avocado

When I was a child and lived in another country there was a radio program where, each week, a guest was asked to choose the music they’d take to a desert island. The first program went to air in 1942 and it’s still going. How’s that for staying power?! It must have had an effect on me as I’ve been playing a slightly different game ever since I first heard it: desert island foods. My rules are pretty flexible, but the rule that never changes is that you can take only five foods with you. Some weeks my list goes something like this: chocolate, sushi, tea, lettuce and pears. Other weeks it’s more practical.

Because it’s a desert island I imagine that it’s somewhere tropical with plenty of fish and coconuts, and perhaps taro and a green plant you can eat. So that’s dinner sorted. This week and probably every week for the rest of summer I nominate toast and avocado with a squeeze of lemon as my desert island foods. I’d love to take some feta or haloumi but I don’t think there’s a fridge on the island. (Incidentally, toast and avo became a topic of national debate this week. You can read about it here if you missed it. The comments are pretty funny.)

I also wouldn’t mind a sprinkling of seeds roasted in tamari, but then we’re over the 5-food limit. So it’s avocado, flour, yeast, oil and lemon. That’s what’s coming with me for summer on the island. I gave serious thought to leaving out the yeast but decided that flat bread doesn’t toast well. Obviously, even though there’s no electricity on the island, I will be able to rub sticks together and start a fire to make toast. Oh, and whittle a toasting fork in my spare time.

It occurred to me only this week, after playing this game for YEARS, that the island could be off the coast of Scotland or Canada or Norway instead, which is a whole different kettle of fish (or fish kettle, which could be useful). Now I’ll have to think about what food to take to such a different climate. Which five foods would you take? What would your island be like? Don’t stress too much about the decision. The plane or boat can leave any time you want. No hurry.