Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Me and my Food Quest

At home Dad had a few signature dishes, corn beef bolognese, which I loved, chilli con carne with vinegar, beautiful, he also made a Spanish omelette with potatoes. He taught my mum to cook.
The kitchen was mum's zone though, you could sit at the table and watch.
Dad, with his penknife, would cut me slices of apple either with slices of cheese or with cinnamon sugar to dip the slices in.

For me in my little speccy head; Tea making was dangerous, I was too short for the sink, couldn't use the sharp knives, the flaming cooker was a no-go.

I left home at 16, clueless about food.
It was all about economy sausages and pesto-pasta. I would often nick other people's food at dinners, I still do. I remember some idiot laughing at me because I didn't know how to make a white sauce, I was embarrassed and annoyed and concluded he was an arse.

My main cookbook was Get Stuffed, from the tv show Get Stuffed, which my friend Gid was in back in the day.

Later I lived with vegans and veggies and gradually learnt to prepare veg, with tips on cutting onions, and learnt to fry veg for my pasta. I continued to hang off other peoples meals, which was handy with the vegan chefs and I was taught to make onion bhajis and became the Queen of Onion Bhajis and covered half the kitchen in batter.

What I lacked was/is confidence.

I have a funny relationship with food, when I get really nervous I cannot eat.
When I got ill with nerves I refused all food except olives.
Olives were full of positivity and nutrients and led me back to eating properly again.

I started eating meat again around the same time I started smoking again.
The first meat I ate after 13 years was a Peperami. It was a rare treat when I was a kid and I love dried cured meat particularly Chirizo. Chewy and juicy and salty and tangy, sweet savoury.

I had no idea how to cook meat though.
Growing up we were skint so often the meat was cheap with gristle and it was the same at school with school dinners.
I developed a gag reflex to bone, gristle, certain fat. It's awkward and embarrassing as I will have to get it out my mouth before I start retching.

I also spill food down my front. It turns out I am incredibly clumsy. I knock over glasses, miss my mouth, cutting food awkwardly flinging it across my plate. I am known for having food down my top, a kind friend said that was an endearing quality. I am unintentionally goofy.

In present times, I have a rough idea on cooking rice and pasta. I can make a nice cous cous salad. Roast vegetables is a signature dish.
That's about it really except for pre packaged things, I can do them.
I like chopping veg and prepping food and I understand a bit about timing.

So this week My Big brother is going to teach me about buying and cooking meat.
Day 1-Roast Chicken
Day 2- Fish 2 types in 2 different ways
Day 3- Beef Mince- Jamaican Patties and Pork Mince- Gyoza

Mostly he's going to help me build up my cooking confidence.

Thanks Bruv!
Bill with his homemade Chive Flower Vinegar

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