(with thanks to my partner Andrew for suggesting the headline!)
On the 20th of April, every year since 2010, I've crunched the numbers on my Excel spreadsheet of menu items to find out what we ate most over the past year. Nerdy, I know. The weekly menu is handy as it helps save time and resources, while the spreadsheet not only tallies up what I cook, but reminds me about meal ideas I may have forgotten.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Oh my goodness. I don't think we've EVER had a year so packed with comfort food. Dumplings. Pasta. Wraps. We may have gone a bit crazy for carbohydrates. The past year has been a roller coaster and it ain't over yet. The Australian government is dragging its heels on the COVID vaccine rollout and it's hard to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. Sigh.
So, what we ate. Mostly, it was:
pasta and sauce (27 times)
dumplings (Japanese, Polish, Russian or Chinese) (23 times)
vegetable curry (18 times)
creamy tuna pasta (14 times)
macaroni cheese (14 times)
vegetable samosas (11 times)
vege burger wraps (10 times)
Ahem. That must be why we're looking and feeling so roly-poly. In case you're wondering about all the dumplings, the Japanese ones (gyoza) are available from our local supermarket and make an easy weeknight dinner; I was inspired to find and try the Polish and Russian ones (pierogi and pelmeni) after reading two riveting books by the fabulous Judy Melinek and T.J. Mitchell about a Polish-American pathologist. Turns out the lovely little deli at Belconnen Markets sells such delights!
After disclosing my disappointing diet for the year I feel the need to share some more positive news, so here goes. After five years of talking about building our 'dream shed', we finally did so. It's been a long slog, but the shed was built in January and February and I've spent much of the past two months up ladders painting it. The left hand portion will become our new and improved garden shed while the right hand portion becomes a home office. There's still some work to be done on the inside but I'm glad to have finished all the work on the outside. Cheers.