Food (or the lack of it) can affect one’s mood in a way we may not wish others to experience. Hunger can induce a Jekyll and Hyde-style personality transplant so severe you have no recollection of the event, although you might be wondering why everyone is avoiding eye-contact and looking slightly traumatised as your hunger shakes cause you to get at least 70% of your food in your mouth. It’s known as being hangry. (Hungry and angry, yeah?)
I’ll admit, it’s happened to me.
Thankfully, I did not have company when I decided to have my strop. I’m not sure the people I told really understood the deep emotions I was feeling at the time. Here’s what happened: I’d bought some tortilla chips and dip. I may have started eating them, but I certainly didn’t finish them. I went on a night shift in a job that I really didn’t want to go to. The thought of going to sleep when I got home in the morning, then waking up and getting those precious chips and dip out whilst I sat in my pyjamas, waiting for my next bedtime, got me through the night. I was so looking forward to those snacks.
I got home, I went to sleep, and then I woke up naturally as I didn’t have to work again that night. The wonderful thought of those crisps was making my mouth water. I was feeling hungry, too, as I hadn’t eaten since the night before. You might have already guessed what happened next. The chips weren’t there. No chips. Chips all gone. (The other half had eaten them whilst I was at work.) That was it. Overtired, with a wonky body clock, grumpy, HUNGRY me broke down and had a hangry episode. Oh, I cried. And made some funny noises that expressed my immense disappointment. There was nothing else in the house that was quick to eat! Plus I looked like shit, having been up all night and slept during the day, without a bath or a hair wash, I wasn’t going anywhere.
I can’t remember what I did. I don’t think I went to get more crisps. I probably stropped for a good while longer and then decided to pull myself together. Now you see what strong emotions food can induce? I can hear you saying, bloody hell, it was only a packet of Doritos! Get a grip woman. Yes. Well, if it was Only A Packet Of Doritos, I’d understand your viewpoint. But, it was A Packet Of Doritos + A Job I Didn’t Want To Go To + Tiredness + Grumpiness + 12 Hours Of Looking Forward To This Packet Of Doritos = Having A Tantrum Over The Absent Doritos. Ok?
This evening, I craved something sweet, and a pudding. I had nothing! I had to think fast and call upon what I’d learnt to try to fend off the inevitable impending behaviour issues. Quick think – what did I have? I had pastry, plums, fruit curd. Ta-da – a plum tart was made and happily devoured. One stable mood. The peace has been maintained in my house this evening. I just hope that sharing my hangry experience will educate you so that you can recognise the signs in order to prevent you and those around you from having to deal with the volatile mood that hunger can bring.
Here’s how to make the plum tart.
You need approx 125g shortcrust pastry (ready made) 2 – 3 plums, some fruit curd, and some brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll out the pastry to about 1cm thick. Place a saucer on top and cut around to make a circle of pastry.
Cut the plums in half and remove the stones.
Spread some fruit curd on the circle of pastry.
Lay the plums skin-side down on the curd.
Gather the edges of the pastry loosely and gently fold up to the plums to create a crust.
Sprinkle with brown sugar mixed with cinnamon.
Bake on a baking tray at GM6 for around 20 minutes until the pastry turns golden. Eat warm with creme fraiche.
Together, we can raise awareness of the mood disorder known as being hangry. Thank you.
Note: feeling hangry is a real thing. It is not a recognised psychological disorder. As far as I know.