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Noteworthy November, Issue 11/14

№222 ~6 minutes

In this month’s issue of Keeping Up With the Erikssons: My mom flies in to stay with us and together we try eating pizza made from insects, I begin a year long beard journey, I vow to write a 50,000 word novel in a month by participating in National Novel Writing Month and we attend the WWII experience “Christmas on the Home Front” at Kent Life.

We are gathered here, not to mourn the loss of The Abominable Weekly Update, but instead to sing praise and greet the arrival of Keeping Up with the Erikssons, the new and—in every way—improved way to fill all your voyeuristic needs.

At the start of November I took a few days off work because my mom was coming to stay with us over an extended weekend. I hadn’t seen her since I flew to Finland a few months ago and Rebecka and Lucien hadn’t seen her since last Easter so as you can imagine, we were all quite thrilled to have her visit.

Lucien and his grandmother playing chess.
Pawn to B5.

A few weeks earlier I had discovered a magical wonderful new Food of the Future—imagine a super-dramatic narrator saying it—that to my surprise even Rebecka was up for trying.

But, knowing my mom was coming to visit us soon, I had purposely delayed trying it, thinking, that since I’ve inherited my curiosity from my mom, she would also be interesting in trying… The Food of the Future.

“What did you buy?” I imagine you ask.

Flour made from ground up crickets.

The crickets, which are high in protein resulting in a flour with a protein content of 60% per 100 grams have a natural nutty flavour and are a more sustainable solution to the world’s growing food demand.

Crickets produce almost no methane, reproduce extremely quickly, and require minimal feed, water and space. This makes their environmental impact minimal. Estimates claim that crickets are 20× more efficient to raise for protein than cattle.

Obviously, none of this matters if it tastes like poo-poo though, right?

Cricket Flour Pizza
Slice of the done pizza as well as a little of the flour.

Our first impressions were those of suspicion and unease. Much like wholemeal flour it looks healthy and wholesome, which is never a good start to a new relationship.

So I, of course, did the next logical step. I opened the bag and stuck my head in it, taking a deep breath and inhaling through my nose.

The smell is very earthy, with undertones of musky and hints of “I found this under a tree stump.”

Naturally, I made a pizza and used the cricket flour for the dough.

And the verdict?

My mom really enjoyed it, eating most of the pizza whilst the rest of us tried our best but could only stomach a slice each at most.

“Yucky,” said Lucien and didn’t want to eat any more of the special pizza.

Unicorn Meat Chart
Not my joke originally but I wish it had been. I designed it thought so I suppose that counts for something.

Rebecka and I agreed that whilst it might work in something else, we like our pizza unspoiled by experimentation.

Considering I had originally planned to do 50/50 mix of cricket flour and white flour but hesitated and only ended up doing 25/75, it still imparted a lot of flavour to the pizza base.

Look, I really want to support the idea of eating food that is more sustainable for the world we inhabit, I really do. And I imagine that I could get used to the flavour if I were to wean myself onto it but…

…at the same time, whilst meat is definitely unequivocally murder, it’s just such delicious murder.

I justify my weekly bloody steak by thinking that in 5-10 years time no one will be able to eat this huge amount of red meat any more anyway and I should really savour these moment now.

But really, it just means I’m a part of the problem instead of the solution. For now.

Beard

It was also during my mom’s stay that I decided to start growing a beard, which as I’ve already written about in And They All Cheered as He Appeared with a Beard. And you can of course follow the journey, week by itchy week, by reading A Scary, Hairy Beard Story.

I have some progress photos which I promise I’ll stick up there as soon as I’ve edited them crudely for humoristic effect.

On a slightly related note, some of you might have noticed my lacking facial caterpillar. This is because I decided to not participate in Movember this year. Mostly because I had forgotten about it until like a week in and seeing as it’s difficult enough to get some decent growth in a measly month—at least for me—I decided to skip it this year.

My first novel

Today also marks the end of National Novel Writing Month—or NaNoWriMo, as all of the cool kids are calling it—which I regretfully thought I could participate in, and complete.

I say regretfully but I don’t actually regret it. I regret joining 3 days into November, putting me 5,000 words short of target from the get go.

Playing catch up when you are meant to write 1,667 words every day is difficult, especially with a full-time job and a life that always takes precedence.

Despite best encouragements from my co-worker and writing buddy Jo, who has been a member for a few years but was also participating for the first time, my word count didn’t quite make it all the way to 50,000.

And by not quite all the way I of course mean, not even fucking close.

But I did make across the halfway mark with 27,885 words, which I’m very proud of and I plan on finishing my first novel in a not-too distant future. First thought, I’m going to take a small break and finish the website for my short novella A Rainy Night on Drury Lane, which is ridiculously overdue.

Christmas on the Home Front

We ended the month by attending the WWII experience “Christmas on the Home Front” at Kent Life, where we stepped back into yesteryear and re-lived Christmas time as it would have been in the 1940’s.

Christmas card with the text 'I hate a date with Hitler'
You’ve got a date with who?

With such highlights as:

War-time cookery using genuine 1940’s recipes issued by the Ministry of Food, one of which used liquid paraffin instead of fat for a sponge cake.

Making wartime Christmas decorations, Spitfire fighter planes, with the Land Army.

And visiting the WVS Toy Exchange to find out what toys one had to make do with during WWII.

We really enjoyed ourselves and it even got us thinking about what it would be like to try to live like it was the 1940’s again?

Which is something we might try but that’s for another journal entry.

Dramatic December, Issue 12/15

Notable November, Issue 11/15

Significant September, Issue 09/15

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There are 50 more entries from 2014. See all the entries.