Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

A little of my own medicine…

Wednesday March 28, 2007

It was about six months ago that I had the privilege of being on a Q&A panel for Christian students just about to move to university, to find answers to some of the things they were wondering about. To wrap up, we were each asked to say one thing that hadn’t been covered yet and mine was this: “Make sure you eat properly and sleep properly. It can be hard to look after yourself well, but it’s much harder to be joyful and eager to work hard and serve if you’re low on energy.” Not the most profound statement of the day, to be sure, but it is true and I’ve realised it again over the last few weeks, and realised how bad I am at keeping to it. Being busy makes me think I don’t have time to cook – then having little energy means I lose my appetite and don’t cook. From there it just gets worse!

Of course the holidays are a great time to catch up on eating, but I want to use them for more than that. So I’m going to spend time cooking to remind myself that cooking is quite fun, and really pretty easy. (I should caveat that – making nice food takes a lot of work and often is a long way beyond me, but simply making a meal out of food isn’t hard.) As I do (though probably not actually while frying, boiling or baking) I’m going to write the successes and failures to remind me the next time I use the ‘making food takes effort excuse’ to avoid it.

I started by last night making a chicken curry – something which I assumed was totally out of my league until I found that you get jars of stuff that do it for you! It really is as simple as starting to fry the meat, then adding in the paste and whatever else you feel like and leaving it to cook through. A bit of rice and naan on the side and you’re all set. Well, unless you mess it up. For a start, I wasn’t paying attention when I got the chicken so picked up thighs which were very nice, but (what with being on the bone) would have taken more effort than I wanted to chop up. So I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes until they came easily off the bone (not my good idea, I’ll admit). Then I did the sauce separately and assembled at the last minute. It meant the meat didn’t have as much flavour, but saved a lot of time! Also, adding flaked almonds and coconut milk to the sauce is nice, but be careful. It was a slightly unusually wet curry due to a slip while pouring…

We started with a vegetable soup that Mum made – literally chopped veg boiled in very little water and with a stock cube. Good and filling, and probably the easiest way I know to have a lot of good-for-you.

PS. One thing I’ve been suspecting for a couple of weeks and confirmed a few days ago – a tin of baked beans makes for a perfectly respectable (and incredibly quick and easy!) pasta sauce.