Sunday 6 February 2011

KitchenCraft - Learning to Cook from Scratch

Since having my boys I've been trying to learn to cook from scratch.  It started with an Annabel Carmel book with recipes for making purees for your baby and just went on from there.

I like to follow recipes from TV chefs or from the internet as I prefer to see what I'm supposed to do and what things should look like. I guess as I gain more experience and my confidence grows this will change.

I have lots of cookery books, old and new, my favourites are anything from Jamie Oliver and Marguerite Patten - the latter was brought for me by my nan. 

Talking of Nan, she used to be a school dinner lady back in the day when they used to budget for, buy all the ingredients and cook the meals on site.  She is a mine of information on traditional recipes and techniques and always amazes us when she comes to stay by whipping fabulous things up from items at the back of my cupboards!

I've graduated from risottos to paella, from casserole to pie (made my first Steak and Kidney pie recently with Nan's supervision! and I was very chuffed with myself!), I've even tried my hand at a couple of roast dinners - although my timing needs work!

A few of my friends are great bakers, so I call on them from time to time for this side of things, here's a delicious Chocolate Tart my friend Sandra helped me with.

I'm also branching out into preserving and have made apple chutney (pictured), orange marmalade, chilli jam and also things my kids like; peanut butter, chocolate and hazelnut spread and tomato ketchup.

I love to scour car boot sales, charity shops and antique shops for pots, pans and utensils.  I got some bargain pans for preserving this way.  My husband (Jez) brought me a food processor and slow cooker just before Christmas, I'm okay with the basics but need to get to grips with them properly 

I'd like to share my successes and failures with you and if anyone has any good recipes or hints and tips for me - all is welcome, thank you ;o)

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