Wow, I’ve arrived! Finally after years upon years of not being much cop in the kitchen, I’ve turned into a baking, sauteeing, whisking, peeling, chopping family cook who can rustle up a delicious meal with what I have in the cupboard and fridge!

My kitchen has ingredients. It used to have ready meals. I haven’t heated up a ready meal in over a year, maybe two. Yes, they are convenient when you are in a rush, but nowadays I know how to make a meal in a rush out of a chicken breast or some eggs, so everything is prepared from scratch.

It has done my waistline good. I’m following the Slimming World plan and you really need to cook to follow it well, but the great thing is they sell loads of recipe books for low fat cooking, so I really enjoy planning my meals and deciding each week what we will have. I have a feast with my eyes at the lovely photos before anything passes my lips.

I was never really taught how to cook, so it was never a priority for me. I really wanted to take GCSE Home Economics where I would have learned some cooking, but I was afraid at the time, in my young teenage brain, that classmates would make fun of me for choosing it as a subject. It was around this time in my life that I started to put on weight and was getting a few ‘fatty’ jibes. I avoided selecting Home Economics as an option because I didn’t want anyone to have more ammunition – to say, “You’re only picking that so you can eat more” or something equally clever. So I took the path of least resistance, and basically guaranteed my fattiness by not learning how to prepare healthy food for myself.

My belief around cooking these days is that it is a life skill, just like swimming and driving a car. You need to know how to do it, so I’m starting my kids’ education early. We made our own pizzas last weekend, and they loved grating the cheese and spreading the passata over the base. My 5 year old son was excited to make his own food. He impressed himself when we took it from the oven! I think he found it even tastier because he’d done it himself.

I make sure the children read to me and practise their spellings and times tables each week. They go to swimming lessons too and do some age appropriate chores, so I’m helping them to learn skills that mean they can survive in the world. But their culinary educaton is just as important and I want them to be able to prepare a handful of meals before they eventually leave home. I don’t want them to be lost in the kitchen like I was.

I’m now a cook, a baker and a candlestick maker! Thing is, I could make a new scented candle out of old wax, a new wick and a fancy china teacup before I ever learned how to sear a steak. How mixed up is that?!

Tagged with: food & drink; home-making

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