Our soggy autumn weather continues. So far though I have been lucky in that I have managed to run before the drizzly rain starts; well, for the last couple of days anyway. And we have been able to go out for a late afternoon / early evening walk without getting rained on. No doubt that will become more difficult when the clocks change and evening starts at earlier hour. Things could be worse; in Sicily and the southern tip of mainland Italy they have had cyclones and floods. We have to train ourselves not to think of that part of Italy as basking in a perpetual summer.
Last time our son and family came to stay his wife brought oat milk with her. It’s not that she was suspicious of the milk our milkman delivers or even that she’s obsessive about having to have plant-based milk all the time, but rather that she had an open carton which would have been last its use-by date by the time they went home. Okay, she might be a little bit trendy-food obsessive but not in an over the top way. Anyway, this morning I read an article about potato milk something that provoked bad jokes along the lines of “How do you milk a potato?” Even if I was the slightest bit tempted by the idea it’s unlikely that potato milk will be available in our nock of the woods as it’s being promoted by Waitrose and the nearest Waitrose is on the other side of Greater Manchester?
“Alice Shrubsall, the supermarket’s alternative milk buyer, said more people were incorporating plant-based milks in their diet, whether that involved a “splash of oat milk in their morning coffee or a coconut milk hot chocolate in the afternoon”. In response to the growing interest being shown by consumers, she said the retailer was planning to expand its alt-milk range to include potato milk.”
Personally I don’t want my coffee to taste of porridge (oats) nor do I want my hot chocolate to taste like a Bounty bar. I have learnt to accept kefir as a very acceptable substitute for cream on dessert but that’s as far as my use of substitute products is going for the time being. Looking back, however, I think that we must have been well ahead of trend 50 odd years ago when we drank horchata in Murcia, Spain, as students. Horchata de chufa, now often called orxata de xufa in these linguistically-politically correct time, is a milky-looking drink made from ground tiger nuts. Tiger nuts are good for keeping your cholesterol balance correct apparently. I used to buy chilled horchata on hot days from sellers on the streets. No doubt nowadays health and safety would kick in and demand that the sellers have a licence and a hygiene certificate! But I seem to have survived the experience.
Getting back to the potato milk article, it went on some about how people’s eating habits changed during lockdown, influenced by things like TikTok and Instagram. People have been seeking out recipe ideas to try out at home.
“While the lockdowns may be over, for some people they have resulted in permanent lifestyle changes. Nearly half of those polled said they planned to go out less. But that is not to say they are living like hermits. They told Waitrose they are planning dinner parties or making use of gardens where one in 10 had installed an outdoor bar.”
I wonder why they felt the need for an actual bar in their garden. What’s wrong with storing your drinks in the kitchen. Besides, who exactly is having dinner parties in the garden at this time of year? Maybe the people who live in Waitrose land?
And I must remember to ask my Italian friends for their opinion of coffee with almond milk or oat milk. One of them already has a major hissy fit at the range of caramel latte, cinnamon latte and so on served up as coffee in English cafes.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!