Cooking is easier, cheaper and more varied than eating out.
Fri, 14 October, 2016
It’s been three weeks now since I last cooked a meal - what am I saying, since I cooked an egg! The kitchen is a vast expanse of open space, with floor resembling a rocky desert or a post-apocalyptic wasteland (screed. underfloor heating. floating timber. Luckily, I don’t have to understand it but that’s what’s apparently going to happen there).
Rocky desert or floor in progress?
We have been living in an almost-bedsit which our sitting room has become, surrounded by the kettle, the microwave, plastic cups (the horror! the horror!) and no-cook nibbles that we keep stuffing ourselves with, to disastrous effects. Incidentally - unbelievably convenient to have a rubbish bin handy in the sitting room. I hasten to add that it is emptied VERY regularly.
Foodwise, it’s been abysmal as I have already declared. The choice is between going out (pricey), takeaways (stodgy) and ready meals (better not say). The question ‘what shall we eat today?’ is taking on portentous meaning and we both dread asking it. Ready meals of the microwaveable type are bland and seem to taste the same, no matter what you go for. Takeaways are okay every now and then but you start to yearn for simple meat and two veg and that’s kind of hard to find as a takeout.
That brings me to the heart of the matter: some people who never cook eat only that and it puzzles me over backwards. If you choose to subsist on the bland, the boring, the fattening and the unhealthy (largely, of course, I’m generalising here), you must surely be a person who doesn’t care about what they eat - and such people fill me with dread. You are what you eat, literally or figuratively, so be mindful of what keeps you alive. And if food is nothing but fuel then one is seriously deprived of one of life’s fundamental pleasures. I dread to think whereabouts such people seek their pleasure!
Another issue worth considering is whether eating out isn’t tremendously overrated. I’ll say it is, having HAD TO eat out a lot recently. You think it would be wonderful not to have to cook (or wash up!), take your pick of fancy dishes à la carte, and enjoy a glass or two of wine with your lunch or dinner. In reality, you get bored very quickly of the fancy (in case of restaurants) or the stodgy (when it’s pubs). That glass of wine at lunchtime will just put you to sleep for the afternoon and write off the next morning’s swim if at dinner, invariably turning into three. Salad! Salad! My kingdom for a salad! But the most you can get is a not-so-excellent Caesar with boil-in-a-bag chicken or a hipster mixture that will leave you hungrier than before the meal.
So there we have it: cooking at home is a/ cheap, cheap, CHEAP!; b/ makes for a varied diet; and c/ is easier, so much easier than going out. I can’t wait to cook again. The only problem is I might have forgotten how to…
There will be kitchen here one day...