Eating, cooking, and foodcasts. That’s on the agenda–ahem, counter–for today. Anyway, it might be for seasonal-mood-ing/maturity-increasing/economic-effects-ing/urban-relaxation-ing reasons, but I’ve fully embraced cooking. We’re practically married. I’ve never been one for the ol’ pot and wooden spoon. Last year, cooking in Halifax was bookended by two horrendous experiences:
1. Macaronigate: Fat-free cheese + wooden spoon + from-scratch recipe + impatience = serious cheese clumping, naked noodles and tears.
2. Stewgate: Lamb + too much oil + wrong pan + high temperatures = a teeny fire, minor lung damage and more tears.
So my track record is not good. But London offers one magical difference: online grocery shopping. I know, it’s a little 2001 to be excited about buying my groceries online, but the process allows me to shop without the fear of dislocating my shoulders from the weight on the walk home. And this has kick-started my joy of cooking.
To date, my proudest moment was the roast I pulled off. Even when I substituted butter for I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! it turned out. And I’ve been cooking with vegetables and herbs I’d never normally approach. The tricky thing is knowing what the British name is, especially for the finicky online Tesco ordering system. Take sour cream. Search for that and you get zero results. Here, it’s soured cream, like the ‘ed’ makes all the difference.
aubergines = eggplant
courgettes = zucchini
rocket = arugula
mince = ground
soft cheese = cream cheese
porridge oats = oatmeal
quills = penne pasta
The worst meal I’ve made so far was last night’s dinner. A variation on grilled cheese, using eggplant slices as the bread and ricotta as the cheese, all drowned in tomato sauce. It was unbearable. But I give myself a 1000 points for creativity.
So foodcasts: about time I say. Jamie Oliver has put out his Ministry of Food recipes in podcast form, so I’ve been watching his episodes and sharpening my knife skills. Get it?! Ah, that was a funny one. And our girl Martha has started her own podcast–which includes helpful decorations, like weaving napkin rings out of twigs. Since my orchid heaved its last breath a few weeks ago, I’ve been left with a twig–now with a purpose.