I ate to survive and stay slim – that was my end goal. I’d live off plates of salad, diet coke and smoking cigarettes!
On arrival of my first-born, I decided this wasn’t enough. I needed to reflect on what I was eating, my attitude to food and how I wanted to bring up my children and influence their eating habits later in life. I always thought, how I fed them, whilst I had control of their eating habits, would assist them in their teenage years, as they took control and began eating quickly prepared fast food and crap. As their lives became very busy and until they developed a level of understanding and desire within themselves to eat well and properly.
What did I want their relationship with food to be?
This was the question I asked myself. I knew what I wanted for them. I decided his and within 18 months, also her dietary needs were extremely important and so I began to take an interest in what we were eating, what ingredients were being added to our food and the importance in my belief, of them eating a well-balanced diet.
My influences were varied. My sister-in-law married an Italian man and I was open to learning about different styles of eating and types of food – embracing home-made pizza and pasta making (many times I strung tagliatelle out on my clothes airier in the back garden, drying in time for the kids to come home from school for tea and me to provide them with a bowl of home-made pasta and tomato sauce.) Simplicity itself.
Since then, my travels, the web (most recently the article by Eat like a Girl Blogger, Niamh Shields)sharing her ultimate sandwiches list in association with Hellmann’s mayonnaise. Had me drooling at the lips, whilst thinking of a chorizo, red pepper and rocket roll and reminding me of how Spanish food has joined in, on my culinary journey as bocadillos and tapas has joined the crew.
Nurturing the eating habits of a family, has rolled me ever deeper into the land of home cooking and trying out recipes and food stuff from around the world. Something I initially didn’t have interest in but one which ended up turning into a street food business – which alas for personal reasons was short-lived but I extremely enjoyed.
Christine Gilbert – whom writes the blog Almost Fearless, shared a recipe for the perfect mexican salsa. This became the topping for my street food, freshly cooked and prepared offering of Chilli with a twist.
Recently a stay at the serene surroundings of Can Pujolet in Ibiza introduced me to their version of a french omelette. The pungent aroma of parsley, not normally to my liking, but in this dish, provides guts to the flavour – something new, we’ve learned to make.
Our visit to Singapore has encouraged us to create a home-made dahl to eat with plain rice and poppadoms. This we tried whilst sitting in the sweltering humidity, outside the street food kitchens, aside the busy roads in Little India.
On visiting Fiji, this luscious green country, provided us with our alternative meat free dish for kitsch foods – Bombay potato wraps. These could be found wrapped in clingfilm and served cold, in even the remotest of roads we travelled on Viti Levu.
English food is also wonderful – nothing is better than roast chicken, served with fluffy roasted potatoes, Brussel tops and mashed swede. Served piping hot on a cold Sunday afternoon in winter, after a brisk constitutional along the seaside promenade, or a few pints in the local pub.
This morning my taste buds clung to a freshly cooked english breakfast, as I sat opposite our little estuary seafront, observing the shipping vessels gliding along the narrow strip of water between us and Kent. As the sun salaciously kissed my skin, with its warm lips and the smell of smoky bacon and filter coffee wafted under my nose.
By my side were my daughter and husband. What more could a mother want (except my son alongside us as well!)
My Mother in law is Thai and when she readies herself to return to her native land, becomes excited at the thought of eating the fresh, cleansing food her country provides.
Most people I know, whom have travelled in Thailand seem to feel the same way. From freshly cooked Pad Thai to a morning serving of chicken rice soup. Tom Kha Ghai or stir fried vegetable rice with chilli and ginger. All are delicious, fragrant and delicious.
Do I have a favourite dish overall?
If I do, it would have to be my husband’s home-made thai chicken, vegetable rice with lime. Each time he makes this, I feel like I’m transported back to the tropical island of Koh Tao and the company of the Burmese staff, at the little Restaurant at the Sunshine Divers Resort in Chalok Baan Kao.
What dish has tickled your taste buds on your travels?
I’d love to know your thoughts…