When I got up at seven this morning, it was still totally dark outside, as if it was the middle of the night. I have been told that the mornings are getting lighter, but I'm not sure I believe it. I went to work (in a basement) and by the time I left around five, it had already been dark for over an hour. I have literally seen no natural light today.
As I left the office and walked towards the tube station, the cold enveloped me, and little drops of rain shuddered down my neck. I squeezed myself into a busy carriage and stood for the journey back to Bethnal Green.
Finally I arrived home, put on the oven and lovingly prepared a jacket potato. After last year's potato-cooking crisis, I have now found the perfect method of cooking. For anyone interested:
- Preheat oven to about 180 degrees
- Wash potato and stab it all the way through with a sharp knife about eight times
- Put in microwave for ten minutes. I usually turn it over halfway through.
- Cover with olive oil and salt
- Bung in oven for about 20-30 minutes - again, I usually turn it over halfway.
- Load on dollops of cottage cheese or mature cheddar and revel in your winter snugness.
So after a cold, dark day, my potato was finally ready. I cut into it and I fluffed up the potato. I put enough butter on it to keep several dairy farmers in business for a decade or so, and heaped it with enough cheese to upset the government's obesity watchdogs.
I dug in.
Inedibly gritty. What the fuck? I have had potatoes with hard lumpy bits before. I have conquered this. I have had potatoes whose skins won't go crispy. I have solved this with the olive oil. I have even had potatoes that "just don't taste that nice". But gritty?
Why are potatoes so difficult? Why do they torment me? What sort of human being allows herself to be tormented by a potato?
These are all questions I shall ponder over the weekend.