Free meals from my flatmate

My flatmate hates cooking. She hates it more than anything, except maybe waiting about in the house for the aerial guy to show up. You know how aerial guys say they’ll come fix your aerial between 9 and 12, and then they actually show up at twenty past three. That seems to happen quite a lot in our flat. It really annoys my flatmate. I’ve offered to stay around to wait for the aerial guy but my flatmate thinks that’s unfair because I don’t use the aerial. I only ever watch telly on my laptop, you don’t need an aerial for that. But that’s probably the only thing she hates more than cooking.

So, how does my flatmate survive, you may ask? She lives off ready-meals. Ready-meals and potatoes. And this works for her, because she always makes sure to get different types all the time (fish, meat, vegetarian) and she seems healthy enough.

However, every now and then she’ll feel like having something freshly cooked. And that’s where I come in. She knows I’m a pauper who loves to cook, and she’s recognised an excellent opportunity in this. So every so often she’ll sneak up on me whilst I’m preparing something in the kitchen and say “HEY! Dittatrice. How’s it going. Cooking, are we. Say, what do you think of this. How about I buy some ingredients, for, I don’t know, a curry or something. And then maybe you could use them to prepare something. And we’d split the result between us, obviously. Waddayathink?”

The first time this happened, she already had two ingredients: aromatic microwavable rice, and Thai curry paste. So when she asked what else to get, I suggested some veg and some coconut milk, imagining to get maybe an onion, a carrot, some green beans, some sweet potato, you know, an array of vegetables. But my flatmate’s hatred for cooking is obvious even in her shopping: she got me a pack of precooked prawns and a wee bag of pre-cut mixed vegetables. And ever since, this has become the tradition. We eat this about once a month now.

Why the fuck not. This is the easiest thing you’ll ever cook. I don’t even really consider this cooking anymore because I’m really just emptying bags in a wok at this stage, but I don’t mind. It saves her some hassle, and it gains me a free meal.

prawns coconut milk, thai curry

Dead easy Thai(-ish) prawn curry, for 2:

  • 2 – 3 tsp Thai curry paste
  • a tin of coconut milk
  • some mixed veg
  • some prawns
  • enough rice for two

    OR, if you are not so opposed to cooking, you could use

  • an onion
  • a carrot
  • some green beans
  • a couple of tomatoes, de-seeded

prawn curry

Put some oil in a wok, along with the curry paste. Once this heats up and starts to get fragrant, add the vegetables. Stir fry for a few minutes, then add the coconut milk. I tend to chuck in the whole tin, but if you prefer your sauce to be pretty thick, use only the solid, creamy bit at the top and leave the liquid (or freeze it for later). Leave this to simmer for a few minutes, until the vegetables reach the right crunchiness. Then add the prawns, they’ll only need a couple of minutes.

Serve with some fresh coriander and finely sliced fresh red chili if you’re more like me, or just as it is, by itself, if you’re more like my flatmate.

prawn curry


About La dittatrice

After years of being based in Glasgow, I've recently made a home for myself in Turin, Italy, for the time being, at least. This blog is my captain's log. Here I note down what I did, and what I ate. A story, then a recipe. That's how this here works. Updates on Wednesdays.
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2 Responses to Free meals from my flatmate

  1. Joris says:

    The problem with those free-riders who don’t know how to cook is often their lack of appreciation for ingredients indeed.
    I just ate with my grandparents, one of them having clogged arteries and diabetes, the other is flatulent… after the tossed-together meal, I could sympathise. My mom would consider the curry paste alone, cheating.


    • Me, too, I may have to admit. But I have realised something, recently. A lot of people who read my blog don’t actually enjoy cooking, not at all. Not even a bit. And yet they read whatever I write every week. And I think that’s great! I love it that people read what I write. So even if I think curry paste is cheating, and even if I think that broccoli is not appropriate for curry, I guess that’s not what this blog is about. At least not all of the time. Sometimes, like this week, it’s just about getting a recipe out there that might not be for everyone, but just for some. Just like duck stock wasn’t for everyone, but just for some. And I’m OK with that.


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