So, first attempt at blogging and I march, head first, into possibly the busiest and most over-populated area of the blog-food and all that entails. It seems you can't move for the thousands of food blogs out there and a high percentage of them are seriously good, whether they focus on food in general, country specific recipes or are part of the growing home-baking craze.
And where will I fit into all of this? I'll be the one flapping madly around the middle ground.
My main aim for this blog is for it to be a modern version of 'Gran's tattered recipe book'. You know the type-the beaten, battered old notebook that always used to get found in the backs of kitchen drawers that no one could decipher? Yeah that. Now, my handwriting is pants-great at first but by the time you get to the end of the recipe it looks like it was written by a gorilla. I can visualise my kids in 30 years time going really struggling to make sense of anything I've recorded. I'm also really rubbish at drawing, so any attempts to sketch a spag bol would be doomed to failure, and I know that there will be at least one of my kids who can't follow a recipe "Unless it's got a picture". I also tend to get a tad OCD about compartmentalising things, and I know full well, that I'd have a panic attack if I ran out of pages in the 'chicken' section and had to shove it in 'desserts'. I'd never cope.
Therefore, fearing for both my sanity and that of my descendants, I've started this blog.
Like most people, you learn from those around you, so my parents are a given as far as inspiration goes. Growing up in an East End pub, with coppers in one bar and villains in the other, the lunchtime menu was a vital part of what made it tick. Watching my Mum prepare food in such large quantities was a sight to behold, and although with seven kids I'm not quite up to the same amount of covers as she used to do, my ability to plan and prep ahead has definitely come from her. And as for my Dad's roasties...well!
As far as 'famous' cooks are concerned, there's only really a few that make me go "ohhh".
Early Nigella is, of course, a must; honest, easy and unashamedly naughty. The book I've linked to, in my opinion is her best.
Another fave is Nigel Slater-his down to Earth, non-fussy approach to cooking is a rare thing at the moment.
A recent discovery, but my absolute fave is US cook and presenter Guy Fieri. His enthusiasm for old-fashioned cooking skills and the people who keep them going is contagious. I can highly recommend his series 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives' on foodnetwork, especially if, like me, you're a fan of American cooking and food.
You'll notice there's no 'chefs' mentioned. Just the same as in this blog, there'll be no reductions, jus, or tiny little circles of mash. No Masterchef stuff here.
Interpretations and Ingredients.
A lot of what I cook, like most mums, is a total mish-mash of recipes from books and things that have caught my eye on tv. If a recipe I post has been adapted, and I can link to that source, I'll post it up. Some of the books I use have been imported though, so may be hard to track down.
As for ingredients, I import those as well. If I use an ingredient (such as A1 steak sauce for example) I'll try and give an alternative as a note at the bottom. Once I've worked out how to do it, I'll have permanent links to the stores I use. It is worthwhile importing certain ingredients-they do, genuinely, make all the difference. I'd be lost without my Chipotle seasoning.
If you have what's considered a 'normal' family, you may want to halve, or even quarter the ingredients and adjust the cooking time. I cook for 8+ every day, often making more for freezing. You'll also notice a lack of leftovers used in my meals-they just don't happen very often.
Well, there you have it. I hope what I write will be of some use to someone, somewhere. By the time my kids need it, I could probably just upload it to a chip in their head, but hey, at least it's here.