eat local, grow local
Now I’ve never blogged before and I’m not sure that this can even be classed as blogging or whether it even counts for anything but it interests me, and because it interests me I assumed a few others might like to read my thoughts.
I am now 23 and by most accounts not a “normal” 23-year-old. By this mean I don’t fit the usual stereotypes; I don’t mean in an “emo” or “goth” kind of way, trying to be different but failing miserably, but because I just generally am not a normal 23-year-old. I dislike nightclubs, I get drunk rarely, and I generally have a grumpy and pessimistic outlook on life.
I have lived a few different life styles over the last 23 years not all out of choice, but still, I have. So, I thought I’d explain my life just quickly before I go on.
Firstly I grew up in what can only be described as a “nice” area, and my family were your archetypal 2.3-children household (I loved that program!). My dad came from a big London family and my mum a Yorkshire one, it seemed important to them to be a proper family unit and dinner seemed pivotal in creating this; I can barely remember a time when I was growing up that we didn’t all sit together for dinner. I was generally told off for my toilet humour (which hasn’t got better) and my sisters seemed to take turns with who sat next to me; I’m all elbows when I eat apparently, whatever that means. We always used to eat good food but it was always hearty family dinners, by this I mean Spaghetti Bolognese and Chicken in some tomato-based sauce and generally just anything in a tomato based sauce actually! As my sisters left for University and my parents moved up the ladder within their jobs we started eating what I thought then to be posh food, I remember Friday nights used to be like an odd version of Come Dine With Me with just me and my parents!
When I left for University (Reading for all those interested) I strategically chose a hall that was Catered; see where I got the name from now?! I ate a lot, but it surprised me at the lack of ambition from the chefs the food was generally of poor quality and we often joked that prisons spent more on their food than our University Hall did. I had a bit of a turbulent time at University and ended up coming home after 18-months living away. Although I was disappointed at losing my freedom my mums cooking is worth living at home for.
Later I moved to Liverpool with my then girlfriend, we had no money and really shouldn’t have gone. But me being the hotheaded, stubborn guy I am went anyway. I had eaten rubbish at University once and then gone home to glorious Sunday Roasts and I wasn’t interested in re-living this experience. So I embarked on a strategy, how to eat good food for breakfast, lunch and dinner without too much fuss and more importantly expense! With a bit of planning I did it, and since then I have always tried to eat good fresh food within my means.
Now I am a big fan of Jamie Oliver, I like his style and enthusiasm and I find him a very inspiring person. However I do have a slight problem with him (and all the other celebrity chefs for that matter), when we go shopping the supermarkets have taught us to shop with our eyes. Don’t understand what I mean? Well you tell me in grams what the weight of an uncooked piece of chicken should weigh to serve one person? Screw it the first person to get that right (based on my calculations) will get a free dinner when I finally launch. Supermarkets pre-pack everything and therefore our choice is limited, if your cooking for one person you buy the same amount a family of four or a couple does of EVERYTHING. Now I’m aware we can all go down the butchers and greengrocers but frankly who has the time to go to multiple places for their food shopping? I don’t. Also if you buy all the ingredients for specific recipes then you end up spending £20 on dinner. Once you’ve bought all the ingredients and made your lovely dinner how much wasted amounts of food you don’t know what to do with do you throw away at the end?
Catered was designed around this principle, I remember dinner being a family thing to do and I loved eating. Now however, it’s a chore, dinner is difficult and laborious and no matter how many 20-minute recipes there are the ingredients and the shopping is still the hardest part. I want Catered to make it easier to make Jamie and Co’s dinners and inspire you into the kitchen to start cooking again from scratch using raw ingredients.
So I ask you how much do you spend on dinner everyday and is it worth the money?