MAKING FACON

Fear can

I DON’T MISS MUCH ABOUT ENGLAND, to be honest. In fact, since the whole Brexit debacle has kicked off, I’m really quite glad to be one 16,328.404 kilometre step removed from it all. I find it disturbing enough to watch from here.

I used to miss British beers, until I gave up the piss; I miss watching my football team (the mighty Leyton Orient, in case you were interested); I miss the chips; I miss Birmingham’s multiculturalism, London’s pie and mash shops, beigel bakeries (yes – beigel bakeries), and my mates (although those who can have got the fuck out of Dodge.)

Bacon in Australia just isn’t the same. I’ve tried the very best and the very cheapest and every step in between, including those purporting to be British or Irish-style. None tastes as good as even the cheapest shit there. Don’t know why.

When I was vegan, there were two types of facon available: the one made of gluteny stuff, shaped and dyed to look rasher-like, with a taste similar to a Frazzle (an allegedly smokey bacon flavour snack from my youth). I preferred the tempeh rashers. These were more expensive, but less artificial in both construction and flavour.

After a few years of trying to find the right Aussie bacon for me, I kind of gave up and thought to myself, I’d rather have a tempeh rasher. However, they seem to have been discontinued long ago.

Once the preserve of ‘health food’ stores and Asian grocers, tempeh is now far more common (available in most supermarkets here) and it’s really easy to make your own facon rashers.

Block party.
Tempeh tantrum.

Block of tempeh, sliced.

Two tbsp veg oil (I used sunflower)

Teaspoonful of smoked paprika.

2 tbsps of Tamari (although any soy sauce will be fine)

Tbsp honey or brown sugar or maple syrup.

Marinating in the marinade.

All you do is marinate the sliced tempeh in the other ingredients and fry like you would if it were sliced pig-arse.

BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE

I MENTIONED THIS IN A PREVIOUS POST. It’s a smoothie I make every work morning in my Nutribullet and don’t drink until I’m sitting at work at my desk, where I find it sweetens the blow as I am forced to ponder the crushing reality of another day at the (figurative) coalface. I sometimes vary the ingredients and am constantly surprised that I continue to find it so delicious. It’s also full of lots of good stuff, ‘keeps me regular’, and keeps me sustained until lunchtime.

INGREDIENTS

Mixed the night before:

Half a cup (~70g) of muesli.

1 dried fig

1 dried date (pitted)

Kombucha, water, fruit juice or milk to soak overnight.

Added before blending:

1 banana (fresh or frozen)

Handful of frozen berries.

Large dollop of yoghurt (I use homemade soy).

Ice cubes or water, if needed.

Sometimes, I add a quarter teaspoonful of turmeric powder, which adds a pleasant dry taste.

If I have any odd bits of leftover tofu (which happens more than you’d imagine), that goes in.

Blend until smooth and drink whilst getting paid.

MUESLI

MUESLI IS PROBABLY THE MOST VIRTUOUS of all the breakfast choices. I find it a bit hard work to be honest – even possessing a set of teeth resilient enough to have survived the dentistry inflicted on the British working class, I still find all that chewing tedious; there’s just not enough hours in the day. Much of the commercially available, ready-mixed muesli is all-filler-no-killer, so to speak; heavy on the wheat flakes and light on the tasty shit. I make my own.

Approximately twice a year I fill my shopping trolley with a variety of nuts, seeds and dried fruits, which I mix at home with rolled oats and eat each work day morning. Whilst this is something of a financial investment initially, you have to keep telling yourself as they scan them through the checkout, that the cost-per-day is negligible, especially as you will be able to start your day with a delicious and righteous meal of plant protein, good fats and soluble fibre.

Because of the chewing issue, I’ve taken to soaking it overnight (in homemade kombucha, don’t you know, but you can use water, milk or fruit juice; whatever floats your breakfast boat) and including them in a fuck off breakfast smoothie, which I drink at my desk (I’ll do a separate post about this).

The ingredients and quantities will vary in each batch, according to what’s cheap and available (or not available), but I get as many of the following as possible and mix them in with some cheap rolled oats:

Brazil nuts

Hazelnuts

Almonds

Walnuts

Pumpkin seeds/pepitas

Sunflower seeds

Chia seeds

Hemp seeds

Dried apricots

Dried cranberries

Sultanas

Cranberries

Then I just save the dry mix in plastic tubs and use a half-scoop a day until it’s time to start again.