My year without food

I keep thinking of this year as my year without food. I’m eating, naturally, but not much that you would call appetising. I used to be a regular restaurant goer, but now hardly at all. I love to cook, even to shop for my cooking, but most of my cooking these days is out of a packet because I don’t have the time or space for more. I eat, as I never did before, purely for sustenance.

I miss all the good stuff obviously. I miss the high life, the bars, I miss the cool restaurants and splendid meals I’d eat at them. Much as I miss that it’s nothing on how much I miss cooking.

I’m an adventurous, accomplished cook. I don’t mind cooking complex dishes, and spend half my time seeking out new recipes to try. It’s a great vibe getting into the swing of cooking, the music playing loud, a glass of wine on the go, and a bunch of ingredients ready to be turned into some great recipe. Then of course there’s the eating… Gee I miss that.

A few weeks back I caught up with Cheeseboy for a drink and I had a request of him. Do you think, I asked, that I could come by one night and cook at your place? Not surprisingly he was delighted with the idea.

I did it last Saturday week for dinner. The Cheeses invited a few people over for dinner and I was the cook for the night. I rocked up and Mrs Cheese, very typically, had put a blackboard up advertising H’s pop-up restaurant, and listing out the menu for the night.

The menu was pretty simple, nothing too extravagant. We had a bunch of nibbles for entree, then for main something I’ve called Syrian Chicken in my old hand-written recipe book. I probably hadn’t made it for a dozen years, but it’s a flavoursome dish with coriander and chilli and ginger and honey and so on. I served it with s fluffy, fiery cous cous cooked with a bunch of spices. For dessert we had an apple crumble.

All round it was a successful, fun night, with a bunch of wine to go with the food.

Last Saturday night I caught up with Donna. We were going out for dinner first, but then she decided she would like to stay home and be cooked for by me. Back in the day she’d be a regular visitor to chez H, and a big rap for the food I put on the table.

This time I made a simple chicken pasta bake. Good, solid, winter food. It was delicious, and I’m having leftovers tonight.

It was great to cook again. I can’t wait to have my own kitchen again, with my own fridge, own spices, own food to cook with, and all the time in the world to concoct some culinary extravaganza – my year with food, and more.

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