leftover vegetable mince from yesterday’s recipes into some pastry to make a monster pasty which will probably end up being at least two meals. To keep my strength up while I cooked, I also made some of Jack’s peanut butter hot chocolate using some of the chocolate from the soup recipe (and of course carried out a bit of quality control on the rest of the bar, you can’t be too careful…).
My flat now smells delicious and is extremely warm! Once I’ve portioned out yesterday’s lasagne and pie along with today’s culinary efforts I think my freezer will be well and truly stocked for the next few weeks. I am going to freeze the shortbread in single-portion bags in an attempt to stop myself from eating them all in one go; they’re intended to be snacks for placement but that’s what last week’s flapjack was meant to be and I’d eaten it all after two days off.
I’ve also made sure that I have all the ingredients for a loaf of banana bread and what the internet assures me is the Best Chocolate Cake Ever, which I’m planning on making on Tuesday or Wednesday. Doing all this baking in the same week might be a miscalculation given the aforementioned lack of self-control where baked goods are concerned, but it’s a lot cheaper than running to the hospital shop to buy snacks during my breaks, and I’m rapidly discovering that on a 14 hour shift I need a bit more than a Thermos of soup, a small tub of pasta and an apple to keep me going.
Incidentally, I was excited to discover today that I had misjudged Aldi – they do in fact sell soya milk, I had simply failed to find it last time I looked, and it’s also cheaper than in Sainsbury’s. And at the checkout today there was a box of flapjack with two varieties clearly labelled as “suitable for vegans”. To cap my delight, in the chocolate section I discovered an accidentally-vegan bar of dark chocolate-covered marzipan, possibly my favourite treat ever. It took great strength of mind to prevent myself from buying both just because I could. Soya milk was the only remaining thing I thought I needed to go to Sainsbury’s for; now that I know I can get it at Aldi more cheaply, my loyalty to the big orange megastore (bought many years ago by the simple expedient of their issuing me with a discount card and a monthly payslip) has been wholly transferred.