I'm into my last performances Billy Budd now which also means I'm on the Last Week Diet. This is not some special nutritional programme structured around a regimen of vitamins and protein with the aim of building up strength to get over the final hurdle. Psssh. Are you kidding? No, the Last Week Diet is one designed solely around the aim of finishing up all the bits and bobs of food that you've stocked up over the last two months so that you don't leave a stack of uneaten stuff that is either going to be thrown away, or more likely, squirrelled away by your landlord who, to be frank, has already taken what feels like more than his fair share of your hard-earned lucre. Why on earth should he also benefit from a cupboard full of free, unused comestibles? (Though I will say that in my current digs I have a gem of a landlord who is also a good friend so I begrudge him nothing, especially as he laid on some groceries on my first arrival.)
It's not just about waste though. I'm enough of a food nerd to see the tidying out of the larder as a culinary challenge; a bit like a perverse form of Ready Steady Cook where, rather then be presented with a bag of fresh ingredients, you have to see how many meals you can knock up from the mangy things lying forgotten in the back of the fridge.
At the moment I'm mulling over nearly a whole bottle of olive oil, a net of garlic bulbs, half a pack of spaghetti, half a bag of polenta, a block of mature Gouda, a pot of apple syrup, two potatoes, a chunk of celeriac and a tin of corned beef. I'd love to see what Ainsley whatshisname could knock up with that lot.
Hmm, I wonder if corned beef and polenta meatballs would go with spaghetti... topped with Gouda and whole garlic cloves roast in olive oil...