Good food, good wine and good company for a lunch which runs into the early evening is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. As long as you haven’t got anything else to do that day!
This is when I get to cook blueberry pancakes with crispy bacon, juice fresh orange juice and brew coffee for the family with the help of my two little boys. Absolute bliss.
Al Fresco Eating
I’m not talking about ant-infested picnics with soggy sandwiches, a blustery wind and warm drinks from the boot of the car, but lobster and chips on the beach with your toes wiggling in the sand and the sound of waves breaking in the distance.
This is the term I give to the food you find cooked in markets and on the side of the road in cities the world over. I think you can learn more about a city by eating its dishes (the real ones which the locals eat and love, not the stuff you find in restaurants filled with tourists) than by reading 100 guide books.
I love my spice drawer – a huge amount of my inspiration comes from this treasure trove of flavours. It contains coriander, saffron, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and a great deal more, giving me limitless possibilities to conjure up cracking dishes and help me liven up mundane food quickly and easily.
We all have friends who can’t resist poking, prodding, turning and messing about with any food on the barbecue constantly. Especially steaks – stop faffing around with it and let it cook!
Fear of Cooking
I can’t understand it when people say they’re scared of cooking for me! I’m very easy to please and love it if someone else is happy to make dinner. It does sometimes go a bit wrong when they try to make the food overly ‘cheffy’ to impress me though!
I have an irrational dislike of raw red and yellow peppers. I think they smell unspeakable and my heart plummets when I see a little crisscross of them as a (pointless) garnish on a plate.
I have an OCD-like hatred of things like noisy eaters, cutlery scraping on plates, open mouthed chewing – the list goes on. Linked to this has to be rude diners – the worst offenders!
Why is it in some restaurants they pour the wine then put it in a bucket at the other end of the dining room? I feel like it’s being rationed by the waiting staff!
Like most people who cook for a living I have more than I care to admit to, but two on the list are hotdogs from a famous Scandinavian furniture store, and crisps!