ED2010 BEST BITS: ”Help! I need to eat something cheap that’s not been deep fried”. Panic not, Maeve Higgins co-hosts a foodie show on Irish telly and here she comes to the rescue.
When I was asked to write my thoughts on how to eat well, easily and cheaply it was a real thrill – usually I only get asked to write sex tips (because I’m so good at boning people). So – here are my ideas for you.
1.Try to avoid restaurants and cafes. Do you think I’m mad? I’m not. You’ll save money and you’ll know what you’re eating. Picnics are fun, they really are. Buy some bread, cheese and fruit then sit on some steps, looking Italian. Even if you’re staying in a hotel you can keep yogurts, nuts, fruit and crackers in your room. Eat them while crying – that’s what hotel rooms are for.
2. Did you know bottled water spelled backwards is ‘naïve’? Now I carry water from home around with me in a metal bottle. A mountaineer told me they are invincible and if there’s one group of people I trust, it’s mountaineers.
3. I don’t eat meat so I really love Yotam Ottolenghi’s column in the Saturday Guardian – only a quid. Vegetarian meals are way cheaper than meaty ones too. Ottolenghi uses ingredients like sumac, saffron, fritters, eggs and tahini – the man is gifted. When I read it I feel drool building up inside my bottom lip. Sexy, no? If you’re performing at the Fringe you should buy the paper and make the recipe for your friends every weekend. I am a good host – my only rule is ‘No Brawling’.
Of course you will have a few meals out and here’s how to feel great about it.
1. Have at least one salad that has not been fried. You won’t be sleepy afterwards.
2. Do you have a dog? No? Perfect. Pretend you do and force the waiter to box up your leftovers. Tell him if he doesn’t you’ll box him up.
And finally here is something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Porridge. My friend Josie Long (comedian, woman, legend) also loves porridge and we regularly compare toppings. I am, as I type, enjoying a yogurt mixed with dry porrridge as an evening snack. I have yet to tell Josie about that particular piece of hot gossip.
For the first nine years of my life I ate porridge every morning and hated it, I felt so poor, because we were so poor! I thought when I was grown up and working I’d have those little sugary boxes of cereal all the time. Not so, of course, I now appreciate how great porridge is and eat it happily. So that’s it. Have a lovely time at the Fringe – with your own food and water.
Maeve Higgins’s show ‘Personal Best’ was performed at Gilded Balloon Teviot during Fringe 2010.