Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cooking has always been a favourtie activity of mine. I truly enjoy time in the kitchen, creating a nourishing, delicious meal and knowing that each day I am doing something that positively affects my little family. I have a vast collection of cook books, which I read as enthusiastically as any novel, but I don't use them so much when I am actually cooking. Often I follow a recipe once, but find I need to make a couple of substitutions, the next time I make it I vary it a little more, and soon I find it's yummy, but very loosely based on the original. I cook without measurements a lot. The one exception is baking, where I am not quite so confident.

We have been eating a lot of risottos, pasta dishes and one pot meals lately. I think for winter I will introduce soups as a regular feature. The children have never eaten a lot of soup, but the last couple have had a better reception, so it will be a good cheap and easy meal! I don't use recipes with soup at all. For us, pumpkin soup is just onions, softened in butter, half a butternut pumpkin, cubed, 6 or so cups of vegetable or chicken stock, oregano or thyme (fresh is nicest), and I put it all through the blender once the pumpkin's very soft. My cauliflower soup and potato and leek soup are very similar! We make fresh bread rolls using the breadmaker, and there you have a delicious and very healthy Friday night supper.


Kelly said...

My husband is amazed at the enjoyment I derive from curling up on the lounge with a good cookbook to read! I rarely use measures either and usually ad lib with recipes too!

Baking on the other hand is a science. Ingredients must be carefully measured (weighing is more accurate than using 'cup'and 'spoon' measures - that's a tip I got from a chef). Successful baking tips include using fresh ingredients, the best quality bakeware you can afford, and an accurate and balanced oven. Heavy duty electrical goods like 'Kitchen Aid' or the 'Sunbeam Mix Master' are good investments for bakers (although some old fashioned bakers swear by doing all mixing by hand). Nigella Lawson's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess" has some fabulous recipes for baking.

Emma said...

I have the Nigella Lawson book on my Mother's Day wish list :) Probably won't get it though, Brett always manages to surprise me! I will have to become more courageous, and actually try baking a cake. I usually do packet mix (the plain, cheap ones) for the children's birthdays. I go all out on the icing, though :)