I don’t think I realised it until more recently but I come from a family of “foodies.”
There I said it, it’s in my DNA to love good food!
As far as my earliest memories take me, my family has enjoyed food and eating together. My Grandad loved food, and I’d say my Mum has always taken after him, as a keen cook as well as someone who will always try something new! She’s always been up for sampling anything; from slightly bizarre combinations like the camembert with salted caramel sauce on our family holiday to France, to the less appealing tripe that I remember only she and my grandad cared to eat!
But for me cooking and eating “interesting” food has not particularly been something I’ve taken much time over. I always felt this was a gene my sister had inherited, not me! She and my mum would spend hours together in the kitchen trying out new things and cooking up a storm with whatever they could lay their hands on in our fridge! Me?! Not so much!
My culinary journey was kickstarted from a “needs must” point of view when I left home and moved to University! But since getting married and having a family I’ve begun to enjoy cooking more. I am sure this will come as a revelation to my wider family and some close friends, who had the “experience” of cooking with me in my teenage years (how could anyone forget the homemade blue soup I created for my housemates at university!) but in recent months I have actually found I’m discovering a love for cooking!
Don’t get me wrong, trying to cook anything too complex with three small children around is a challenge! I find myself with a recipe in front of me, reading, re reading, and reading again as I distract a crying baby, cuddle an injured toddler or try to tie shoelaces with one hand! More often than not the recipe goes out the window and I make an attempt to improvise which doesn’t always work in my favour!
But I’m beginning to realise that I not only enjoy cooking (!!) but I also love sharing meals with others. And I want our family to be a food loving family!
As such this past month I have made some changes to how I approach food with our family…
- Lets make lunches more interesting.….I realised I had been pretty boring when it came to preparing lunch for our boys. I didn’t have much energy to think about what I was going to make so I was just preparing sandwiches with the same filling most days with the occasional beans on toast! SO when we decided to home educate this year I invested in these wonderful lunch boxes from Bentgo. (https://bentgo.com/products/bentgo-kids-brights-5-compartment-bento-style-kids-lunch-box?variant=12170047062110) Our kids love them and I love seeing their faces when they open them up to see what is inside! They’ve inspired me to try and fill each compartment with something different from our fridge, however varied or random that might be. Last Friday left over popadoms and mango chutney made an appearance! So I’m trying to make lunch more interesting for us all!
- Let’s try new things….To my husband’s delight (well I’m not sure that’s the words he used!) I have decided to name the days of the week to help me plan what we eat and branch out with the recipes I use! So having searched the internet for inspiration from other people here’s where I’ve landed: Meatless Monday, Travel Tuesday, Warm (comfort food) Wednesday, Slow Cooker Thursday (ok not so memorable but I could do with using this appliance more often!!) and Fish Friday! The weekends are a bit more hit and miss! This week I got a recipe book out from the library and took photos on my phone of the recipes I liked and saved them in folders according to which day of the week they’d work for! So here’s to trying some new things!!!
- Let’s invite people in….We’ve always enjoyed having people round for dinner but it’s often been planned into the diary weeks or months in advance and I’ve never felt very relaxed doing it, in fact the opposite has probably been true I’ve found it pretty stressful! But having had children I’ve accepted that meal times are regularly occasions that have the potential for stress but I am trying to let go off my need for it to all be perfect and enjoy the fun of at least trying to share meal times as a family with three small children! So I thought, why not invite people in? We’ve loved having neighbours and their children over for impromptu dinners in the past month and we want sharing mealtimes with others to become more of a norm in our house!