My kitchen almost rules

 It was never a favourite subject at school and it takes a lot of motivation to get me in the kitchen. But once I’m there dicing onions and boiling water, I enjoy myself and the magic of cooking so much. 

I was asked awhile ago “can you cook?” and I just responded by saying “I don’t very often”. It had been such a long time since I had stepped into the kitchen and gathered ingredients from the pantry and the fridge that I legitimately thought I had forgotten how to cook. So when I was sitting at work the other day and thought I want to make dinner I thought I better jump onto that random train of thought and see if I could reignite the excitement I used to get when I could transform raw ingredients into something pretty clever. 

I’ve only cooked “properly” for two days now. And there have definitely been some stumbling blocks during those two attempts at a decent meal. The first was mussels. I used to be able to cook them with my eyes closed. But for some reason I had a mini panic and almost destroyed a good kilo of them. Instead of opening them with steam and a small amount of boiling water, I chucked them into an entire pot of boiling water  – which wasn’t quite boiling. So yes, I assumed they were all dead and dinner was ruined. If it wasn’t for emergency phone calls to my father, who was in a household of cooks, and instructions (which saved the meal) from Zak’s dad, I’m fairly certain we would have been eating onions and potatoes for dinner. Not quite as nice as the rustic paella that was the end result. 

Last night, I was at home by myself. As dad was leaving the house he said, “there’s no food in the house. Do you want me to pick you up McDonald’s on the way home?” 

Yea, no…. 

I wasn’t overly hungry and I still had three loads of washing to do so I thought I’d just  forget dinner and carry on with the cleaning and tidying around the house. On my way out to the laundry I spotted my unopened packet of Israeli couscous on the kitchen table. I’d bought it months ago at a fruit store because I had been obsessed with Revive’s Israelis couscous salad. But with being in a show, starting full time work, trying to get a magazine started and keep an online opshop running AND keeping a house tidy, I found I was just far too exhausted to do anything but collapse on my bed and watch West Wing for the last couple of hours of my night. 

But that Israeli couscous had caught my attention. I remembered I had some chickpeas in the pantry still and then my mind was off with thoughts of capsicum, garlic, pesto and everything hidden around the kitchen that dad hadn’t thought could make a decent meal. But my gosh did I prove him wrong: 

It was great cold the next day too for lunch. I got a phone call at lunchtime from dad who had taken some to work just to tell me he really enjoyed it and couldn’t believe there was anything edible in the house. 

It’s really encouraging when people say they like your food. Not that I’m making anything overly difficult or flash. Just your everyday home-cooked meals. But now that I’ve been re-inspired I keep thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner when I get home. It’s exciting. Can’t wait for my own kitchen!

Lara WyattComment