…cooking. I hate it.
In fact, when it comes to the kitchen, I have an internal battle that’s not unlike Gollum versus Sméagol:
“We hates cooking!”
“No, it is good for us. We loves it!”
“Shh, STOP. It burns us!”
“We is the mother. We must cook!”
“No! Food is the Precious, but we hates the cooking!”
There are so many other things I’d rather be doing than preparing meals, but it’s dinners that are really the rub for me.
Breakfast – fine.
Lunch – can do.
Packet cake mixes – absolutely.
Dinner – blurgh!
I think it’s because there’s so much effort involved in preparing a meal that I know at least one person (not mentioning names, BETTY) will refuse to eat. Even Kitty doesn’t like my attempts at baby food cooking. Mr POW is grateful if he gets a semi-warm meal, but he’ll eat anything. (Pretty sure he’s got worms.) And don’t get me started on the post-cook cleaning, scrubbing, stacking and unstacking.
So much effort, for so little reward. Well, for me anyway.
Because, dear readers, there are those of you out there who L-O-V-E creating something spectacular out of a few veges, bits of meat, and herbs and spices. Those who feel relaxed by cooking. (Freaks!) Those who lap up recipe books and pay money to attend culinary classes. Those who watch Masterchef and can imagine how to cook an entire three-course meal just by looking at ingredients and not even need to follow a recipe and can measure out exact quantities of flour and sugar and soy sauce because the good Lord gave your eyes the gift of automatic-gram-and-mLs-measurement.
(I’m looking at you, Jamie Oliver.)
So, last night it was with much mirth a friend gifted me Jamie’s recipe book, Jamie’s 30-minute meals. THIRTY MINUTES?! That’s about 23 minutes too long in my mind, but I will give a few of them a go (even though I’ll have to shop for two hours prior to get the ingredients to make said 30-minute meal, and then clean the kitchen for another 20 minutes afterwards.)
I’ve tried the slowcooker as my answer, but I’m not good with that either. Most of the time, everything ends up quite watery with the exception of my slowcooked silverside — but let’s be honest, Blind Freddy could manage a corned beef in the slowcooker.
Anyway, the slowcooker’s redundant now because I’ve fallen in love with pre-packaged beef, pork and chicken that are ALREADY SLOW-COOKED AND SHREDDED*…for six dollars! Shut the front door, people. It’s only in Woolworths, and this is what the packets look like:
Given we are house with a fridge that’s packed with cheese slices, milk, 1727 condiments and ham, ham, ham, ham, and more ham in order to appease someone whom I suspect is actually turning part-swine (not mentioning names again, BETTY), having some non-processed meat that’s ready to be chucked on some sangas, in the baby’s purees, and on a pizza is a winner, winner, chicken dinner!
When I cook, I want the easy way out and I make no apologies. I want short-cuts (mmm, bacon) and quick tips. I want to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible. And this is where you now enter, Stage Left.
I’ve just told you how I’m loving pre-cooked meat* as my rescue dinner, but what products and/or recipes always hit the spot for you and your crew? Are there others who loathe a cook-up as much as me, too?
*Please note: This is not a sponsored post, but I did attend a lovely lunch and got plenty of pork (and chicken and beef) on my fork thanks to the folks at Sunpork. The preservative-free meats are available at Woolworths stores in Queensland and will be rolled out nationally from July. And yep, they’re all in my fridge as I type.