I believe in magic. Sometimes that magic happens in the kitchen when I’m singing and dancing and concocting something with my own little twist. Or sometimes when I see a smile slowly building on a friend’s face as I pass them a plate of food.
Food for me isn’t simply about filling a hole, or giving us energy. It’s about, to quote a phrase from a ritual I know quite well, transmuting our daily bread into spiritual substance. There’s a big difference in noshing down on a quick sarnie that tastes of nothing to silence a grumbly tummy, and sitting around a table with friends, sharing a tasty dish, and drinking a few glasses of wine.
When I was growing up, I experienced all sorts of oddities with food. I’d watch my grandmother clean a whole fish, fascinated. I’d happily scoff down mushrooms with grated cheddar on, which I considered a treat. My childhood food memories lingered around boxed trifles, tins of peaches and condensed milk, roast chickens and stew, and simple dishes. We didn’t have red meat often, as my father didn’t eat it. My mother had an eating disorder, but loved to make sure there was food there. She just wasn’t that an adventurous cook…..
Later I remember boat trips with my father, and eating truly fresh line caught fish. Perhaps the best fish I’ve ever eaten, despite the family pain of separation and divorce.
It wasn’t until I met my husband that I truly began to appreciate and love food for what it is. We’ve tried all sorts, we love experimenting, eating out in different places, having ideas. The first dish he cooked for me was fish. Swordfish, which I had never tried before, and I adored it. The first dish I cooked for him was chorizo with onion, peppers and olives, over a good pasta.
Together we’ve travelled a culinary path, learning from each other, encouraging each other. I believe that food is magical, and food prepared with love doubly so.
Oh, and before you ask why Death Of Whisks? In the space of a month, I managed to not only kill my beloved ten year old hand blender/whisk, but also a sturdy ten year old hand rotary whisk…..I AM the Death of Whisks!