I get a kick out of food.
There I’ve said it. I’ve hinted at it, I’ve alluded to it and now I’ve said it…
I get a kick out of food. Nothing makes me happier than making something, unsure of how its going to turn out and then being blown away by the results. To buy something from the shop and then get home and think…actually I can make that, then do that and make it taste sooo much better. I get a real buzz from that. I’m not interested at this point in my life in super fancy pancy foody creations. I need things that will keep my family fed and contented, (and healthy.) Down the track I’m sure, actually damn sure I will want to spend 6 hours creating a particular meal, but for the moment when my time and attention is taken up predominantly by two small kids I like doing the basic cooking and having fun with it. Being able to provide that food for my family makes me so seriously happy, I sometimes wonder there may be something wrong with me.
Do I sound like a bit of a nutter, going over minute details of a particularly tasty pastry. Or the subtle tones of a handmade chocolate with hints of pepper, tobacco, and orange? Probably…But I can’t stop… I love it.
Making marmalade yesterday by 7.30am, seeing how it has set beautifully, using the natural pectin from soaking the seeds, running my fingers over the labeled recycled jars in the cupboard…true happiness. Making sourdough, letting the smell waft through the hall, hearing my husband say I think I need to have one of those rolls after dinner…makes me smile with pride. Proud that I made them, and proud that even after dinner he finds the bread so enticing that he wants to eat a bit more.
For me cooking is a creative outlet, I find it a lot of fun to build something up out of simple ingredients. Its also fascinating seeing how different concoctions of things come out with so many different results.
Bought food can give me a kick just as well. A delighted smile, when I taste something I wasn’t expecting. Trying to work out what the ingredients could be and how they made it. Looking at something lovingly created and amazingly produced. From an artfully decadent Adriano Zumbo creation, to just knowing where my free range ham came from.
Having bought some ham recently, Mr Chocolate and I were raving about the taste. The taste… I can’t tell you how different it is to regular store bought ham. The ham tasted drier, the flavours more in depth, there is a layer of fat around the outside and every bone in my body wants to eat that said fat as I know it will just add to the flavour. Compared to the regular bought one that tastes watery, salty, and a little slimy, it truly doesn’t compare.
Its expensive at around $40 a kilo but I seriously don’t mind paying the price. Not because we are rolling in money as we are not. But because I know where I bought it, I know who cured it, I know where that pig was raised in a free range environment, and I know that when I put a slice of that delectable pig on my tongue it will just slowly dissolve. So for us, I would rather pay more for ham and just eat it less frequently. When it is eaten, its eaten mindfully and every mouthful is enjoyed.
Since making more foods from scratch, we have set ourselves up with a certain standard though. A standard that means more work in the kitchen, but really and truly most of the time I don’t mind compensating that. As it means I know what went in to the food, and how it was made, and I truly, truly enjoy it, we all benefit from it.
The kick I get from eating my sourdough bread, with my own jam or marmalade, home made pasta with a little lovingly made ragu, a tarty yoghurt with an apple crumble, and while watching The Monkeys eat a biscuit that has 4 simple ingredients in rather than a whole paragraph. It really makes my heart swell with pride and my taste buds sigh with contentment.
Simple things that I truly love and just make a lot of sense to me.
(Down the track, add my own produce from my garden, and having built our own house and oh!…)