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There’s no dirt in my food

Illustration by Emma Davidson

In late December I was invited to a barbecue, held in the townhouse garden of a friend-of-a-new-friend. It was the type of gathering that makes me love that time of year: a long and languid evening turning to dark so slowly that it’s almost imperceptible; the general lag of holidays slowing and loosening the people too. When he picked me up, my friend warned me that the host was something of a health nut—because he knows this still hackles me sometimes—he also mentioned that she’d given him protein powder as a Christmas gift. We bought meat at a nearby supermarket—fancy sausages, smoked bacon—as well as an eggplant and some oversized zucchini; we had already tried to stop in at an overdesigned butcher tucked in amongst the renovated warehouses, but it was closed for the public holiday. Within minutes of us arriving at the barbecue, the host mentioned that she’d eaten cake at a recent party and was moody for three d...