The online debate on home cooking, and feeling obligated to do it, continues with excellent pieces from Luisa (Wednesday Chef) and Olga (Sassy Radish). I also thought this post from Jenny at Dinner: A Love Story about lacking confidence in the kitchen was part of the same theme. And Jay Rayner is an enthusiastic advocate for getting in the kitchen to please yourself.
I am definitely cooking differently with a child, especially now she’s weaning. To get dinner on the table while minding her through the grumpy late afternoon, I mostly rely on something that can be prepared earlier in the day, or something from the freezer than can be easily reheated. The oven is a better option than the stove, especially because I can set it to turn on and off by itself on a timer – useful if I’m trapped under a sleeping baby when something should come out of the oven. I also lean on prepared food a fair bit – some prepared meals like lasagne and fish pie, good bought curry sauces, supermarket pizzas. I’m learning to dial down my ambitions – better to eat something simple or bought than to make something entirely homemade, but not get to eat until 9pm.
Some seasonal recipes to try out:
- Mashed potato pie – In Jennie’s Kitchen. This sounds so English – bake mash together with cheese and eggs – and yet I’ve never come across it before. Ideal autumn comfort food.
- Lentils with sausage and kale – Sassy Radish. From the piece above, sausages make everything better, especially kale.
- April Bloomfield’s English Porridge – Food 52. I made it this week in my Thermomix. I think her recipe is too salty, but I like the mix of rolled oats and pinhead oats, and it works well with maple syrup and a couple of chopped dates. It reheated well too.
- Pickled Cabbage Salad – Smitten Kitchen. Or what to do with that cabbage. Or how to keep eating crisp salads through the winter.