A few days ago, the Big T and I had breakfast at the wonderful Little & Friday cafe in Takapuna.
Although firmly convinced I wanted something savory, I saw gingerbread, blue cheese and honeycomb on the menu and suddenly changed my mind.
I adore blue cheeses, and will tend to try anything that comes with a slab of the stuff. I’m glad I did.
The dish was delicious; sweet, creamy and salty with a little spice from the gingerbread. More importantly it got me thinking about the way I eat (noisily, according to the Big T, but that’s neither here nor there).
I’ve been the main cook in every household I’ve lived in since I left home at 17; a succession of shared flats, a couple of pre-T relationships, and for as long as the Big T and I have been together.
Before the boy-child came along, we ate out a lot — and scoffed quite a few takeaways. But as soon as we knew we were having a baby, we both became much more health-conscious, and when the kid first started eating solid food, I went to considerable lengths to provide the most nutritious meals I could.
I still do.
I’m not saying we don’t sometimes have fish n chips, or takeaway pizza; and some nights my boys are lucky to get a toasted sandwich made for them, but in general my cooking style has changed to focus much more on nutrition than convenience.
And it’s also become about quantity. I became become adept at making sure there’s always enough for flatmates and the boyfriends/girlfriends who inevitably turned up for dinner, enough to feed a growing child and fill tomorrow’s school lunch, enough to provide easy working lunches for the Big T and me. For a number of years now, our fridges have been filled with containers of leftovers.
Thing is though, the boy-child isn’t at school now, and although he does sometimes take a lunch to work with him, more often than not he doesn’t eat with us in the evening and isn’t that interested in a lot of the leftovers.
A major adjustment is required.
And somehow, looking at my Little & Friday breakfast — that simple plate of three good things (1) — I got it.
I need to relearn my cooking habits. I’m not feeding student flatmates or boy-child + friends. I’m not even regularly feeding a teenager. And although I cooked for two in the early days with the Big T, we now have more money, more time, smaller appetites and are much more more health-conscious.
So this is my latest food project (now that I’ve sussed sourdough bread). I’m going to find/create and test recipes for two. Little plates, shared plates, simple food that the Big T and I can enjoy together on the nights when we’re having dinner à deux.
You’ll know I’m succeeding when I manage to blog about it. Radio silence can definitely be interpreted as “back to the drawing (or chopping) board.”
(1) With thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Three Good Things on a Plate for the term and the idea.