Tuesday, 13 March 2012

In the beginning there was cake...

On my head mostly (not a lot has changed). From there an uneasy relationship with food was born. From the fish finger years, through to school age when I confused my teacher by declaring to the class that my very favourite food was not in fact chocolate but cucumber. Onwards as I declared war on tomatoes, forgot I hated peas, through to my sudden decision to become a vegetarian, periods of not eating at all and my university years when I lived on Quorn stir frys, chip butties, cheese salads, pasta and vodka (not in that order). Heartbreak lit the path back to being a carnivore at 23 and a particularly memorable mixed grill in which 10 years of abstinence came tumbling down around me. At 25 I tried baked beans for the first time and realised maybe I had been missing out afterall. Last year, through the softer medium of Twiglets, like an addict I finally found my way to the hard stuff, a jar of Marmite. Slowly but surely my tastes and my palate are evolving and I find myself thinking about food more and more.



I come from a family who love food. My Father taught my Mother all he knew about cooking, but thankfully for the rest of us she didn’t stop the education there. Every night we sat down to beautiful homecooked meals as a family, in a home strewn with cookbooks and equipment and I never appreciated how lucky I was. Unlike my Sister who ate anything put in front of her I moaned and wailed my way through every mealtime and family holiday. But somewhere, deep down, hibernating was the influence of my Ma’s passion for food. These days I could spend hours in food shops, wandering around farmers markets, bakers, cheese shops, chocolatiers picking things up, turning them around in my hands and never get bored. I read cookbooks like novels, often curled up with a cup of tea. The problem is I haven’t really got a clue what I’m doing. Like many of my generation I feel lost when it comes to the basics. We’re bombarded with constantly changing fashionable foodstuffs and encouraged to produce more and more elaborate dishes with √©lan and panache but ask me how to joint a chicken, how hot to set the oven for a leg of lamb or to whip you up a stew without a recipe and I’m totally lost. I don’t know one end of a cow from another and I can kill a pot of herbs with a merest glance. Obtusely I can bake fairly well, but I think this is down in large part to my personality. Baking is a science and as someone who loves lists and order I am able to follow instructions to the letter. Cooking on the other hand is an art, and one I am yet to fully master.


I want this blog to be a catalyst for change, to keep me honest and encourage me to try new things without fear. To share what I learn and most importantly to have fun with it. My manifesto is to turn words to action, to challenge myself, eat and cook new things, discover new chefs, recipes, books and restaurants, and ultimately for my practical knowledge of food to match the theory. I am lucky enough to live in an area with two butchers, two greengrocers, a bakers and a newly opened fish mongers without a supermarket in sight and I intend to get to know them intimately. No doubt it will jump about all over the place, much as my mind does, and I am a terror for starting things and not finishing them but hopefully with a little interest and encouragement from my friends I’ll see it through and ultimately everyone will benefit from a good feed or two, volunteers get in line.....

4 comments:

Poorhouse said...

Love it! Consider this a registration of interest and perhaps even encouragement if it makes more food appear in the world. That baked bean fact is shameful tho. It's almost child/teen/adult abuse to not have access to those orangey pleasures of your baked potatoes. 

Rachie said...

And you couldn't have decided this in the 3 years we lived together???

Katastrophy said...

Sorry Rachie, I'll have to bring more cake your way to make up for it! xx

Lizzie said...

When can I come for dinner? No liver or kidney though. X