Where growing, making & good living come together

Su’s Desert Island Dinners

Posted by on Thursday 3 February 2011 in desert island dinners | 0 comments

Last week, I started a fun new thing – Desert Island Dinners. It’s basically Desert Island Discs but with a frugal/simple living theme instead of music.

After Kate from Living the Frugal Life last week, I asked frequent commenter Su to be next up for deportation…!

Here’s the premise again:

You’re about to become a castaway on a desert island. The desert island will provide you with misc edible vegetation/wildlife and items that can be fashioned into basic pots/pans/utensils — but just before you’re whisked away, you have enough time to grab a herb or spice from your store cupboard; a special kitchen gadget/tool/utensil or piece of equipment; a cookbook; and a packet of seeds to grow on your any-climate island paradise. What would you pick to take with you? And which of your simple/frugal living skills do you think would be the most valuable while you’re there, and why?

Su replied:

Herb/spice – since I’m not overly fond of most herbs, I really wouldn’t miss them. Most of what I cook can’t contain garlic as daughter has a reaction to it, so I know that I can cope without that and just one spice, wouldn’t be enough for me. But, black pepper goes into and onto virtually everything I cook, so I really would miss that. I could crush it between two stones so peppercorns would be best.

Gadget/tool/utensil – this was for me the hardest to choose. A knife without a sharpener is useless, but that’s two objects. I did consider something in which to carry/ store fresh drinking water, but thought that I may be able to find something suitable on the beach (you’d think I was actually there, the way I am carrying on!). I also considered my haybox cooker, but that needs the appropriate pan to go into it, so again that’s two items. In the end, in a flash of inspiration, I decided on some method of lighting a fire, probably a lighter as they a a little less temperamental than matches. I don’t think my survival skills will stretch to striking stones together or rubbing sticks, but of course, you can’t cook anything without a flame.

Seeds – I think this would have to be tomato, so versatile, and in the hot climate of my desert island should grow well. I’m not going anywhere if it’s cold !

Cookbook – Very boringly this would have to be my rather dog eared copy of Delia’s complete cookery course. It’s the book I use most, generally for checking things, I don’t tend to follow complete recipes but checking of basic facts ( how long, what temperature etc, etc).

Skill – This would have to be my general ‘Blue Peterishness’ (not that that’s a word), I think I’m pretty good at cobbling stuff together and I’m sure it would be very useful!

All this thinking though, made me realise that actually, I wouldn’t be very good on a desert island. I could cope with the isolation and not having much in the way of luxury and general everyday trials and tribulations, but I’d never manage without my bed and tea!

Big thanks to Su for answering – especially as I know she has limited access to email. She also said “Well, I have thought about little else since [you asked], I’m not sure all this mental exercise is good for me!” — I hope it doesn’t clog up your brain for too long, Su!

With Su’s suggestions of black pepper, flame, tomatoes & a good reference book – and Kate’s garlic, a good knife, versatile kale & baking books – I’m really hoping that one of them gets to pack for me if I do end up being castaway!

If anyone else wants to play – please get in touch :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *