Changing the way you think about food

Changing the way you think about food

By
Fiona Beckett
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Absolute Press
ISBN
9781472923868
Photographer
Mike Cooper

I've always been a scavenger cook. Of course, it's great having fabulous, freshly-bought ingredients but there's nothing quite as satisfying as rustling up a really good meal from leftovers or assorted odds and ends from the fridge or the storecupboard - a skill that a lot of people are finding they have to learn in a tough economic climate in which we currently find ourselves.

Of course, we’ve been here, before. Or, rather not us but our parents and grandparents, most notably during and after the second world war when rationing was in force. But times have changed! It’s simply a matter of changing the way you think about food. In much the same way, perhaps, as you would if you were going on a diet and trying to lose weight.

Few of us can afford to be stay-at-home parents nowadays, even if we'd like to. Fewer still have the cooking skills their parents did. We can't or don't want to spend hours in the kitchen. We've got used to convenient, quick, easy-to-prepare meals.

We're more concerned about the way we look. That means we're less likely to want to fill up on inexpensive carbohydrate and fat-laden meals which we can't work off because we don't take enough physical exercise. We've travelled and developed more sophisticated tastes. We don't want to live off rissoles and Woolton Pie.

We're concerned about where our food comes from and how it is sourced. Many of us actively seek out organic, Fairtrade produce. We don't want cut-price chicken if the price to be paid is that they're kept in appallingly inhumane conditions.

In short, we can't turn the clock back. But is it possible to square the circle? Cut do- what we spend on food without reliving the past? I believe it is.

It's simply a matter of changing the way you think about food. In much the same way, perhaps, as you would if you were going on a diet and trying to lose weight.

Be more conscious of how much you're buying and what you're going to do with it. Not necessarily spending more time in the kitchen, but more time thinking about meals so that you don't end up with quantities of wasted food.

Cut down the amount of expensive protein you eat (no bad thing anyway from a health point of view).

Be willing to try - and get your children to try - new dishes, picking up ideas from cultures that traditionally have a frugal but often delicious diet.

It should- hopefully - open up new ways of cooking and shopping that may well be more enjoyable than your current ones. Cooking thriftily is creative, and exploring the vast array of independent and ethnic shops - with bargains that are much better than those found in your average supermarket - can be richly rewarding.

I don't mind admitting I've learnt a lot in the process of writing this book and its accompanying blog (www.thefrugalcook.blogspot.com).

I'm not only a more economical cook now but a better, more inventive one. I hope you will be too ....

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