How It All Started
I started this website in 2011 because I was frustrated that so many television chefs and cookery books made cooking more complicated than it needs to be. Of course there is a place for the artistic, the special and the dish that takes hours to create. But most people everyday want easy to prepare, low cost and delicious everyday meals.
I not a trained chef or cordon bleu cook. Nor does my whole life revolve around food. I am an ordinary woman who has brought up children, managed on a small budget and cares about having good food, without it being too time consuming or be too heavy a burden on the earth’s resources. I am now retired and what to spend my time doing the things I love (walking, pottery, reading and knitting) and not too much time in the kitchen!
So I hope that as I hope as I share my favourite recipes – some going back to bringing up a family and some developed more recently – that they will help you the reader, cooking at home.
Cooking Through Life
My cooking abilities and enthusiasm has varied through out my life. As a young girl I enjoyed baking and delighting my family with cakes and biscuits.
I also remember the first time I cooked a meal for my boyfriend – chicken casserole – when I was about 15. It felt very grown up – and, thankfully, it was very delicious!
Student days came and food was more about survival and economics than taste. Baked potatoes and Marmite on toast springs most to mind. Although the group in our flat were enterprising enough to organise some shared cooking, with even an occasional roast on Sundays.
Within a few years I was busy creating a career and experimenting with microwave ready meals for convenience and calorie counting. Anyone remember ‘Lean Cusine’! It was also a time of cooking up extravagant meals for dinner parties.
Perhaps it was the patter of tiny feet that started the turnaround, or may be it was my increasing interest in the environment and the efficient use of resources. Certainly as babies my children had mostly mushed fresh food rather than jars. (I say mostly because I am not a purist who tut tuts at convenience from time to time – sometimes you just have to take the easy route).
Being responsible for the nutrition and health of children certainly increased my awareness of food issues. I could be found in the supermarket aisles scrutinizing packets for sugar and salt levels, and the dreaded ‘Es’.
As the children grew, balancing work, time and money became a daily challenge, a scenario familiar to many. As teenagers, one became a vegetarian whilst the other remained a confirmed carnivore. My husband was also decided to go vegetarian.
Doing My Best
Cooking on a budget, devising veggie meals acceptable to a carnivore, or cooking two separate meals with minimum effort became a daily task. All this as well as considering matters of food miles, cooking in season and avoiding processed foods and supermarkets where possible, meant some days meals, and my worthy aims, were achieved with varying degrees of success.
So this website is simply about caring about food and resources, but also valuing time to live a life. I am concerned at the level of processed food in the supermarkets and people’s lack of courage and knowledge to cook meals from base ingredients. It is important to learn to adapt a recipe to fit what you have in your cupboards. Use the recipes as a base, just an outline idea, and to make changes where you don’t have all the ingredients – or just think the recipe would be better, slightly changed.
I hope this website will inspire people to try some new recipes – and tell me what they thought. Then share ideas. There is nothing more inspiring than someone’s enthusiasm and passion for their favourite food.
That’s enough about me – I look forward to hearing from you