‘Tossed salad and scrambled eggs’
Week 3- I will only eat food I have prepared from scratch
This is something that I already do, I’d say 70% of the time. 100% would be a challenge.
Since my poor student days when my boyfriend and I had no choice than to be very creative with a pound of mince – resulting in five different meals for economic reasons, cooking from scratch has other advantages I’d say too, it’s healthier and it can be therapeutic but it does require more organisation and work and it can take longer. Difficult when you’re just home from work and children are braying at your side just wanting something, anything to eat now!
I think it’s fair to say my interest in food and my cooking ability has improved (a lot) since those early years and I still cringe when I remember cooking a turkey on Christmas day for 15 family members only to realise whilst starting to carve I had left the gibblets inside a plastic bag inside the turkey to melt and mesh with a meat. Yum!
I enjoyed this challenge. I enjoyed dusting off my cookery books, exploring new ingredients (Pak Choi anyone?) I just felt healthier and better about myself and what I was dishing up for my family. I even looked into buying a Spiraliser until I thought better of it. Food tasted better as I was being more conscious about eating and I think I may have lost a few pounds in the process…bonus! I imagined a little imaginary halo emerging on my head.
A little ritual I have once a week is to cook a meal for my 89 year old Mam, during which we chat and I stock up the logs and coal or wash her hair and then we sit down and eat together. This week she remarked how lovely the sea bass was which made me smile as she hadn’t been feeling too good.
I also revisited a theory which has been in my head since I read a novel by Laura Esquivel called ‘Like Water for Chocolate’. Weaved within the story is the notion that whilst food is being cooked, its taste, is affected by the mood of the cook. If food is cooked with love the food will taste delicious, if the cook is filled with anger the food will be bitter and so on. I rolled out this notion to my friend Billy who was perplexed after buying coffee beans from a café. They did not taste as good as the coffee did in the café which used the same beans for the coffee they served. ‘Why?’ he asked me, so I decided to float this theory, ‘Perhaps you were in a bad mood when you ground and brewed the coffee, so the flavour was sullied by your mood.’ Billy dismissed this theory with a snort and carried on messing about with his new coffee machine looking for a more logical answer. I, for one, still think there is something in this, I definitely cook tastier food when I have the time to enjoy the cooking experience, maybe put on a little music whilst I chop, stir or fold. Ok I don't think I have every folded.
I’m afraid I didn’t complete the challenge a 100% as my halo slipped slightly on Saturday night when I went out for a lovely meal to celebrate a friend’s birthday. The food was delicious and cooked from scratch just not by me. That’s ok isn’t it?
Billy's Christmas present