I've just made an omelette for my lunch. On my days off (Mondays and Wednesdays) lunch is usually an omelette. I'm trying to avoid bread. We have fallen out, bread and I. I can eat most anything else and not put on weight. I have one thin slice of bread: suddenly I'm the size of a Juggernaut and can't get through normal doors.
Two or three slices of bread, and people pass me saying, 'Look at that hot air balloon, out walking.'
I reached into the cupboard for eggs for my omelette, pulling out a box of eggs that looked different from those we usually buy. My husband bought them - they're called 'Burford Browns' and there's a message - I call it a warning - on the box: 'With deep brown coloured shells'.
|The chicken at the top is looking the other way for good reason|
Fine. Deep brown coloured shells I can cope with. Who cares about the shells? They go in the recycling, to shell heaven.
But when you crack these eggs for an omelette, inside there's a variety of orange that I have only seen previously on people who have been on sunbeds too long, or are trying to cover up acne with an inch-thick coating of 'Desert Sand' foundation, or it's the kind of orange I've seen on .... oranges.
I can't be doing with it. I had to add more than the usual amount of milk when I whipped up the eggs, and even then I needed to avert my eyes when I ate the omelette, as one does when there's too much sun in the room or a gathering of alien invaders is hovering outside your front window, shining extra-terrestrial light into your home.
A friend of ours admits that when he was young and at university, one of the favourite tricks played by him and his friends was to cook food in garish colours. So, they would add dye to a pan of spaghetti, making it blue, or to a piece of fish, turning it pink.
'You didn't eat it, did you?' I asked him.
'Of course,' he said. 'Why not?'
'Did you wear blindfolds?' I said.
'Why would we?'
'Did you turn out the light?'
'Did you gag?'
'Are you human?' I asked him. ''Were you born of woman?'
My husband is also more adventurous than I. He will happily bring home purple potatoes or black carrots from his allotment and eat them, thinking himself avant garde. Those nights, I have cheese and crackers. Yellow cheese. Light brown crackers. I feel safe. The world is as it should be. My intestines are not going to mutiny as the food descends, wondering why I have eaten a kaleidoscope.
The furthest I'll go is Battenberg cake, and even then, I'm happier if the pink bits are muted, reflecting a sparing use of artificial colouring. 'What's the point of that?' my husband will say. 'You can hardly tell the pink from the yellow.'
'Cake was never meant to be pink,' I'll say. 'If cake was meant to be pink, God would have made flour pink. There would be fields and fields of bright pink wheat, waiting to be harvested and made into flour the colour of a carnation. Being sensible, and sensitive to birds flying overhead who deserve not to be blinded, God made wheat easy on the eye.'
Back to my omelette. I'll be having words with my husband about where he bought the eggs, and whether he thinks it reasonable that I should have to wear sunglasses while cooking.