Wednesday, March 21, 2012

listing towards inspiration

When I was a kid I used to love going over to friends' houses for dinner because I would get to eat from a whole new playbook of meals. As much as I loved my Mum's cooking, I was pretty familiar with the usual range of meal options and there was something exciting about seeing and tasting someone else's take on things.

Lately, I've become a bit tired of my own meal playbook. There's been plenty of fine soups and stews and salads but nothing that's got me really excited. Nothing that has prompted Kristian to say, 'You should add this one to the regular rotation.' Part of this may be to do with my general fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants take on cooking, especially for dinner. Often, I just take a bunch of ingredients out of the fridge or cupboard and they get assembled into something or other, based on what's at hand. This, incidentally was also my mother's most common (and best) cooking strategy when I was little. The other one was usually to ask me for inspiration as the car pulled into the local grocery store and I'd list off: sausages, meatballs, peanut chicken - you know, the classics.

Since we've moved house, I've temporarily (I hope) lost some of my food bearings.  Perhaps it's that I'm wanting to establish some new routines in the new place, to welcome in this new home with more honest and simple fare.  Bizarrely, despite living with Kristian for four years, I've also felt a strange domesticated urge since we got engaged to amp it up in the kitchen, to establish some new classic meals, which we can call our own.

So, with all this in mind, I've been compiling a list of things to cook in the new place.  I am trying to be honest about it, not putting down fancy stuff because it looks good or seems like something I should make but rather reminding myself of the food that gets my taste buds whirring. The good stuff. At the moment it reads:

chickpea and tomato salad
kumara and black bean soup with guacamole
something with pickles (roast beef?)
smashed baked potato with peas and bacon
tuna patties with yogurt dressing
ricotta pancakes
grilled cheese and avocado sandwiches
garlicky green beans
meatballs in sauce
spinach soup
curried squash
frittata with caramelised onions
roast chicken and coleslaw
lamb tagine

And, having written it, I'm already feeling a hint of excitement, mixed with lashings of hunger.  The list is going up on the fridge quick sticks, next to the wine vouchers for Camperdown Cellars and I have a feeling it's going to be a bit of a saviour over the next few uncertain weeks ahead. 

I've recently discovered some folk with inspiring thoughts around this idea:-
~ Astrid's dinner project
~ This book
~ The Yellow House post on information overload versus home cooking. Very well worth a read.

Do you have any particular favourite meals you like to make at home or reliable classics you fall back on? I'd love to know.


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