These were the words that literally flew out of my mouth upon starting my new job and discovering that there are no microwaves. To put this into perspective, I am generally the type of person who is happy to go with the flow. I'm not bound by the laws of habitude, or plagued by the necessity of routine. However there is one exception, and that is my over reliance on the work microwave. I love a hot lunch, and in a bid not to give fifty percent of my salary to Marks and Spencer, I regularly make huge pots of soup to suppress my hunger, whilst saving me a few pounds in the process. So the news that this lunch time habit would be no longer, has had me re-evaluating my current tried and tested regime.
To further complicate matters, I'm not a huge fan of the classic sandwich. This dislike isn't rooted in childhood memories of boring ham sandwiches, but rather the opposite. Being brought up on an Italian diet, my lunchbox as a child was filled with cheese, parma ham and olives. These treats now go hand in hand with a glass of wine, which I'm pretty sure will be frowned upon in the staff room.
I have therefore been looking for creative ways to make cold lunches interesting. Now I'm sure that many a foodie will frown upon my lack of initial inspiration on this front, but as an advocate of the hot lunch, it was definitely something that needed thinking about. So as far as getting over the lack of facilities, I'm still working on that, but in terms of embracing a new way of midday dining, my mouth seems to be permanently watering. So far this week, I have indulged in a grilled aubergine and quinoa salad, bulgar wheat with coriander, chilli and beef and a slightly less inventive tuna salad.
If you have any suggestions for how to make my cold lunches more interesting, I'd love to hear them. And who knows, with your inspiration I may forever become a cold lunch convert.