Complacency.........when it comes to cooking, we are all guilty of it. You and your spouse may collectively know maybe ten dishes, half of which either of you could prepare well enough. Why do you think so many families have taco nights once a week? Tacos are quick, tacos are simple, and tacos are astoundingly hard to fuck up. With only seven days in any given week, six really (taco night), the average family might have a rotation of four, maybe five regular dishes.........let's not even count the single people, particularly single men (Ramen anyone?)
I myself am guilty of it. I possibly know eight dishes, four I probably do regularly, none of which involve tacos. And for those of you that know me, on a lazy week it's probably ramen and cheese with corned beef Monday to Sunday. For quite some time I'd taken to existing off of fast food and come to think of it, though I've lived at the present location almost a year, I really haven't cooked much in all that time......aside from the aforementioned ramen/corned beef concoctions, scrambled eggs, etc.
I'm talking about the things that I'm known for, macaroni pie for instance, stew/curry/bake chicken, stew pigeon peas, pelau, callalloo even, I can honestly say I've made none of these at home in almost a year.I volunteered to make a beef pelau for some friends a few weeks back and I'm not afraid to say it, I was a little intimidated. I'm normally comfortable cooking for people but that's when I'm normally cooking often to begin with. But when you've been out of practice a while, things get ticklish.
Trust me, you don't want to mess up cooking for Trinidadians because no amount of alcohol will make them forget a buss beef pelau, you'll never hear the end of it. People who weren't even in the lime will be talking about it weeks later. Thankfully, I've been told my efforts paid off and the pelau met expectations. Phew.
With gas prices rising steadily, and food prices following closely behind, fast food has (again) become far too costly a lifestyle to upkeep And yes, fast food in general, is still very unhealthy.
But whatever the rhyme or reason, I've decided to make an effort to not only start cooking again, but to expand on the number of dishes that I am able to prepare. As a trinidadian, the obvious thing would be to go to town on our cherished Naparima Girls Cookbook (which I intend to) but that would be too easy. I want to try different cultures, Caribbean at first (pepperpot, escovitch fish anyone) but eventually move on to Middle Eastern, European, Asian, African, etc.
My next challenge would be baking because truth be told, with all my bubbling ability, I can't bake worth shit (for my Shawshank fans).
As usual, I'll keep you guys posted on my efforts. I might even start adding a photo or two finally (gasp).