Like many people, I'm guessing, when I worked full time I was often too tired or dispirited to spend hours in the kitchen when I got home. It was easier - and cheaper - to buy pre-prepared food and bung it in the oven or microwave than prepare my own meals, and I have to admit that over the last few years we haven't eaten that well in my household.
Well, lately, that's all changed! It started when the Silver Fox started watching Tasty videos on YouTube, like this Easy Chicken Alfredo Penne:
He keep nudging me and saying, "Wow, look at this one!" and showing me easy one-pot recipes that mostly didn't include thousands of ingredients but that were made from scratch rather than bought in a packet. We tried a few - and that started off a new interest in cooking I had never expected existed in us!
The interest was exacerbated by watching various TV shows such as Chef's Table (which is brilliant), and Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, which is a food/travel show that we just love. We also watched Cooked, and the episode about bread inspired me to have a go at making my own bread, which I haven't done before. I loved kneading the dough, but unfortunately my hands have been a bit achey lately, so I ended up buying a bread machine to knead it for me, and then we put it in loaf tins or into rolls.
Over the past few weeks while the Foxcub has been away, we've made all sorts of pasta, rice, and noodles dishes, and tonight I made some bread dough and we made our own pizzas, including rolling some mozzarella into the rim to make stuffed crust!
They were absolutely amazing, full of flavor, and so much better than the ones we normally have straight from the freezer, which tend to be rather "plasticky".
I'm sure for many people this new adventure with food will seem rather "tame", but it's a real step forward for me to making meals that don't contain hundreds of preservatives but only fresh meat and vegetables.
I've reorganized my kitchen to include a few shelves containing our new jars of herbs, and I've bought a lovely new pot that goes from hob to oven for those lovely and easy one-pot recipes.
One nice thing has been that it's something the two of us have been able to share. We spend time watching programs, looking at recipes, and shopping for ingredients, and then we prepare the food together in the kitchen.
When your kids leave home, it's a strange time (and ours is, hopefully, just temporary!) Suddenly it's just the two of you again, and you have to find new things to enjoy, especially when you're at home together.
Anyway, the pizza was lovely, especially with a glass of Pinot Noir! And I don't feel so bad eating it because I did a 30 minute workout on our treadmill today, so I burnt off a few calories I had to replace!