Picture the scene, its been a long day, you make it home, and the house is warm, you go to the fridge….and nothing. Bare. A bleak white landscape stares back at you, the once bountiful land of nourishment has been ravished of its goodies, and you know who did it…..it was you. Hence you’ve been to Tesco’s and stocked up on the essentials, which for me are becoming more and more lavish the more I come to accept the fact that food is my boyfriend. Oh sweet harrissa hummus, oh glorious kettle chips and you, oh you my one my only entire packet of caramel chocolate digestives, life would be so much less wonderful without you constantly reminding me that everything will be fine.
Now I’ll be honest, your girl here used to be something of a porker, a lady of lardaceous tendencies, I discovered fairly early in life that my feelings are utterly ambrosial, so I would constantly chow down on delicious inadequacy, necterous anger and my personal favorite,scrumptious self loathing. Food and I have had a tumultuous time, my first year of Uni I lived opposite a Chippy and a Chinese restaurant, and having spent most of that (and the following two years) in a baked haze of gluttony, thought nothing of getting several meals there a week. But all changed when I realized how unhappy I was, and how much what I was eating affected that. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a glass of water and a house salad girl by any means, no no no don’t be so ridiculous, but I have learnt that I can eat absolutely anything I like without it having to be horrendously bad for me!
It used to be that cooking was a chore, a means to an end, a ball ache; but, with shows like Masterchef and Bake Off creating a nation of out and proud food lovers our eating habits are coming out of the dim secretive light of the pantry and into the bright limelight of Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Glory be to the Hairy Bikers for showing us that food is sexy no matter who bastes the turkey in its own juices, (excuse me whilst I take my clothes off).It has been known for me to groan in a very inappropriate manner whilst watching back to back episodes of Man Vs Food, in which Adam Richman would take on huge food challenges, like the 190lb burger (be still my beating heart!) Interestingly, Adam has, since the show last aired in April 2011, lost 60lbs and the ladies who once flocked to watch him stuff his face with endless tasty morsels have now discovered that he isn’t as cute now that he looks like everyone else. My heart bleeds for you, Adam, truly it does.
For the last few years I have discovered that my kitchen is the heart of my home, it isn’t just where we cook and eat, its where we laugh, cry, sing, dance, share and welcome people into our lives. It has always been said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, however I think that anyone anywhere can be won over with a good meal. The dinner table brings with it a chance to reflect, you share the buttery roast potatoes of life with you and yours, sure some people may prefer hot sauce to mayo, and arguments erupt at the table, but I know from experience, that any argument can be quelled by quietly putting on “I wanna know what love is” and letting the argument descend into the discussion thereof. Believe me, it has happened in my kitchen, talk went from “yes but you can’t tell me that you understand my financial circumstances” to “yes but what IS love” in about 45 seconds.
There is a saying in France (or so I’m told) ‘show me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are’ and its so true. A question I have often asked new friends or potential love interests (which are virtually the same thing) is ‘what would you have for your last meal’ and its a question that everyone loves to answer. My personal favorite answer so far came from a man who said he would have a tomato salad, made with his mothers home grown tomatoes, which were always so delicious because she would frequently nourish them with her own piss.