For many years, I was pretty useless when it came to kitchen tasks. I was not entirely incapable, but I did lack self-belief and confidence in my abilities and potential.
It was not that I lacked enthusiasm. From an early age I really wanted to learn. I adored being with my Mumma and learning from her. However, that did not always translate into me independently navigating the kitchen with success and grace.
How things have changed!!! I decided not to go shopping last night. I knew I had veggies in my fridge that needed using up. So instead, I came home from work last night and chop, chop, chopped – added garlic and herbs and spices and tomato puree and stock – and after an hour of slow cooking in the oven I ended up with a yummy casserole.
I know it might not sound like rocket science – but I love the confidence that I have somehow accumulated in recent years – I think even more so since I have been cooking for two so frequently. Nowadays, I don’t find it stressful cooking dinners for lots of guests. I have a repertoire, and I love knowledge, experience and technique. I understand timings and temperatures and textures. I don’t know how it happened – but I have become a domestic diva – one who knows how to deliver a delicious dish!!
I spent two whole hours sieving soup last night. Yes…you did read that correctly – “sieving soup”!!! What on earth???!!!!
I was so tired by the time I had finished, I just the silky creamy soup into the fridge and collapsed onto my bed. I will have some tonight after work. This better be the best soup the world has ever tasted!
If any of you are Londoners, I have a question for you…
WHERE CAN I BUY GOCHUJANG PASTE?
I have been to eight very large supermarkets and could not find it, not even in Waitrose who normally do have a very good aisle for international ingredients (plus they had it on their website).
As far as I know gochujang is Korean, so perhaps I need to forget the big chain supermarkets and find somewhere that is more likely to stock it.
I am! Perhaps you are too. I am pleased as punch with myself this week though. I started rooting around the back of my cupboards and I found a packet of dry beans with an expiry date of September 2022. It is actually a mix of ten different kinds of beans. Jack took a photo for me and put it on his Instagram account asking what we could do with them.
Within an hour we had several responses – and the overwhelming shout was “chilli”!!! It is ages since I made a chilli. I asked a friend of mine if she had any recipes, and she told me that one of her most budget friendly recipes, ideal for mass catering, is a vegan ten bean chilli. Whoop whoop!!! Music to my ears!
She emailed the recipe over to me and I have everything in the recipe except the chipotle chilli paste….well I have onions, peppers, garlic, veggie stock cubes, rosemary, and coincidentally, the three tins of chopped tomatoes I had in my cupboard also expire in September 2022!…oh the recipe says to use vegan chorizo but I am not sure where I will find that. They probably have something in the supermarkets, there is so much choice for vegans nowadays.
I am seriously excited by this!! I will find some chipotle chilli paste tomorrow, and then I will make this apparently vast batch of chilli – and therefore, I will not be anxious about my pennies over the next week or so.
So…we have had an eventful week – with broken bones galore (not mine). As I mentioned the other day, I am employing all of my NHS training, and playing nursey nurse. I have also been supervising dietary arrangements for those involved.
So…I already had a notion in my head, but I wanted to double-check with the old t’internet which obliged me by confirming that citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables (and also nuts, dairy, fish, meat etc) are good for healing bones.
I am spending my earnings on lemons, kiwis, nuts and kale – and I am having fun preparing meals for my injured relatives. It is not exactly a holiday, but I am enjoying myself so much.
I am feeling a little ill – and I am blaming it on an excessive amount of quiche. It is one of those ideal summer picnic foodie items that makes an appearance when there is a large gathering. It is often the only vegetarian option on the table.
But you really can have too much of a good thing. Right now I am feeling as if I never want to see quiche ever again in my life.
I have been vegetarian since I was six years old. I do remember fish fingers vaguely, but other than that I have never eaten fish. I have some visitors coming to stay over at the weekend – and although I have other dishes planned (vegetaria dishes), I have a packet of fish balls that Jack left and they need eating before 18th June,
So, I am trying to figure out what to do with them. I had an idea of using them to make fish tacos??? I don’t know if they would work. I just wondered if any of you have any experience with fish balls and perhaps some suggestions for how they could be used to make a meal.
I would love some help with these fish balls!!!
I am trying to think positively about my new job and think about the positive aspects of my new job. My tummy is telling me that I should first of all tell you about the lunch break each day.
We have a one hour lunch break…and we are pressured (in a positive way) to take that hour lunch break. If you don’t take it, you will be sure to receive a lecture about wellbeing and productivity. That makes a huge difference to my former role.
So I have been making the most of this one hour lunch break by preparing the yummiest meals imaginable. Mostly they are salads, but very sexy salads. But I have also made stunning soups, phenomenal pastas, sensational sandwiches and quintessential quiches! In fact, this evening I have been making a ridiculously yummy gnocchi bake with spinach, peas, pesto, sundried tomatoes and mozzarella. I can’t wait to eat it tomorrow!
Being able to take a proper break and enjoy delicious food is rather lovely!
What are the other perks of this job? Well, I don’t have achy feet and legs at the end of the day. Lazy bum office jobs are so much easier physically. Of course that does mean you have to compensate for that by doing extra exercise outside of work.
Some of the other niceties include the facilities at work. There are excellent facilities – the toilets are clean, the kitchenette area is clean, there is a pleasant canteen. The work stations are spacious and well -equipped. We have plenty of software tools to aid us. Security is well cared for.
There are challenges in my new job, but there also perks at work. I have to remind myself that in every employment, there are pros and cons.
If my tummy was the only judge – then this job crushes it!
Thank you for all of the very kind comments on my post yesterday. Each one warmed my heart and I am so grateful to you.
I really am not myself. It reached almost five o’clock yesterday when my tummy told me and I finally realized that I had not eaten all day. I had been drinking coffee, tea and water throughout the day, but somehow, I just forgot all about eating. My mind is just not in gear.
I think not having eaten made me even more heavy hearted. When I did eventually reach home, I had a meal I usually enjoy, but it seemed so bland and tasteless.
I am going to mow the lawn tomorrow before our trip away. It is going to be cold apparently. That is fine, the Lake District is wonderful whatever the weather. The cold is never an issue when you are walking. Plus, there is nothing like some yummy comfort food on a cold day.
I must remember to eat.
Shopping at the supermarket has become really odd recently. It is ever since news broadcasts started to report that food prices were rising. I have to admit, I am not usually particularly attentive to the price of food. I just stick within a budget, I know how much I can spend, and I buy what I ca afford.
But I started to notice about a month ago that items I do buy fairly frequently had gone up. The offers I normally take advantage of had disappeared. So I started to do something a little bit odd.
I started wandering around the supermarket feeling totally lost. What could I buy? What could I possibly buy? Even though I could afford the price increases in the items I normally buy, it made me strangely nervous. For the past three weeks, my shopping basket has had the most basic basic food, mainly just potatoes and the least expensive vegetables. I have had a lot of baked potatoes over the past few weeks (this week with my home made coleslaw!) because I suddenly felt as if I had to be super careful about how much I spend.
Of course, the result is, that even though food prices have risen, I have ended up spending about half of the amount I normally spend because this nervous distrust came over me.
I have reached the point where I am not sure I ever want to see another baked potato again in my life….and I have decided that I can actually start widening the variety of foodie items I place in my shopping basket.