The cold snap shows no sign of abating. Not until the weekend at any rate (over which we are promised grey skies and rain — brrr!).
As compelling a reason as can be to seek comfort amidst a cocoon of quilts. With cups of hot chocolate, mugs of tea with tulsi (Indian holy basil) and honey, tumblers of rum or brandy toddies lining up along the dresser as the shadows lengthen. All of which might slake the thirst (these room heaters are notoriously dehydrating), but leave me with a craving for a starch-induced stupor come six in the evening.
Having grabbed a hurried bowl of soup and a sandwich or salad at lunch, by this time I am ravenous. No discourtesy intended to either soup or salad, both of which are amongst my favourite meals. Just that I now need a carbohydrate fix — a bone marrow-deep sensation not unlike the chocolate craving of 3-pip-emma. Or the caffeine cold turkeyhood of 6-ack-emma.
By the time this compulsive urge has brought me to my knees, it's too late to patiently roll out parathas or proof a loaf of dough (or even knead soda bread). Fast and furious it has to be. For the Boy, the fix could have been fried potatoes or (alas for my Mauviel that it must bear this dishonour!) a pan of Maggi 2-minute noodles. For me, it's usually a non-instant pasta, wholewheat (because I like the bite — and it helps assuage the guilt from not filling up on phytonutrients first).
Last week, when some work-weary friends joined me at this critical hour, I found a fair flower to bedeck the pasta pot with. And a darker, more exotic blossom too.