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How to make everyday cooking less tedious?

Sun, 23 May, 2021

We’re allowed out to eat, properly inside restaurants, hooray, hooray! I went out for a sumptuous lunch yesterday – lunch, because all the dinnertime tables were sold out – and enjoyed it tremendously. I cannot tell you in any detail what I had though because I was so overwhelmed by the experience, everything that was put in front of me had the flavour of paradise.

I made The Weather Man be the designated driver on the way back and had two glasses of wine from a bottle somebody else opened. I almost had pudding, but I resisted because, wait for this: I have to be svelte for the HOLIDAY in a few weeks’ time! How exciting is that? Do I still remember how to pack? Or where all my shoes are?

The prospect of going out, going away and not having to wash up fills me with bliss and makes everyday cooking seem tedious. I’m sure many can relate to this so what can we do to make it a joy still? Many answers to that: cook the easiest things possible, get takeaways a lot, cook only what you enjoy eating or – my suggestion – cook what you don’t get in restaurants.

Perhaps it is going to be kalpudding, Swedish meatloaf with cabbage? Or my go-to Sunday lunch these days of sauteed or crushed new potatoes with only, but plenty buttered asparagus on the side? Not many restaurants would serve you that kind of meal.

You could stick a tray of pork baby ribs into the oven for almost the whole afternoon and have an amazing, non-restaurant meal that evening, with a spring potato salad to go with the ribs. Or bake a tray of sweet potato wedges topped with peppers, tomatoes, with or without bacon depending on your dietary principles.

Turkey steaks don’t usually feature on restaurant menus, for whatever reason. I like to cook them with mushrooms: chanterelles in their season and chestnut or shiitake mushrooms the rest of the time.

Beans on toast are another thing with exclusively homely flavour – but you could make a seasonal (and healthy) thing of it and prepare it with gorgeous new season broad beans. You don’t have to call it ‘bruschetta’ either. Another twist on beans on toast would be baked sweet potato topped with black beans. A bit more effort than opening a tin but totally worth it.

What about non-restauranty dessert? It could be a blueberry and lemon loaf cake – loaf cakes are super-homely. Or cherry cornmeal muffins. Or sponge fingers stuck in a bowlful of strawberries and cream. That beats any restaurant pudding!

At the moment of course going out is all about the unaccustomed excitement of being cooked for (and washed up after) that takes over but hopefully we’ll go back to our restaurant habits. For me it is a source of inspiration apart from everything else, so there will be more exciting recipes in these pages soon. For now, keep well and cook ingeniously!

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About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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