I make it no secret that I love cooking.
I particularly suck at it, my husband (a professional chef) shakes his head a lot and says “no, that won’t work” and responds to my “But it works in my head and looks good” with a lot of “no one can understand what goes on in your head” and similar.
I manage to make basic meals that feed the family well. I’m not particularly creative, although Grumpy Pants would possibly argue that. I mean I’m not creative from the perspective of researching recipes and trying to put something different on the table every single night. I am creative from the perspective of, part way through the cooking process, thinking “Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if I did this” and then actually doing it.
Most times, it works out ok.
What I love about cooking is it is my “outlet”. I can focus on the mundane ease of chopping vegetables, and I get to wield a large knife on the process. I get to concentrate and use the excuse that “I have a sharp knife!” to ensure I am left alone to my thoughts. I just find it relaxing and enjoyable and do it so much better with a glass of wine in my other, non-knife-wielding hand.
Mostly, the inner workings of my mind give me all the recipe, food prep and cooking inspiration I need. Sometimes, my kids help out.
Generally, though, their ideas involve cheese; mostly the tasty or parmesan types.
I once ventured into a sweet and sour chicken dish. They smothered it in parmesan, so it “tasted better”.
I almost vomited, but they ate it.
Tonight, Grumpy Pants had whipped up a batch of curry sausages (see, I even have the lingo right! I could be on Masterchef Professionals, talking like that! It is a ‘batch’ of curry sausages, right?)
The Family, choosing to watch Masterchef Professionals at this time, set themselves up in front of the telly with their plated dishes in front of them.
I, on the other hand, was very busy and important and trying to finish off a document before I could join them.
It was around this time, I not only got a dose of food inspiration, but also chose to partake in a short bout of sprint training.
“Mum,” yells Chippie. “Your dinner is here! You like cheese on it!”
It sounded more like a statement than a question. I tried not to panic.
“No, hang on, wait no,” I reply, as calmly as possible.
“Yes. You like cheese on it. I put cheese on your dinner, ok?”
I raced from the kitchen (where I was pouring a glass of wine), leapt over stray school bags, notes from last week and half the population of the Island of Sodor, throw myself over my plate, wrapping myself around it in an action not dissimilar to protecting a small child from a bomb blast.
Chippie is not impressed with this idea and has a screaming tantrum, before adding more cheese to his and stuffing his face.
Cheese is not all bad, though, as a topper for various dishes.
It contains calcium, it taste delicious and if I don’t liberally sprinkle cheese on top of many of the meals I cook for my family, then I never know when it’s properly cooked ….