Friday, 26 December 2008

Boxing Day

Among our Christmas presents, Ian and I received a vegan cookbook, and an apron each. This is a gift from a friend who loves cooking and no doubt thinks (rightly) that we need a bit of encouragement. I'm a vegetarian and Ian is a vegan. But that's not the problem. The problem is that I'm a lazy sod when it comes to cooking.

When I first went veggie, I immediately bought a wonderful cookbook called 'The Junk Food Vegetarian' - start as you mean to go on. Years later and bored with the 'mix a can of this with a can of that' recipes, I began talking about doing some 'proper' cooking, and trying to convince Ian that it would be a 'fun thing' for us to do together. (Actually, Ian is better at cooking than I am, and not half as bone idle, but there's plenty of scope for improvement in both of us).

Now, will this lovely new cookbook join the others on our bookshelves that sit there and do bugger all to earn their keep? (er, well, maybe I expect a little too much of the books - they're not trained to do the cooking for us). No! My new year's resolution is: 'STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AND JUST GET ON WITH IT.' That could apply to so many areas of my life, including my writing. But one thing at once. I'm going to put on my bright-red apron with the tomato image across my bosom, and I'll 'make' Ian put on his bright-green apron with the 'what d'ya call it?' a pepper I think, on the front. And we're going to cook.

On a more analytical note, I'm wondering why I hate cooking when I love eating. Hey, I think I've just figured it out. My old school cookery teacher is to blame! I remember my first attempt at making a casserole in a cookery class at school when I was thirteen. It was for an end-of-term exam, so the teacher had to taste it. I was proud of my offering, and it looked delicious. My teacher swallowed a spoonful and, oh God, I thought I'd poisoned her! She screwed up her face, made strange noises and looked ready to puke. The only clue I got later as to where I'd gone wrong was when she hissed: 'Ugh! It's greasy!' (I think it might have been because the copious amount of fat I'd fried the onions in ended up in the dish). Anyway, the whole class stared in shocked silence and then broke into laughter. Guess who came bottom in the exam.

But, over forty years on, all grown up now and undaunted by past humiliations, I'll don my apron and show 'em all. Not just yet though. Let's have another sherry and get boxing day over first.


alice said...

Hello Jean! I've just noticed your post at my old blog Solace in Wonderland, and would like to invite you to my new blog, Reinventing Alice if you should care to visit. Here is a link:

I will now give you words of encouragement for when you've finished that sherry, had a good nap and are ready to don those aprons and set to work in the kitchen: YOU CAN DO IT! AND IT CAN BE FUN! I was raised vegetarian (was never brave enough to give up cheese though) and there really are so many delicious and easy things to make. Think of it as an adventure, and get creative. There is an intuition about cooking, it's there for anyone if you just tap into it. And it can be quite like writing or gardening or painting or sewing or anything else that takes a creative flair. And the reward (hopefully) is that you get to eat it!!! Can't really do that with a pair of knitted socks, can you?

I'd love to share a few of my favorite recipes with you if you get past your fear of the kitchen!!

xoxo Alice

Jean said...

Alice - Thank you for your words of encouragement. I'll try to start thinking positive about cooking and will give it a go in the new year. Glad to hear you've got a new blog and I'll pop on over - thanks for the invite. Jean x

Karen said...

I must admit I prefer baking cakes to cooking proper, healthy meals but after twenty odd years I'm used to it. Not that the children appreciate it of course. They'd all rather eat out!

Have a very Happy New Year :o)