But let’s also be real. It’s a busy world, we juggle the demands of work with running a home, we have children to raise, families and friends to see, social events, further education, hobbies, the gym..…and we still need to find time to wash and iron our clothes, vacuum, clean, shop. We don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to cook everything from scratch seven days a week. So are we failing as cooks, will we no longer be able to call ourselves ‘foodies’ if we take some short cuts, buy dessert to serve to friends, don’t make our own mayonnaise? Is there a compromise, or does it have to be all or nothing?
Well let’s not forget what it’s really about. Why are we reading the recipe books, watching the TV chefs, surfing the net and browsing the food markets? Alright, at it’s basic it’s about feeding ourselves, but more than that, for those who are really interested in food and cooking, surely it’s about enjoyment and pleasure – not hard work.
I love cooking. I enjoy simmering chicken stock for hours, kneading bread dough, slow-roasting meat, stirring risottos. But sometimes I’m tired, sometimes I want someone else to do the cooking, sometimes I’m just not in the mood. Then there are the times when I want junk. I crave takeaway pizza oozing cheese, deep fried prawn balls with barbecue sauce, a fried chicken sandwich. And you know what? That’s ok with me.
I believe it’s all about balance. Let’s not get too hung up on the perfect soufflé, growing everything in our own back gardens, slaving over every stage of the meal. Buy ready made pastry, use jars of chinese-style sauce, have a takeaway once in a while – that’s perfectly alright.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great if you can and want to do everything yourself but it shouldn’t be a necessity and no one should beat themselves up about not doing that. Let’s relax and remember that it’s about enjoyment and ultimately how YOU want to cook and eat.