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Food 5-15 mins from preparation to plate (Part one).

I often come across people who use pre~packed processed foods because they believe they don't have time to cook. On delving deeper some other common things were said by folks, here they are...

  1. I haven't got the inclination to cook.

  2. Nobody taught me how to cook.

  3. I'm too tired to cook after a stressful day at work.

  4. I just hate cooking.

  5. It's quicker and easier just to open a package, as I'm too busy with the kids.

  6. I'm too lazy to cook.

  7. Everyone always criticises my cooking, so what's the point.

  8. Mum was a terrible cook, I must have taken it off of her.

  9. I've got better things to do than slave over a hot stove all day.

  10. I don't know where to start, I'm a rubbish cook.

I'm very fortunate as I absolutely love to cook, love making food for myself, knowing that I'm doing the best I can to feed my body and brain that wonderful fuel that makes it run so efficiently, which serves me very well throughout my day. Cooking for others is also a very rewarding experience as it is a very lovely thing indeed to share meals and conversations together at the dinner table, and be happy in the knowledge that your food has made someone else happy. It's also a beautiful experience to all chip in with the cooking at times too...many happy memories, and many more to come.

When the boys were young I liked to chose restaurants where we could all try different foods from different cultures, encourage them to use chopsticks etc...Also somewhere kids were encouraged freedom of choice like putting food together on their own plate, or places that didn't just have the usual five options for them to eat.

I find it quite sad these days that a lot of people don't want to, or know how to cook, especially as we have never had such a vast amount of resources and choice available to inspire us to learn . There was an instance a few years ago, where someone I know was in a situation where teenagers were asked to name 15 common food items and explain how they grew, most of them were baffled, and many only got a few right! I later found out that my son got 14 right, which was so nice to hear, as you know on occasions when you’re a mum you sometimes think and even say ‘are you guys actually listening!’ I taught all the boys about food appreciation from a very young age, as I always felt that food was much more than something you just shoved into your mouth on the run. I always preferred the mediterranean ways of colourful fresh foods, taking time to eat and making it a real social occasion where everyone shares the snippets from their day. I'm not saying that we've never sat in front of the telly and eaten dinner or that we've never had junk food in the past, or that the kids never had a fizzy drink now and then or sweeties on occasions,  just that it was rare.  I didn't deny it but didn't promote it either, or give in to the wants of it that often, as I've always known that when I did it didn't serve me or them nearly as well. And it tells because all three of them have never had a single filling in any of their teeth. 

My kids relationship with food started with trips to the supermarket, where I'd ask them to go find a specific fruit or vegetable, then they would have to weigh it etc...This served them well throughout as life went on. They were used to helping with the prep of food from when they were still in highchairs, I just had to tailor the responsibility to their specific age. It's such a joyful experience to work as a team, as children just love to help you, and what better way to get them involved than to help with the prep of food. It also allows them to show an interest, ask questions, learn about where food comes from, and actually appreciate the love, time and effort that goes into preparing a meal. And it's now so lovely to watch and listen to as my son does this with his own daughter and step daughter.

When I was very ill, these little guys were the ones who did the shopping, searched for bargains, kept within the budget, and honed in to their hunter gatherer skills in many ways...I have a great big smile when I remember the excited echos of their little voices when they'd come home after finding a food bargain, like a six pack of tomatoes for three pence, bag of peas in their pods for one pence, or a loaf of fresh bread for 10 pence. Those gorgeous little magpies spied the right shelves in the supermarket at exactly the right time and found reductions galore! 

By the way, I was never taught how to cook, my mother didn't want me to learn. What she did do though is allowed me to explore a variety of foods from different cultures, so I can thank her for that. 

The very first meal I cooked for my husbands family was an absolute disaster. We had all been out the night before so were all hungover. I decided to make a full breakfast for everyone, so I put everything in the oven, on the grill and in the frying pan all at the same time. It didn't turn out well at all as you can imagine. For many reasons I have rebelled to rules throughout life, following a recipe was too much like rules for me, so much of the time I winged it, used my intuition, my eyes, my tastebuds and other significant others praise as guidelines. Of course I had to get to that stage, especially with baking that there were certain rules to follow. So now I do have a few gluten free recipe books for baking and add my own creativity to them, and I’ve read some of Jamie Olivers too, but mostly still experiment with things myself . 

Learning about certain things from others has never worked well for me if it is from someone who is too rigid. So unless it is with a mentor who catches my attention in ways that are inspiring, with certain elements of creative fun, freedom of mind and unique expression, I zone out very quickly.

These days we are absolutely spoiled for choice with a fantastic array of produce available all year round.  I think when it comes to cooking, I will always make the time, as it is not only good for my body but my mind and soul too, It's a very therapeutic thing to do. For people who are ill preparing food is a slightly different matter and there may be other reasons that make it more difficult than the ones listed above. I will be writing a post soon about cooking within the limitations of a myriad of symptoms, which will include, pacing, energy saving equipment and other techniques that will make life a heck of a lot easier. 

The slide show below is some of the freshly made meals made over the years that took 5-15 mins from prep to plate. 

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