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Cooking – Love it or Hate it?


Can you cook up a masterpiece or is cooking just one big disaster in your kitchen?

I suppose that I can think of a few reasons not to like cooking:- you always seem to burn things or everything turns out raw, someone else always does it for you or you just love pizza, take aways or packet food.

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So let’s deal with all of those feeble excuses  one at a time – first depending on what you are actually cooking, it’s the easiest thing in the world to follow cooking instructions from a recipe book or the ones usually printed on  the back of a packet of meat or pasta or whatever so there really is no excuse for under or overcooking anything. Second, if someone else cooks for you that’s fine, lucky you,  but how nice it would be to cook for them from time to time. Get yourself an easy signature dish, something like Chilli  con carne or  something with chicken, Chicken Tagliatelle and surprise your partner sometimes by announcing that you are going to cook for them – and anyway, you might find that you like the experience. Finally if you are one of those people who love takeaways, surely you must long for home cooked food sometimes?

There are so many easy things to cook:- You can't go wrong with Chicken  as it’s fairly cheap  and once it’s cooked through it’s tender enough to eat just add some stock, and some vegetables with a few  mixed herbs  and hey presto, something home cooked.

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I’m no expert but I’ve been cooking and liking it for years now I’ve cooked at lot in my time, we had a couple of pubs  in the 90’s and so to start with ,it really was a question of having to. My first attempt was making sandwiches (not quite cooking I know) for a women’s group that came into the pub once a fortnight for a meeting. The ladies were due to arrive one Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm. I made the sandwiches at about 3pm that afternoon, wanting to make sure that everything was perfect and prepared early. Unfortunately, I failed to cover the sandwiches with cling film and by the time 7.30 came the sandwiches were turning up at the edges and probably tasted like cardboard. It was a complete disaster. But I did get better. I brought some recipe books, read up about making sandwiches and buffet food and importantly, I asked the very person who could help the most – my mum!  Mum was never the best cook in the world but she gave me a few pointers on how to make gravy, and she told me to make sure that everything was served on hot plates and after that it really was trial and error. My husband and son got to taste all sorts of weird and wonderful recipes before I came up with what I felt was a do-able menu. There was of course lots of standard pub grub like – scampi and chips and so on but I became quite good at home made steak and kidney pie, lasagne and various other pasta dishes as well as the standard Sunday roast. When we got to our second pub, it had a 36 cover restaurant so we employed a chef. We soon realised that when he fell ill we were suddenly without a chef and so I had to take over and never really looked back. Those pub days were very hard and thankfully long gone.  These days I cook meals for my family and to entertain friends at dinner parties and we do go out to all sort of restaurants. I am happy to cook or be cooked for and occasionally, very occasionally, I'll get a take away!

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