Sunday, March 07, 2010

My food journey

It's no secret that I love food.

It all started with my granny who was good at anything she put her hands to - cooking, baking, sewing, flower arranging, etc, etc.

Sadly those sewing skills didn't make their way to me although I do have some fond memories of me using her sewing machine to make bags and pencil cases when I was in primary school (up to age 12). I can do straight lines and no thought whatsoever.

Anyway, back to the food.

She loved feeding people and even though she lived alone, was always cooking up something yummy.

Even when I'd moved away from Port Elizabeth, I'd phone and we'd ALWAYS discuss what she was cooking. At any event, I'd hear that it was so-and-so's birthday and she made supper which was x, y, z and a bit of this and that. I'd literally drool while here in Johannesburg.

I was always like this even when I was still at school - 101 things on the go all the time - so I was "too busy" to learn how to cook or bake.

Something I sorely regretted once I had my own place.

Because the love for food never went away; I just had no skills.

I remember in the beginning with D we'd eat freezer boxed food ALL the time - crumbed chicken pieces, fish, burgers, etc.


And then I got tired of that and started learning to cook, one dish at a time.

I'll be honest - I didn't love cooking but I did love the eating :)

But then my gran died in 2004 and something happened to me.

It's almost like when I was cooking I felt closer to her. Does that make any sense?

So I was willing to experiment more and more and even invite people over (!) to eat MY food.

And now I can honestly say I've spent many a Sunday happily pottering away in the kitchen, whipping up some meals. (The weekly things are just too quick as there's not much time).

My favourite dishes are stirfries - love them. Easy and you can alter the whole feel of the dish so quickly with different sauces, veggies, etc. Yummy!

I also love making muffins. I don't like baking anything else except biscuits (cookies) now and again, but I can happily bake muffins weekly. I'm the person who has to do the muffins whenever we have little functions at work. Another colleague does absolutely fantastic scones.

I once heard Nigella say that baking is like chemistry - your measurements have to be exact and in the right order.

Maybe that's the problem because, well, let's just say I'm more of a creative cook. I really do try to follow a recipe but somewhere along the way I start throwing in my own ingredients :)

Muffins are easy - mix everything together, just barely (suits my laziness), pop into muffin cases and into oven. I can make up a batch (not from a pre-mix) while cooking supper and mixing the babies' bottles.

I can't be bothered with "do this in one bowl", then "do that in another bowl" and then only "this is how you do the topping". Any recipe using more than one bowl gets tossed!

See? Lazy!

Do you prefer cooking or baking? What's your favourite dish to cook or bake?

P.S. My babies are 8 months today. I can't believe I'm still sane :)


  1. Beg, borrow or steal Jamie Oliver's "Ministry of Food" It is packed with healthy recipes that you can actually make!!! HIs premise is that you can learn to cook in 24 dedicated hours... he takes what you know and then just expands and expands... you may have one idea of what to do with mince, he has fifteen and they are totally doable... completely trebling, quadrupling (whatever!!!) your repertoire... not to mention how to make it look appealing rather than splat on the plate!!! We love it and use it all the time!!! Have a good day!!!

  2. The connection to your gran makes perfect sense ;)

    Nigella... hubba. I finally undid the purse strings and bought her Feast and Express books last week. Now they're being devoured each night as I get inspiration :)They aren't exactly loaded with rocket science, just gentle reminders of yummy things - and boy do we love yummy things.

    I love to bake AND cook. Different outlets. Baking's kinda comforting. Cooking is where I get far more creative.

    Hey you could probably be starting to make mini muffins for the kids, couldn't you? Now that will be fun!!!

    Happy 8 months little sweeties :)


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