About me

I don't know about you, but when I visit a Web site I like to go to the about me page to find out a bit about the person behind it. So this is where I tell you a bit my own experiences in the kitchen.

My name is Carol and I am the 50+ year old mother of two grown up children. We live in a tiny, rural village in the East of England.

I failed my daughter!

My daughter left home to go to university, with no cooking skills whatsoever! She had shown no interest in food, apart from eating what I cooked each evening, and I hadn't thought to instruct her.

University was a difficult time for her as she adjusted to catering for herself.

I still remember the panic phone calls asking how to bake a potato or how to thaw out her frozen ready meal. She had no knowledge of what food to buy or how long it would stay fresh.

Change of tactics

I realized that if I was going to avoid the same problems with my son, 8 years her junior, I would have to take action and involve him in the cooking process from then on.

It helped that Ben had always had a desire to prepare his own food.

I can still remember him saying he would make his own soldiers to eat with his boiled egg one morning. He took the bread, butter, plate and knife to the table and set to. I continued to time the eggs. A few minutes later he piped up with "Its hard spreading these tiny bits of bread, Mum." I discovered he had cut the bread into fingers before spreading them! He still hasn't lived that one down.


Another event that comes to mind, is the case of the rubber omelette. He tried to flip it (perhaps thinking it was a pancake), missed, and it literally bounced when it hit the floor!

Over the next 6 years I passed on the cooking basics to Ben and he began to experiment with different ingredients. His love of cooking grew and he decided that his future lay in a culinary direction.

Not interested in going down the university route, he left school at 16, and within a month was cooking on an RAF base in the Officer's Mess.

He hasn't looked back since, and at the age of 22 he was head chef of a local restaurant, where he was famous for his pies.

Ben at work in the restaurant kitchen

My daughter wasn't the only one!

I realised that other young people were not picking up cooking skills while living at home. The following stories made me aware of a need for simple, basic cooking instructions to be easily available, although it was a while before I thought to create a Web site to share them online.

  • A young friend offered to make a cup of tea, but had not used loose tea leaves before. Rather than ask, she put a spoonful of tea into each cup, poured on the boiling water and then added milk and sugar. The result? A murky mess with floating debris in the top of each cup.
  • A neighbour's child popped round one evening, to find me peeling potatoes for chips (french fries). He asked what I was doing and seemed totally confused by my answer. "But chips come from the freezer, not those dirty things!"

A good education?

There is more about me that you should know as I perhaps had a slightly different background to many other people.

I was born with Coeliac disease, which meant I had to be careful of what I ate. Some things, such as cakes and bread would make me very ill. Therefore, my mother was aware that once I left home I was going to have to cope with my diet or die.

She prepared me well for life outside the family home. In fact I was in charge of cooking the family's Sunday roast dinner for many years, and loved cooking it.

Back in those days it was difficult, if not impossible, to find prepared foods for sale in the shops, that I could eat. I HAD to learn to cook them myself, there was just no other choice!

So when I got married and had my own home, cooking came naturally to me. (Just do not ask my husband about the famous duck dinner I cooked for friends!) I didn't look at my cooking skills as anything unusual.

Is it time to learn new skills?

In recent years I have, however, noticed that shopping baskets tend to be full of ready prepared foods, jars of curry sauces, baked goods and frozen dinners rather than fresh vegetables, basic ingredients and the cheaper cuts of meat.

Now I am not a health freak, by any stretch of the imagination! But I do worry that all that processed, ready made food is bad for our bodies, as well as our pockets.

Making our money go further is important in the current economical climate and learning how to cook good, basic food can really help to stretch the budget.. Setting up home for the first time can be expensive!

Time is also something that we could all do with more of. In today's busy world it can be tempting to stick a frozen pizza in the microwave and eat it on the go. But it is possible to produce a healthy, satisfying meal in just a few minutes.

About me and my mission

Now I am not saying that this Web site will enable you to become a successful chef, like my son! But if it teaches you the basics, and instills a love of cooking, then I will feel I have succeeded in helping in some way. Perhaps it will go some way to make up for not passing on the joy of cooking to my daughter. Sorry Becky!

Carol

P.S.

If you have a passion that you would love to share on the world wide web you may be interested in finding out how I created this Web site.. I use a system called Solo Build It! which makes it easy for anyone to build not just a Web site but a web business. This is actually my fourth site using their software and I can honestly say that it has changed my life!

Its hard to remember how terrible I felt before I found the means to share my knowledge of needlework and gluten free food with the world. (Yes my sites get visitors from all over the world!)



 



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