Brand: Chicago Town
Found at: Lidl
The kitchen in our home is like an old-timey saloon: there is not enough room for both Emil and I. Part of this is the physical lay-out. The floor plan was designed for a single person living alone, and so squeezing both of us into the space is something of an acrobatic feat. But if and when we have a spacious cooking area straight out of Better Homes and Gardens, we have still agreed to keep to our one-person policy. This is because all our fights start the same way: “that’s not how cook that,” “that’s not how you chop that,” “you can’t put that in there.” So together, as a couple, we made the decision to demilitarize the kitchen lest we break up over the best way to clean a mushroom.
But even if we must cook separately, we both a cook a lot. Our fridge and freezer are usually full of healthy or exotic new dishes from the hipster cookbooks our friends and family gift to us on birthdays and holidays and Thursdays if my mother is in a gifty mood. Cooking for each other has become our love language, and we eat quite well because of it. It is a life of unusual privilege, and we make sure to enjoy it as much as we can.
But now I am on my own (stuck behind a travel ban) and the story is little different. I still make my lentil soups and vegetable curries, but I also stock up on a few other things I am unlikely to find in our shared fridge. Nestled between the couscous and the summer squash risotto, I keep bags of waffle fries and chicken nuggets and of course, the cheapest, trashiest pizza available from the Lidl. I like this brand especially, even though it is the kind of thing that would make a pizza lover cry. The pizzas are small – smaller than a salad plate – and are exactly the quality you might expect from a £1. The crust is hard and largely flavorless, the pizza has more sauce than cheese, and it is only really edible hot, as it settles into a soggy mess. But you get two of them per package, and they only take 20 min to cook. Sitting in my sweatpants and watching true crime documentaries on Netflix, no other food will do.
Soon enough (Corona willing), I will return back to Sweden and a fridge full of fresh and flavorful new recipes that Emil is trying out. I’ll be happy to be home, and happy to once again be eating food made with love. But I suspect that every now and then (when Emil is at work) I may sneak across town to the Lidl or the Aldi and buy the cheapest, trashiest pizza they have. I’ll sit in my bathrobe in front of the TV and enjoy the delight of food made on an industrial scale – and Emil will be none the wiser. After all, a woman can’t on couscous alone.