Growing up in my household, food was always very plain and simple. Granted it was the 1960/70s and pizzerias, Chinese and Indian restaurants were not a common thing, but my mother originated from Holland and her idea of a meal was meat and vegetables every night. After my father died when I was seven, my mother meet someone else who was a butcher, so even though we dined on steaks most nights, it tended to get a bit boring.
Then I met my boyfriend, Phil and he introduced me to a variety of new palate sensations, taking me out to Indian restaurants (yes, I did start off with a Korma), Chinese meals, Kentucky Fried Chicken and burger bars.
Phil was a chef, he worked for one of the top hotels in Southampton called The Polygon as a trainee, a few months after meeting him we were engaged and the following year we were married. Now because he was a chef, I didn’t do any cooking, it was left to him and I wasn’t unhappy about this arrangement. Sure, I would cook the odd dinner, but not having had any experience I was reluctant to give it a go.
Two children later and my son is a chef too. He left college and went to chef in Sydney, Australia working for high profile restaurants and is now based in Bristol working in a restaurant called Bulrush, which has recently gained its first Michelin star.
One day I decided to make a Victoria sponge cake and found that I could actually produce quite a good one and so began my love for baking cakes and decorating them. I make cakes for birthdays, weddings or any occasion at all for friends and clients.
But I still didn’t tackle the dinners, I was happy to make the puddings, but that was about it.
It wasn’t that long ago that me and hubby sat down to watch a new programme which Tom Kerridge presented, How To Lose Weight For Good and I liked what I saw, the recipes seemed fairly straightforward and tasty, so we ordered the book and went shopping to collect the ingredients. I have to admit that there was a lot to collect, especially the spices, but they aren’t very expensive and once you have bought them, they do last a long time. There were some that I hadn’t even heard of, but luckily for me, hubby was there to guide me.
I took over the cooking of the main dinners, I felt more confident being able to follow a recipe and I have to say that we were pleased with some of the meals that have been produced, they were very tasty and you had the added bonus of knowing they were low fat recipes. My favourite is the Southern Fried Chicken, a take on a KFC, which tastes great!
Tom has brought out two books in the same vein, Lose Weight For Good and his newest one, Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start. We have already cooked a couple of recipes from the new book in which the Peanut Chicken Stir Fry Noodles is already a firm favourite.
I will be making his Beef Biriyani recipe this week, so I will put up pictures of it stage by stage, just to prove that even somebody who is a novice like me, can make his dishes.
Quote: The only thing I like better than talking about food is eating it!