Confessions of a foodie

6 Jul 2015

So, I'm a bit of a foodie. Okay, no, I'm a lot of a foodie. To the point where, if food were a person, I'd have been arrested for harassment and issued a restraining order by now. I spend far too much of my time thinking about food, and definitely far too much time putting the beautiful stuff in my mouth. I'm the kind of person who will research and read restaurant menus in  advance. I scroll through instagram pictures of food, posted by people I don't even know, and I'm that friend who bases the majority of their social plans around eating. I'd be embarrassed but thanks to the glorious internet and a few well-chosen friends, I know I'm not alone.

Unfortunately, the embarrassing fact is; I can't cook. I know I am not alone in this fact either but, given my professional foodie status, this is just unacceptable. I don't quite know how it happened. I suspect my mother's enthusiasm for teaching me coincided with my grumpy teenage phase, where I refused any suggestion she made (sorry Mum). I then got to university and was far too busy with my new independence and fun-filled lifestyle to bother learning. Either way, I appear to have reached my twenties without learning a vital life skill. Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally incompetent. I did manage to survive the three years of university without starving to death so I can boil an egg (sort of) and cook a plate of pasta etc. And whilst, in my opinion, pasta and pesto is one of the best things in this world, you can't live on it forever (believe me, I've tried) and, these days, my foodie taste buds are demanding more from me. So, it's time to give cooking a proper go.    

Naturally before I begin, because this is what I'm like, a fair bit of preparation has to take place. I debate asking my Mum to share her wisdom, which she would happily do, but we both have very busy lives and the likelihood of us ever finding the time is slim to none. I debate an actual cookery course but, really, who has the money? So I decide to teach myself. I can go at my own pace, cook what I want and they'll be room for plenty of experimenting. After scrolling through a few food magazines/websites, I decide to invest in my first ever cook book. Owning your own cook book, rather than browsing the internet for recipes (not that I won't do that as well), feels like a good start to learning how to cook. Plus, well, any excuse to buy a new book. After a little bit of research, I settle on Mary Berry's Cookery Course. For two rather random reasons. First, Mary Berry is the president of my university alumni association and second, my best friend loves her; both of which I see as a good sign. Plus the book is advertised as "a step-by-step masterclass in home cooking" and therefore sounds like it'll suit my current needs. It arrives all shiny and new in the post and I excitedly rip open the Amazon packaging because parcels are exciting, right? I spend a good few minutes browsing (drooling) over the beautiful, glossy food pictures and feeling very inspired. I can do this! Once, I've wiped away the drool, I begin to skim read and and a few phrases jump out at me. For example, "sweat the vegetables". I can totally do... wait, what? Sweat the vegetables? Not only does this sound like some strange euphemism, it doesn't particularly create feelings of hunger. Oh, it does for you? Well, whatever floats your boat. Anyway, it's clear I have a lot to learn. Mary's book is full of pages on kitchen equipment, cooking techniques and a helpful glossary so I feel like I'm in relatively safe hands. Now, just to decide what I'm going to cook first...