Coming from a large family, meal times were always a big deal for us. It was the one time of day when everyone could sit down and be together without distraction or having somewhere else to be.
I have many fond memories of my Mother cooking and baking in the kitchen while I played in the Tupperware drawer and my older brothers and sister helped bring the mealtime together, ready for when Dad got home.
Surprisingly from this perfect picture of family life, I am rubbish at cooking. And baking. In fact anything that has to be consumed other than a cocktail.
Now I’m not saying we eat out all the time but I clearly have my ‘can do’ dishes which come out week after week so I can at least pretend I am competent in the kitchen.
“…he told Santa I wanted a cook book in my stocking…”
Give me a party to cater for and I’ve got it sorted, but dinner for two? Forget it.
The other year we rammed our kitchen with 26 guests for Christmas dinner and it went off without a hitch. A party of 60? No problem! I am the Queen of small food,
an intimate dinner party for 4 of our best friends? Forget it.
I turn into a food version of a train wreck.
I have been known to order in a curry and have it simmering on the hob ready for our guests arrival. I can’t even cook the rice.
I am now 34 years old and determined to make a change. I assume my husband is ready too as the last two Christmases he told Santa I wanted a cook book in my stocking.
I will burn things, probably put more in the bin than we consume, but I am ready! I have even bought myself the famous electric blue dress Nigella Lawson wore on The Taste to help unleash my inner domestic goddess. (It is all about the outfit, right?)
I have to have more than this handful of dishes in my repertoire that can keep my mother-in-law satisfied that I’m not leaving her only son malnourished.