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Sunday, 12 February 2012

My love affair... with food.

When I moved out of my parents’ house at 17, I had no idea of how to cook. Mum was incapable of letting us doing anything ourselves and making mistakes, so we never really went into the kitchen. I could fry eggs, reheat beans or soup, but had no idea how to cook proper, real food.

I was also really, really poor. Essentially, for about two years, I lived off of roll up cigarettes, chicken roll and mayonnaise sandwiches, and soup. Therefore I was a size 10. But horribly unhealthy – I had chilblains, a constant cough, and terrible, terrible skin.

After about a year, my recipe repertoire involved Shepherds Pie, fry ups, stew and things made with sauce from a jar. And that was about it.

I really started learning how to cook when I fell pregnant with my youngest son. We were poor, really dirt poor, and with a little person to feed, and carrying another one (and also unable to treat hunger pangs with a fag) I needed to eat more than chicken roll and mayonnaise sandwiches.

So I started to watch cookery programmes, and adapted recipes to fit our incredibly limited budget. I could make a vegetable curry for about 50p a portion, and we would eat it for a couple of days at a time. Likewise Spaghetti Bolognaise, pasta in sauce dishes, and anything I could make with a value tin of chopped tomatoes. I could make a chicken feed the three of us for four meals. I have never eaten so well, before or since.

Now that I’m a lot more financially comfortable, I can really go to town with recipes. However, I’m also on a diet. I want to lose two stone before my birthday in July. I cannot be fat and thirty.

I have a total love affair with chorizo, which, if I could, I would eat with just about every meal. I haven’t made a chicken pie for a while because I’m on a diet, but just thinking about rolling out that pastry makes me weak at the knees. As soon as this two stone is off, I will be on a baking frenzy, making banana and honey loaf, chocolate fairy cakes and Victoria sponges to take the sight from your eyes.

Oooh, I’m dribbling a tiny bit. Anyway – currently in my slow cooker is a butternut squash, red lentil and chorizo (yum yum yum) stew. It’s making the whole house smell so delicious… I can’t wait till teatime.

Anyway, as this week is half term, and I’m feeling a bit flush, I’m going to try some new recipes. Things the kids can get involved in and will enjoy making with me.

Tuesday – Slow cooker chilli with nachos and tortilla wraps (the kids love it when there’s loads of plates for them to choose from!)

Wednesday – Chicken and bacon lasagne (A recipe I found online today that sounds lovely)

Thursday – Weightwatchers quiche recipe with salad

Friday – (We’re off to London on Friday. I could pretend I won’t have a cake from a fancy London shop…)

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