I know I said I wasn't making any NY's resolutions, but I was inspired last night whilst in the grips of domestic despair. I may have blogged before about how difficult/ boring it is trying to come up with exciting, nutritious meals for a family, that don't take all day to cook. ( I don't like to do that - hats off to those of you who can cheerily spend an entire day at the stove. Seriously.) I took down my self-assembled recipe binder (oh, yes - it exists). Recipes that I myself, personally, under no duress, had culled from magazines and deemed Expat Mum - friendly. And don't underestimate the tallness of that order.
What was I smoking?
Now this binder is 20 years in the making, but still..... . What was I smoking?
Take for example the Baked Avocado with Bacon (Tesco's own on a laminated recipe card if you please). The fact that it calls for Tesco's Smoked Streaky Bacon makes me wonder. You can't get decent bacon in this country at all, never mind Tesco's own brand. Out. In the bin.
Then there's the 700 various recipes for chocolate brownies made from scratch. Not that I have anything against them (who would?), but I have found a recipe that resists the Expat Mum curse (ice hockey puck result) so why would I want to look further? I am not about to publish a book telling y'all that I tested "hundreds" of recipes to find the perfect one. No. I found one that works and when the urge takes me, it will do.
Baked Alaska - hah?!? Let's just say this; any recipe that ends with "Serve Immediately" gets binned. In our current house, which we gutted and re-built on the inside, the kitchen is in the basement for a reason. I don't need guests standing next to me, sipping a chilled Pinot, while they watch my hapless attempts at the stove. Nor do I need anything that cannot withstand a good hour's "warming" in the stove or a least an "Allow to reach room temp" when rescued from the freezer.
As for the blessed Delia's "Warm Poached Egg Salad with Frizzled Chorizo", all I can say it "I wish". A friend of mine has made it on several occasions and swears it wows her guests. Well, dinner party guests perhaps, but three kids - not so much. It actually sounds delicious, especially since Delia peppers it (excuse the pun) with friendly phrases like "Let it all bubble for a bit" - "for a bit", that's my kind of cooking. But there's a hint of it having to be served as it comes out of the pan and I'm afraid I don't do that. Ixne, as they say over here.
Anyway, "where is this going" you may ask. "Is Expat turning her blog into an anti-recipe blog?"
Well no; quite the opposite in fact. I was so disgusted with the amount of recipe books and magazine-culled recipes I ignore on a weekly basis, that I am challenging myself to make at least one new thing per week. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that the Ball & Chain and I watched a Pay-per-View "Julie/Julia" over the weekend, but all I'm saying is that the only way I can edit my vast recipe collection is to try them.
I won't bore you with the ones that worked, but if I have spectacular failures, (pretty much guaranteed) you will be hearing about them and there will be photos.
Oh yes, I'm serious about this.