FOR THE LOVE OF COOKING AND BAKING!
Published 25th January 2019
Compared to our grandparents' generation, we all seem to lead much busier working lives these days, but in fairness we are probably doing more activities with our families and travelling more, which all means we don't have much time left for cooking - right?
I am a typically busy farmer's wife (that goes with the territory of being married to a farmer) but I still cook from scratch every day and always have enjoyed doing and there's nothing more satisfying than hearing from friends and families and also customers "... that was delicious Ronnie!" It makes me swell with pride!
It means a lot to me to know that I have sourced good quality local and seasonal produce to make each meal - and that includes using our very own home-grown rapeseed oil - on my salads, in baking or marinating fish, vegetables or meat in it. Not only that, but I believe it's often much cheaper to cook from scratch too. Although ready made meals seem to be convenient - I'm not sure how much salt, sugar or preservatives are in many of them - and it's very important to me that I know exactly what is in the meals I am feeding my family. Plus there is the sheer enjoyment of being in the kitchen preparing and cooking something wholesome made by me.
The thing I find helps me is to keep my recipes and meals simple - good quality meat, fish or vegetables, made more flavoursome with the addition of herbs and spices.
I love to create my own recipes using what I have in my fridge, freezer and pantry, but when I'm finding it hard to think of something different to cook, I'm not afraid to dig out one of my favourite cookery books for inspiration.
For me, meals which have too many ingredients in can mean I find the preparing fiddly and often there's an increased cost to the lengthy list of ingredients on a recipe - so I like to keep things simple as well as affordable and delicious but with fewer ingredients.
I'm sharing with you here ideas which help me when time is short and pennies are tight:
* I make great use of my freezer and freeze seasonal "gluts" of food or bulk buys when I see a genuine offer. If I find I have surpluses of frozen fruit I don't panic as there are lots of savoury recipes in which to add fruit (pork and apple kebabs in a herby sage and thyme marinade using our oil for example)
* I simply couldn't manage without my slow cooker - I find it a godsend on days I know I am going to be out and about. If I pop the ingredients for a stew into my slow cooker in the morning, before heading out delivering our oil to customers, or preparing the cottage for our next guests, I know that on my return I'll walk into the kitchen and smell the most delicious meal all ready in the one pot - and even better there's hardly any washing up!
* If one of the family members suggests they would like to cook for me - I don't say no! It is always lovely to enjoy a tasty meal prepared by someone else and we don't all cook in the same way, so it's exciting to try something I haven't eaten before.
* And don't forget you can find so much inspiration, information and recipes on the amazing website www.lovebritishfood.co.uk and on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Until next time .....