Tuesday, February 17, 2009

mushrooms and fruit

The food at the canteen in our office is one of those hit-and-miss issues. One day you will get something that is so utterly lovely that it has you dashing back every day in the hope that you will again find something equally lovely.
Lately, however, the food has been more science experiment than delectable delights dished up by Nigella. There have been some strange concoctions as suppertime peas reappear cold in a bowl at lunch as a salad, pieces of fish are mashed up with pasta and a bit of mayonnaise as an interesting side dish - stuff like that.
One of the most alarming discoveries of late has been the introduction of copious amounts of oil. It's not always immediately noticeable, and that's how you get lured into paying for it. But often the trip from the canteen to the newsroom is all you need for a nasty surprise as oil leaks out of your stir fry or roast chicken into a glossy pool on the bottom of your polystyrene plate. It can bring a grown woman to tears - at least almost.
But enterprising colleagues have taught me ways of dealing with this. One is to grab hunks of soft white paper off the giant loo roll thingie in the subs room and use it to mop up the offensive seepage.
The second, lengthier but more economical option, is to go back to the cashier in the canteen and simply state "I cannot eat this" as you hold the shining specimen out in front of you. There is no need for raised voices, threats or demands. The plate is whisked away faster than you can slop glop in a bowl and you are quickly handed back your money or even a little more if you are lucky. It's the cheapest way to go as by then your appetite is long gone and there's no way you will go back for more!
Lunch today was not bad. Then C-for-Serious and I hit the salad counter in search of healthy options. There lurking in a bowl was the most astonishing dish to date. I thought it was plums, but C was unsure and labelled it "fruit of some kind". Purplish plum-like fruits sliced up and mixed with mushroom bits and covered in an unknown dressing. I swear!
We are intrepid journalists. We have braved bullets and seen scores of dead bodies. We have ventured into mortuaries, riots and political rallies.I fought my way out of having to cover the trial of the tea-drinking judge today, for heaven's sake. However neither of us was brave enough for that!


  1. lol, that's funny. but you shouldn't knock the food too much, at least you have a cafeteria at the office.

  2. mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaa...
    your canteen thingy is like a drug- you only get nicely torched the first time and you keep trying again to feel the same rush.

  3. That sounds pretty scary, and gross. That oil bit kind of put me off my breakfast..

  4. I feel nauseous just thinking about lunch time coming up. I am contemplating posting a photograph - or do you think that is just beyond the least sensitive of viewers?