My Mum Doesn’t Cook.
My Mum doesn’t cook. Bless her over the course of my thirty something years I have rarely known her to make a meal. It isn’t that she refuses to do it or delegates it to another family member, she just manages to hurt herself. Every time!
Just before I left for my Christmas holiday in Australia I walked around Notting Hill with Lucy and we spent time perusing the shelves of the beautiful Books for Cook’s shop. I found Rukmini Iyer’s The Roasting Tin* full of delicious recipes that promised tasty, simple food made easily in one tin. Purchased, I packed it in my overweight suitcase and together we made the journey to my other ‘home’.
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My Dad Was The Cook In Our House.
Growing up my Dad was always the cook in the house. He is one of those frustrating people who can look in a bare cupboard and rustle up a feast from three unlikely ingredients. There was always a routine, a ritual for him when he came home from work. Changing out of his army uniform, he was straight in the kitchen prepping dinner. It was his way of destressing and throwing off the day. Occasionally someone else would try and cook for the family.
Dad, after many years, asked that I start making dinners to contribute. Mum tried to jump in a few times too but quickly she would burn or cut herself and Dad would take over. It was always a frustrating cycle with my Dad. He didn’t want to make the dinner every night but he would interfere when someone else was doing it. Always taking over! Things haven’t changed now that my sister and I are adults except we are much more vocal! Get out!
Until My Mum Stole My Book!
I showed Rukmini Iyer’s The Roasting Tin* to my Mum when I arrived and she disappeared with it. Hours later I found her on the back deck reading the cookbook like a bible, making notes and creating lists of food. This, she declared, was what she was going to use to get herself back into the kitchen. A week later, ingredients purchased, my sister and I sat at the kitchen bench whilst my Mum prepped and cooked dinner.
Chatting about life and work we occasionally answered Mum when she asked about a cutting technique and I was happy to help when she preferred someone else cut the last bit of fennel. We all agreed she was on a roll and this was the thing that would give her the most grief! My Dad tried to cut in a few times but we told him to go away. Mum was doing this and he had to let her!
And We Feasted Like Kings and Queens!
Dinner that night was absolutely delicious! We had the roast chicken with fennel and spice roast aubergines and potatoes, and my sister took a portion home to her fiancée. A few days later my mum announced she was making dinner again and we had avocado and chicken salad. Since I have returned she has also sent pictures of two more dishes. And that my friends is how my mum started cooking again!
The Perfect Batch Cooking Lunches Book.
Mum paid me for the book and I ordered a new one from amazon. The first weekend I was back in the UK I made the chicken with fennel and roasted aubergine and potato portioned into 15 lunches! It was easy to do on a Sunday afternoon whilst I played jazz radio and read my book.
The ingredients for these two dishes cost me £30, I already had the spices, and that’s less than I was spending each week on take out lunches! Throughout the book Iyer gives tips on how to replace ingredients and ultimately make your own roasting tins. Perfect if the local supermarket doesn’t have something or you want to go on a food adventure.
If you are wanting easy recipes for lunches or recipes to bulk batch food Rukmini Iyer’s The Roasting Tin* is for you. Happy cooking! PF xo