Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Olive Problem

Mmmm, olives are yummy. At least, I think they are – I know not everyone out there would necessarily agree.

There was a time when I bought fresh olives every week and would put them in my sandwich for lunch (I highly recommend them with a bit of Boursin and lettuce on tiger bread), but since July I've had to resist the temptation because, if you want them fresh, they come in little plastic tubs. It’s a bit like the takeaway issue (see my earlier post, Evil Take-out) – the tubs aren’t bad, you can clean them and reuse them, but they never last that long and always wind up in the bin eventually.

The Lunchbox Problem
My lunchbox as a whole has gone through quite a metamorphosis since I started giving up plastic. From a cling-film wrapped sandwich, a couple of Muller Star baby yoghurts, and a Mars bar, it now generally consists of a couple of pieces of bread and… well and nothing. Maybe that explains why I'm always hungry! I’ll add butter or some cheese to the bread when I get to work from my little stash in the staff fridge, then go and get a pastry from Baker Tom or the farmer’s market for something sweet.

Bread and cheese is all well and good, but it does get a little dull after a while. I looked up from my plate the other day to find everyone else in the staff room laughing at me. Apparently, watching me cut up the end of my slightly dried out goat’s cheese into evermore smaller pieces, and then laying them very carefully and precisely onto my measly looking slice of bread is the new and best entertainment in town. So hopefully you can understand it if I tell you I’ve been craving olives lately.

The Olive Solution
But how to have olives without the plastic?

Every Wednesday and Saturday the Farmer’s Market arrives in Truro. Not only do they have the best cake stall ever (The Cornish Mill and Bakehouse), but also the best olive stand. I don’t know their name, but they sell a variety of fresh olives, feta, and baklava. Mmmm.

So yesterday I went along to the olive stall well prepared.

‘I have a weird request.’ This is my standard opening statement to a lot of people these days.

‘I’d like to buy some olives, but would you mind if I used my own tub?’

Easy peasy. Apparently quite a few people bring along their own tubs. Yay! So yesterday I got to have bread and cheese and olives for lunch. Oh, and a chocolate brownie from the cake stall too.

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