A trip away from my comfort zone.

I’m a little unnerved this week for two reasons.

Firstly: there are two bank holidays – tomorrow and the next day.

For those who live in the UK, you’ll know this normally means epic panic buying by most of the nation, who are compelled to stock up like there is going to be a war/food drought. I went shopping the day before yesterday and there was hardly anyone in the store. Maybe I was a day early or maybe in France, as they are used to the supermarkets being shut on a Sunday, they just buy their normal shopping, safe in the knowledge that unless we really piss North Korea off, we will all be able to go and buy our usual food on Friday. In any case, I set about my shop like a true panicked Brit, wondering what someone who only eats fresh food does when all the shops are shut?? Cue, a little more panic and then huge stockpiling of salad making ingredients….rocket, iceburg lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, apples, lemons, limes, oranges, olive oil. My trolley looks like I am about to open a restaurant for rodents, but my panic is subsiding. I’ve bought the lemons, limes and oranges to make a three citrus fruit vinaigrette after my reaction to vinegar (or was it the artichokes? Who knows?!) I plan on making a whole jar of it, so whenever I fancy some more salad, I’m good to go.  This time of year and with a little vinaigrette, I can eat piles and piles of salad. I also buy plenty of tinned mackerel, veggies and soya stuff for the wee one. I know soya products are no good, but I feel my hands are a bit tied as she’s lactose intolerant and I can’t find any other substitutes here. The reason I’ve bought yoghurts leads me to reason number deux….

We’re going on holiday.

I don’t mean an all-inclusive fortnight in the sun with no kids, but a lovely coastal, family holiday just an hour’s drive from here, in a self-catering apartment. We are going with 2 other couples, their baby and a dog. They are a lovely combo of French, Brazilian and Ecuadorian and are bound to bring plenty of milk products like yoghurt, that I’ll need to substitute when the little bubba spies them. I am happy to get away, but a little bit apprehensive. Not only will I be away from my (tiny) kitchen, but I will be sharing meals with four other people. I don’t think my diet is too restrictive – I can make delicious huge main meals that everyone can enjoy. However, I am worried about the little things that others may notice, like turning down cheese, bread and wine or eating a cooked plate of courgettes and mushrooms for breakfast, when everyone else is eating cereal. The worst fear is having to say no to a dish because it has an ingredient that I can’t have. We have all agreed to bring food for two main meals, but we’ve also said not to worry too much about my dinners as I will bring extra food just in case. It’s just annoying to be different though or make others feel like they’re excluding you, right?

Anyhow, I have bought enough food to see me through – pretty much for the whole 5 days. I am thoroughly prepared and pretty organised, if I do say so myself. I have made my vinaigrette, we’ve packed the drill and hammer to open the coconuts and there is enough stuff to see that we live comfortably for the duration of our stay. I’ve been packing and repacking, making sure I have all my dressings and medicines, cleaning the house, tackling the ever-growing pile of washing and organising the girls.

I’m exhausted. Holiday, anyone??

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