Food glorious food!
fast food – fine food – convenience food – finger food – junk food – health food – favourite food – comfort food
Where to start?
There are some who have little interest in food, other than to eat in order to maintain energy and life! I do not fall into that category. I have always enjoyed food, the flavours and textures – planning and preparation – anticipating a favourite dish.
I find certain food evokes moods and memories, the whiff of certain dishes can take me to a specific time or place in an instant.
As far as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed my meals, of course the type of food I now enjoy differs greatly to the dishes of my childhood. So many changes in technology and food production have changed mealtimes. The home I grew up in had no microwave, few gadgets altogether – not until my teens did we even have a freezer or electric food mixer. There was no easy quick way for anything in those days. No ready meals as we know them today. The nearest I got to a ‘ready meal’ in a household where all meals were cooked from scratch was the occasional treat of a Vesta Chow Mein box meal – basically a dehydrated meal to which water was added, heated up and fried noodles added as a finishing touch! Oh this was such a treat!
Looking around a kitchen of today – can you imagine life without a microwave, air fryer, george forman grill, electric toaster, sandwich toaster, food processor, blender, juicer, yoghurt maker, bread maker, slow cooker? Not to mention the espresso machine now deemed a household essential for coffee lovers.
Without the aforementioned gadgets it was still possible to produce very tasty treats. Many a Saturday afternoon was spent with my mother in the kitchen baking pastries and cakes for the week to come. Fruit scones, bakewell tart, coconut tart, butterfly cakes, current buns, date slice, victoria sponge, marble cake, lemon curd and jam tarts, my participation increased with the years graduating from cutting out pastry shapes to measuring ingredients and eventually following the recipes myself. Being already competent in the basics, I excelled in Home Economics at school, and later Food and Nutrition at Sixth Form College. All types of pastry, cakes and breads were baked, filo pastry stretched so thin you could have read through it, made a tasty apple strudel – hot water crust pastry with its filling of chopped and seasoned meat was the perfect pork pie – choux pastry for light and airy eclairs – sweet rich shortcrust for perfect dessert flans. And no, I have never made an apple strudel from scratch since that time, however knowing I have made it gives me a certain sense of pride and satisfaction.
Busy lives do not allow the indulgence of time needed to create such delights, with work commitments, domestic chores, family commitments, and other interests taking so many of the day’s precious hours and minutes.
Meals today while still on the whole prepared from scratch tend to be of the ‘prepare and serve in 40 minutes’ variety. Thats not to say I don’t attain the same level of satisfaction when creating a meal, I do, whether its beans on toast or hearty chilli I enjoy putting together the constituents of the meal, and savouring the flavours as I eat. To me food, as with all things in life, is to be savoured, enjoyed to the full!
Bring on the next course!