Sunday, 27 February 2011


Spending these winter months living in Sylhet, Bangladesh is turning out to be an ideal time to focus slowfoodfastcookin on some bigger ideas of cookery and food. Each week I have been exploring a cookery mantra that will help you in the kitchen. With a photograph and a bit of global perspective, I trust you will find each entry helpful and thought provoking.

I love to cook. I hate waste. Whether it is rotting vegetables in the refrigerator or time cooking too small a batch of food. I truly detest wasting good food or precious time.

Many people complain that cooking is too difficult to do every night. Its too hard to plan so many meals for a week, with kids lunches to make, community events to attend, cookery shows to watch(hmmm?), cleaning to finish, not to mention simply relaxing with friends and family...

Don’t cook food every night. Yes, I said it. You do not need to cook a masterpiece of variety, flavour, and artistry every night of the week. What you simply need to do is understand how the size and timing of your cooking can make life easier

  • Think about more than one meal when you cook. Maybe steam the entire kilo of broccoli, knowing you will want to bring some for lunch during the week. Why not chop onions for tonights stir fry with rice and the mid week fried rice (hmm...same rice two ways as well)
  • Cut your products the same size for even cookery. The point of cooking is not to cook everything to death so that you know its DONE.... trust me it was five minutes ago!!!
  • Use the correct size pan for the job...why break out the giant stock pot and waste gas boiling five gallons of water to simply cook one pound of pasta...what else can you cook with same water...and what are you doing while its boiling???
  • Double and triple the recipe size. This will save you time when you simply have to reheat or defrost that wonderful soup, sauce or casserole you made previously.
  • Buy real whole food and buy in bulk. Simply put... shop less, save more, and know what is actually in your food besides the salts, sugars, fillers, and preservatives!!!!
  • If you make a big batch and it does not taste perfect...fix it and forget about it!!!! This is dinner, not the end of the world, we all have bigger issues to worry about then if the onions are slightly over caramelized or the paneer is a bit too cooked!!!!

Remember that there are about seven billion people on this here billion are undernourished, one billion overweight or obese and most of us are just trying to stay “safely” somewhere in the middle.

Am I recommending you buy a giant chest freezer and attempt to cook a months worth of meals on a 24 hour cooking bender, as my friend’s mother did when I was a child. Hardly. I simply want you to make the right choices. Our present belief in the necessity of unlimited choice is an unnecessary and unsustainable luxury. Making meals at home should not be.

Size does matter, and so does our time, our health and our food.

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