The Family Table

When we first got married we were both working.

We used to get home with no desire to muck about creating gourmet dishes in the kitchen. Pretty much I think we ate stir fry for a good portion of those first 7 years. (When we weren’t eating out!)

Then little Flip came along and the season changed for us.

For the last 5 years part of my job has been ‘playing house’.

I can’t say I’d call myself a gourmet cook but I think there’s certainly a lot more variety than there was in the ‘stir fry years’.

For a while I’ve been menu planning and last year when I cooked my way through Sophie Gray’s first book I suddenly realised that new recipes weren’t anywhere near the work I thought they were.

One of the things I adore about menu planning is the fact I never have to feel  frustrated when someone asks ‘what are we having for tea?’ and I don’t have to open the fridge 20 times in a day wondering what I should make for tea.

I still get into ruts every now and again where I cook the same thing for a few weeks in a  row but I am much more inclined to actually use and look through my books.

This weekend we enjoyed some Moroccan Honey Spiced Lamb. So good and so pleasing because we have a whole ‘sheep’ in the freezer from a friend’s farmlet.

Not that it’s ‘proper’ recipes all the time, we have our fair share of homemade pizza and the other night we had fish burgers. But we made them special by using home-made buns and the new coriander I bought at the Lyttleton Farmer’s Market the other day.

Once a week a friend and I get together and make our dinners at my place for that night – that way we get to hang out and we try new recipes. Nothing like having some fun with something you have to do anyway.

I still get a lot more use out of my baking recipe books – really cupcakes and brownies are always going to win in my books – so much more calories, ahem, glamour involved!

What’s your latest recipe love? Whose book should I look through next for inspiration?

Remembering simple, achievable, cheap, tasty – these are my criteria.

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2 responses

  1. I lost a lot of my recipe books in the earthquake – tomato relish(handmade that morning) and water got them. What I miss most is that I wrote on my books when I made something and how I and the family found it – I miss those little bits of life tucked away in the pages. But I was given ‘A Years Worth’ recipes from the Dunsandel store because it was written by Sam Mannering who played Hamlet and he gave us all a copy – so lucky – It is packed full of lovely recipes year round beautiful! I especially enjoy the pages on how to create a fort inside on a rainy day with pina coladas and Date scones on the same page – priceless!
    Menu planning is a must but sometimes life takes over and I am left looking in the fridge at 4.30 AAaaaargh Love Annette

  2. You’ve inspired me to try menu planning again… I am just not a cook, and don’t enjoy it at all. BUT part of that is the lack of planning, as it comes to the end of the day and I am all stressed and just cook the same thing AGAIN!

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