DIY Fast Food

DIY Murg Tikka Masala

It’s probably not helping my diet, but I am trying to help my local businesses, by getting takeout. Or maybe I’m just putting that virtuous spin on it by way of excusing the bad behaviour! 😜

Every now & then though, I just don’t feel like another takeout meal. I feel like something home cooked. But I don’t feel like cooking it.

DIY homemade fast-food is the answer.

Between cans, jars, & leftovers, you can sometimes be serving dinner faster than you can find the car keys. Or call out for delivery. Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve noticed an increase in the pantry inventory of canned foods & sauces in jars. It was never a plan, it just evolved that way.

Take that Murg Tikka Masala, for example. It’s a quick concoction of some leftover chicken, frozen peas, a can of mushrooms, & some chopped onion & garlic. With a jar of tikka masala sauce thrown in at the end. A few sprigs of cilantro & a splash (okay, it was a cup or two!) of cream finished it off & it made for a mouth-watering, gustatory delight. Even the rice was that quick-cook type. Bring it to the boil, turn off the stove, & it’s ready to serve when everything else is done. The whole meal had little to no prep time, & very short cooking time. It’s all just too easy. These pandemic skills will be carried forward to when this whole covid thing is, hopefully, just a bad memory for us. Buy some cans & give it a try. And if you already have, send me your fast recipes!

I think that Murg Tikka Masala just means Chicken Pieces in Mixed spices, right? Convert any food name to Hindi & it sounds way more delicious & exotic to my western anglophone ears. I wonder if that works with Irish!?!

Fancy a plate of my special Píosaí Sicín Spíosrach? No? Maybe I’ll just stick to coddle & boxty for the Irish stuff then! 😜😁😂

PS … Make sure you make enough for more leftovers next day. That’s even faster fast food! Stay safe out there.

Online Shopping for 2XLT

Shopping Locally for Breakfast!

I have no idea why, but there are actually skinny people who read my blog from time to time. While many of these kind folk sympathise, some of them find it difficult to truly empathise with the predicaments we larger folk face. This post should give them a chuckle. It makes me want to throw up! But that’s the kind of motivational kick in the pants I need every now & then.

Let me start out by saying that I am a big supporter of the idea of shopping local. I prefer to buy local products, from farmers & producers as close to me as possible. Now, during the Canadian winter, that may mean my neighbours in California & Mexico for some products, but still. I’m even willing to pay more (not to a ridiculous extent, of course!) to support my local community. Along with that, I try to buy from local brick & mortar stores. They pay rent & taxes locally, & they employ local folk. All of which makes a contribution to bettering the community I live in. I still go to the checkouts that have real people & not those automated checkouts. That’s all true until it comes to shopping for clothes for a fat guy!

Despite the growing girth of the population at large (😜😁😂), it is pretty challenging for a fat guy to get reasonably well fitting clothes, at reasonable prices, on Main Street. In my case, I “stock” about four different sizes of pants in the closet. That covers an 8″ range of waist sizes, with a 3″ variation on inseam length. I also have a compliment of shirts that run from large through 2XLT. I must admit that the low end of my clothing inventory is a little optimistic. And perhaps a little nostalgic!

Now normal people might have missed the nuances of the size variations here. Inseam variations? Tall & standard length shirts? Why?

An expanding gut wreaks havoc with sizing. Along with the larger waistband, we have to make a serious decision. Do we let the waistband fall below the bulge? Or do we go bigger & pull it up over the tire? No, the latter is not an option, so we drop it! That means that we need a shorter rise, lest we want to look like those kids with the crotch of the pants hanging between their knees. And we need a shorter inseam to match. Of course, that also means that our standard length shirts run the risk of disengaging from the waistband. After all, they now have to circumvent the belly. And the waistband is suddenly further away. So now we need tall shirt lengths too. Crop tops may look cute on flat bellied teens but a bare & bulging midriff on a middle aged fat guy? Not so much! Shopping has just become a big deal for anyone that crosses that line. I wonder if larger women have similar shopping challenges?

You skinny people go in to your favourite big box store, grab a nice pair of jeans, on sale, check the leg length, & you’re good to go. I go in & root through the entire stack to find the one & only pair of pants with the correct waist size. If I’m lucky. Then I take that to my local tailor to have it hemmed to the correct length. Yes, I know there’s more material in the bigger size but the cost penalty is often disproportionately huge. Especially if we have to resort to the big guy clothing store.

Enter online shopping!

I’m a big fan of Amazon. Is there anything that you can’t find on there? I can get my tall shirts. I can get my large pants. With the correct inseam length. The shipping is free. And I can sometimes even find stuff on sale! I love my local stores but, on occasion, the costs & the pain are just a little too much to bear.

To be honest, I’m a bit of a Jeff Bezos fan. He’s one of those people that is on my list of famous people that I’d like to have dinner with. Since he announced that 10 billion dollar Bezos Earth Fund, I’m feeling a little less guilty about not doing all my shopping locally. I’ll certainly continue to buy my food from local sources. And maybe that will help me lose the weight. So I can go back to shopping for normal sized clothes again. Locally!

PS … Today is the first national “I Read Canadian” day! In Canada, the market share for Canadian authors has been halved over the past decade & a Canadian initiative is trying to reverse that trend. You can learn more about the program here.

I know most of my regular reader are tired of hearing this but … I am one of those Canadian writers! And, to boot, Amazon print on demand titles are now printed in Canada. If you’ve already bought a copy of my book, thank you. If you haven’t, please do. And if it’s just not your cup of tea, please share this link with your friends for me.

There are more in the works but nothing close enough to be worth talking about yet.