Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For the Love of Food

Is anyone else obsessed with food? Many of my hobbies and interests have gone out the window since having a child. There simply isn’t the time to create a messy painting or drive around checking the surf. Cooking, because it is a ‘chore’ that MUST be done, has become my creative outlet of choice. Thinking about what I’ll cook for dinner makes me happy. I relish grocery shopping. I love creating diversions from the original recipe. All in all, cooking and its associated pleasures take up a large portion of my day.

Here are some ideas for making cooking a hobby:

- Borrow cookbooks from the library. That way you can explore different cuisines every week (although getting ghee and fresh turmeric for an Indian feast is a little difficult at the one supermarket we have in this tiny town. That’s where improvising comes in).
- I’m a big fan of Donna Hay’s cookbooks. The recipes are fast and fresh and perfect for mums who want to feel creative whilst preparing quick family meals. I’m currently working my way through every recipe in Hay’s Food Fast, Julie and Julia style.
- Grow herbs. They are easy and encourage you to branch out in order to discover what the hell you use sage, oregano or tarragon for.
- Grow vegies. There are pumpkins and there are ‘home-grown, lovingly-tended, organic pumpkins’. You’ll taste the difference and feel a sense of accomplishment.
- Learn to love grocery shopping. This is easy if you have access to Asian grocery stores and deli’s. But if you’re like me and live in the sticks, try to discover new ingredients that you haven’t used before, like semolina for shortbread or verjuice for salad dressings. Shopping can be an adventure.
- Bake cakes and take them to friend’s houses. This will prevent you from eating a whole cake in one sitting (if you’re like me!) and will spread the food love.
- Host themed dinners. This is just a pipe dream for me at the moment, as Scarlett is a light sleeper so we don’t have friends over much. But when she’s a bit older I plan to host Mexican, French and Turkish nights, complete with dress-ups and music.

Makes me think…what other chores can be converted to pleasures?


  1. oh, I wish I was as enthusiastic about cooking as you are, GP. I love others cooking for me, then cleaning up after for me too. If I was living nearby I would live for your theme dinner parties... I have no answers to what other chores can be converted to pleasure. I'm sure I was meant to live as a princess in a castle with staff who cleaned and cooked for me, and loads of money to spend as I please...ohhh, bliss!

  2. And staff to comb my hair each day, wax my legs and armpits when I'm over the hairyness, and just generally tidying up behind me. I've had more time to fantasise about life as a princess and what other boring 'jobs' I could hand over.... =)