Embarking on a food resolution
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It is the 7th of January and I’ve decided that my New Year’s Resolutions should finally kick in; so there’ll be no long post from me tonight. I need to get my big bum in gear and do all the boring stuff that has been building up for the last…hmm let’s say 370 days (my ‘do good’ resolutions only usually last a few hours – hence why I deemed it acceptable not to start this year’s ‘til now: it’ll be a step forward that I’ll still be motivating myself with resolutions into the SECOND week of January for once!).
Actually I HAVE managed to start on one resolution this week:
I am an okay cook; but certainly not great. Since weaning Sam, I’ve made a real effort to improve, and although I don’t have a natural flair for it, I do have a few meals that I can do reasonably well (all of which are easy to reheat and most of which can have loads of veg thrown in to cover me on the days when I can’t be bothered with more peeling). I tend to have evenings solely dedicated to ‘cooking for the freezer’ – which allows me to be lazy for the next few days, whilst making out Sam dines on freshly-cooked homemade meals!
My repertoire mostly consists of mince-based dishes: lasagne, meatballs, beef burgers, spag bol, chilli con carne and a few different variations of cottage pie. I also make casseroles; usually sausage or chicken; and on the rare occasion I will crack out a risotto, fish pie or chicken and veg pasties. But that, I’m afraid, is it; I very rarely cook pork and almost never cook cuts of lamb or beef.
When I moved out and had my own kitchen for the first time, I became a proper little baking fanatic – it was my treat after Sam went to bed. But this passion soon faded, and eventually died; due mostly to the fact that the recipes always produced far too much food for two appetites to handle. And yes, I could have scaled down the ingredients…but that is something neither my mathematics nor baking abilities could handle. So, for pudding these days, Sam has a choice of: yoghurt, fruit or nothing. No wonder he likes eating at his Grandma’s house so much!
So this year I have decided to attempt a wider range of dishes; be it for the main course or pudding. To actually follow through with this, I needed to set myself a reachable target: 52 new recipes in 52 weeks – shouldn’t be too difficult, even for me.
But at midday on the last day of Week 1, I realised I was only six hours from failing. I did make my meatballs spicy and tomato-ey on New Year’s Eve (whereas normally I do them in gravy according to my Finnish Grandmother’s recipe) but unfortunately only the washing up took me into 2012, so it didn’t count.
So my ‘Hooray, look how good I am; I’ve cooked something new!’ started, rather pathetically, with…
Spaghetti hoops on toast with grated cheese.
Hurrah, go me! The greatest mother and chef that ever lived!
But…it was actually amazing! I used to love spaghetti hoops when I was younger and hadn’t eaten them for years; so it prompted a load of seemingly unconnected memories, in the way that sometimes happens with tastes/smells.
Sam loved it too. I won’t pretend that he has carefully prepared hot food for every meal, but I do make sure he eats one hot meal a day and I am (a bit too) proud of myself for not making ‘kiddies meals’. So, apart from the – still relatively few – times when I have done fishfingers and chips, (or when I have cut sandwiches into animal shapes for our indoor picnics), this is the first time I’ve made a meal that would be specifically deemed ‘for children’.
The verdict: brill! I won’t be so snobby about food in the future. But I should possibly try to make my recipe in Week 2 a little more taxing (and nutritious)!
This is not about to become a food blog; trust me, I do not have the expertise (aptly proven by this post!); and I will probably never mention food again (except to moan about how much of it ends up on the floor). No, I have merely used it as an excuse to avoid carrying out my hundreds of other New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t think I get the point at all!