Charity, Fundraiser

Ration challenge day -3: Celebration, Obsession and Experimentation

First of all, the funding info: #RationChallengeUK, @ConcernUK. Here is the link to the donations: Subhadeep’s Ration Challenge UK 2021

Day 3 has arrived and I started to feel positive about the coming days. It is also our wedding anniversary, so a special day and the hunger pangs were not so bad anymore. Today’s highlights of the day were celebration, obsession and start of experimentation. Oh, and sucking toothpaste.

So, it’s our eighth wedding anniversary. As a matter of interest, it is also the tenth year anniversary of the day we first met, and therefore chose the same date as our wedding day two years later. We had an amazing journey so far and in fact, my wife Jen first told me about the Ration Challenge, so whatever I’ve achieved so far, all credit goes to her. As it is a special day, we generally tend to treat ourselves to a takeaway or eating out. This year, we made plans but due to the challenge we changed the dates to next Sunday, merging with Father’s Day as well. We did not want to change the habit, so for dinner, my wife and two girls had a McDonald’s meal. Not to make them feel bad, I tried to make an more elaborate than usual dinner.

Dinner Day-3: Rice, fried bread, chickpeas and kidney beans

As for today in general, my spirit was uplifted by the special day as it is for me, as well as the surge of donations received since yesterday. As for work, today was extremely busy, but I managed to be involved with the social media group from time to time. I have made a few small donations to fellow ration challengers who were struggling to meet their deadline. For a moment I thought about sponsoring myself to some milk, but then thought it was not about our selfish goals but completing this together. As for me, by having salt and shared spices with the team I joined, I have everything to complete rest if the days, so better sponsor somebody else who’s in need of basic ingredients. I have also become slightly obsessive about the team and adding new members to the team so we could meet the team targets. I’ve almost spammed to every post where people were asking about joining teams. Tomorrow, I’ll take it easy and focus on the breaded picture, which is fundraising.

Coming to food, I started with leftover rice and kidney bean stew. My lunch was rice, lentil and chickpea stir-fry. I cooked 300g of my voucher rice and it was evident that I’ll probably finish the challenge with a 750g to spare. That gave me some incentive to experiment some of the recipes I noticed in the recipe book and in the posts. Last two days I craved nibbles, so I made a dough using 150g flour and spices, cut them in tiny chunks to deep fry them followed by coating with a seasoning of ground roasted cumin. Some of them are a bit soft, but the rest taste nice, like the packed pretzel bites you can buy. Now I have my crisps substitute. There were quite a bit of dough left so I made two fried breads. Dinner was sumptuous- rice, fried bread, kidney bean curry and chickpeas stir fry.

So, tomorrow and rest of the days will be about experimenting some new recipes. I have in mind rice flour pancakes, congee fritters, lentil fritters, fried/pilau rice and rice pudding if I happen to get milk. Let’s see what the future holds. What I really crave now is sweet things. I have found a hack but it’s not very appetising. My toothpaste is quite sweet, so after brushing my teeth, I put a tiny dollop of toothpaste in my mouth, sucked it for a bit while my mind is fooled thinking I’m eating something sweet, before I rinsed my mouth. And the magic spell is broken!

As for my closing thoughts, I thought a lot about bigotry. On the social media group, I noticed many participants are afraid of asking people or they have been challenged by others either suggesting the ration challengers are – deluded/socialist/Marxist/millennial snowflakes and even worse, that the refugees are not living in poor conditions but in hotels etc. We can feel angry at such views, but at the end of the day, we know we are doing something right and that’s what counts. Some might be wondering if we removed ‘Syrian’ from the description whether people would be more willing to contribute. Although one may argue that it doesn’t matter how you raised the fund as long as we can help people, I’ll just say – ‘Stuff the bigots. I don’t want their sponsorship’.


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