I went to a Thermomix cooking class recently. No, I’m not going to extol the virtues of the Thermomix so you don’t have to run away. I was keen to see a few new recipes being turned into delicious food. It’s not that we eat badly or that I can’t cook, it’s just that I’ve become fairly content with having roast chicken and veg most nights of the week.
So there I was, watching someone else cook, and I got anxious. I wondered why I wasn’t cooking different things every night. Why wasn’t I creating a stockpile of interesting mixed spices and concoctions that I could break out at any moment to whip up something delectable and worthy of a front-page photo on Better Homes & Gardens?
Yet as the cooking class continued, I realised and remembered that I am a busy person. I don’t have to meet external expectations of what I should be doing in the kitchen. Perhaps my husband does have some say but if he says anything other than, ‘That was delicious, darling,’ there’s likely to be an argument about who does the bloody cooking anyway.
Nevertheless, I did think it would be a good idea to get my act together. I decided to select 20 recipes I could rotate on an endless basis for the rest of the year, if not for the rest of our lives.
Automation is our friend
You might think that’s a horrible idea but I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day when I’m home and I don’t get sick of it. In fact, I find it calming. It’s one less thing to think about. After all, automation is our friend. Honestly, I’m one step away from taking my food in pill form.
The difficulty in coming up with a list of 20 recipes that we both like is that, for us, they end up looking much the same. I don’t eat red meat, my husband doesn’t eat things like capsicum or olives or anchovies. That means there’s a lot of chicken or fish in our diets, with a bunch of vegetables.
After the cooking class, I went through old recipe books and pulled out not just 20 but 32 recipes that I’ve either made often in the past and forgotten about or a handful of new and simple recipes that I could try then ditch if they’re not right. I think 32 is an ok number to start with. I’ll probably weed out a few as time goes by. Then we can settle into a lovely cycle that will never end.
I know it sounds like I’m relishing the idea of turning into a mindless drone but that’s only in these instances. Taking the thinking out of cooking reduces my anxiety over what the hell am I going to cook for dinner. And doesn’t everyone want that, short of going out to eat every night or buying Lite ’n’ Easy?
I’ll let you know how it goes.