We have spent today running around Leeds in a futile hunt for a fridge freezer. I had no idea that these white obelisks, that lurk in the corner of the kitchen, came in so many sizes. I also took for granted that 11 years ago we bought an odd sized appliance that we now cannot replace. It seems that nobody makes a fridge the size we need to fill the gaping void in our kitchen, the hunt continues.
The gaping void means our chilled fresh food capacity is severely reduced. We have enough space in a cool bag for milk, cheese, butter and a little salad but other than that our storage is either frozen or ambient*. I found and started to defrost some prawns before we went on the white goods hunt.
As we drove home, fridgeless, I had a terrifying realisation. We were completely out of black bean sauce**. We also had with us a baby who was well due a nap and who was stubbornly refusing to go to sleep, so I combined the two problems and set off, with the buggy, into Leeds. It was about an hours walk there and back but R had his nap and I got my sauce.
So many shop bought cooking sauces are disappointing. But the jars from Taste on Vicar Lane are great. The Black Bean and Chilli is so firey that it is a contender for the hottest meal we cook. Before we even started preparing the main course we tucked into a plate full of pork dumplings with some soy and rice wine vinegar dipping sauce
We then chopped a green pepper, a bunch of spring onions and checked the prawns for any gritty veins. These few ingredients were fried together along with one spoon of the black bean sauce*** and a good glug of oyster sauce.
*at least there are no VAT issues to contend with
**there are worse things in the world but I really, really wanted black bean sauce.
***it really is that hot.