Food Widow

At 17 years old, I remember describing my ideal man at a sleepover with my girlfriends. Dark, mysterious, face fur, perhaps a bit older than myself. I rounded up this description by adding: “He’ll cook too! Or a chef! I love food!” My friends responded with enthusiastic nods and approval.

Two years later, I met my (now) husband. 15 years my senior, he was mysterious, mature and I think I fell for him pretty much straight away. After becoming friends, I then found out he was a qualified chef. He ticked every box.

Now, 2 years into our marriage, 7 years into our relationship, I know my husband very well. I have come to terms with the late nights, unsociable hours, his absence on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. I understand what comes with being a chef.

Even now, when I meet people who don’t know my husband, and I let slip that he’s a chef. I get looks of approval, that twinkle in a woman’s eye, the silent (and sometimes not) look that says it all; “I bet you get some good meals, I bet it’s lovely being married to a chef!”

Of course it is, I love my husband.

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Chef by day, Pirate by night

 

But his job has its moments!

  • I always make alternative plans for Christmas Dinner or I’d be spending the day alone.
  • “like ships in the night” the hours are long and days off are few
  • When he says, he’s leaving in the next 10 minutes, he really means after an hour
  • Meals will go cold, so I don’t bother cooking a meal for him until he’s 20 minutes away.
  • Eating out is a whole new experience – “I coulda made that better myself” I hear this a lot.
  • Cooking at home isn’t as fun. I used to enjoy cooking but when I cook for my husband (and he’s at home) he stands near me watching, or asking me questions. It’s better for my state of mind and his physical wellbeing for him to just do the cooking.
  • He buys meat no one would normally buy! Pig’s heart. I felt like I’d walked in Dr Lecter’s kitchen.
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Pig’s Heart – Cianti anyone?

  • Twice a week there is a mountain of aprons that need to go on a boil wash and always end up knotted together by their ties! It’s like when you get a necklace knotted, only more infuriating!
  • My husband smells like food, all the time. Which sounds great; you’re thinking pies, pizza, cake. No- more like onions, garlic, salmon, steak/smokehouse.

 

But….

  • He feeds me.
  • I realised food is exciting, like foreplay.
  • He knows all the good places to eat.
  • I have learned to try new things! Since being with him I have tried: Sushi, black pudding, scallops, saffron, steak cooked blue.
  • Steak, sausage and stilton wraps – I questioned it too, but it’s a taste sensation!
  • There are perks – I have played Taste Tester for items on new menus
  • I have been able to order (slightly) off menu, when he’s cooking
  • When he tells me about his day, I can drool on cue.
  • I know how to make a Roux and a Béchamel sauce.
  • Our dog eats really well.

 

Now I think about it… I’m thankful I’m a Chef’s wife.

 

 

Hubs works incredibly hard, and makes some amazing food. He’s currently running the kitchen at a Steakhouse in Caistor. Here, binge on some Food Porn…

 

 

 

 

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Things I wish I’d said Vol.1

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Things I wanted to say but never did:

  1. There are more important things in life than making sure your eyebrows are symmetrical. I’m sure the feller running late for work, or the overworked carer just finished from a night shift, or the mother juggling a lunchbox, book-bag, P.E. kit and a whiney child on the school run- have all failed to notice your wobbly brows. Relax. 
  2. Don’t think I didn’t catch that, you’re not subtle. -Responding to every person and their facial expression after they hear the age difference between my husband and I (FYI, it’s 16 years and IDGAF – he’s a GOD). We neither want nor need your approval.
  3. No I don’t like drinking and if that makes me boring, I’m fine with that. But good for you and your 6th glass of JD- crack on. I’m happy being out, with my Coke- I don’t feel sad and you don’t have to pity me or pressure me into a vodka shot. Thanks though, and good luck with your hangover.
  4. I don’t have my life figured out yet and I don’t have a 5 Year plan. Does this make me anxious? Sometimes, yes. But you’re not making it any easier by mentioning it or looking at me with “poor you” eyes.
  5. Did you forget we all went to the same school? Yes I was there, witnessing your Tango years and seeing you bully others less confident than yourself. Remember that before you look down your nose at me from the top of your ridiculously high heels.
  6. “Have you tried…? What about…? That tablet is crap…” – Yes, please tell me how you’re going to cure my chronic illness, and please list all the things I’ve already tried while I smile and nod with my mouth tight shut (I know you mean well)
  7. I am 26 years old. I know to look both ways before crossing a road, I know not to talk to strangers and I always take care (thank you Grandad, ILY). You don’t need to remind me to drive safe or eat plenty of vegetables, I have managed to live this long without (too much) mishap.
  8. I should not be labelled a hermit, shut-in, shy or introverted just because I spend all day inside, in my room, reading a book. I like spending time by myself. This is not a cue for intervention, I do not need to get out, be forced into social gatherings or be dragged on a brisk walk for fresh air. I’m fine.
  9. And whilst I’m about books- Yes, I am reading a ‘saucy’ book and it’s bloody fantastic. As my husband calls it: “Porn without Pictures.” Allow me to lend you a copy so you can remove that stick from your butt and join the rest of womankind who are also on the Fifty Shades Train (Most of us have been riding for a while, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it anymore!)
  10. Don’t ask me to explain how I got that bruise. I don’t need a safe word. I am just clumsy. I can laugh at myself, please laugh with me- not at me!
  11. “You don’t want more than 1 baby?” As if it’s an easy thing to do?! It’s basically making a person! Unfortunately, for some women it isn’t as easy as A, B, C. Please be more considerate.
  12. Don’t pass judgement on my diet. Yes, I like chicken nuggets and smiley faces and ketchup. I know this sounds like the diet of a toddler, but I also like spinach and Brussels sprouts too. Just not as much as I loooooove cake.
  13. “It’s been a nightmare, are you sure you want kids?” Of course I’m sure, this decision wasn’t made after hearing that baby-making is super fun and motherhood is a breeze! Neither will it be swayed by an awful afternoon of tantrums and smelly nappies.
  14. “You can have mine!” Don’t say this, because next time I’ll show up at your front door with adoption papers and a bottle of fizz.
  15. It was not my intention to offend with this list. I have to right to Freedom of Speech. A fact I must remember the next time someone offends me with their ignorance, arrogance or lack of consideration.

“If you are always trying to be NORMAL you will never know how AMAZING you can be.” -Maya Angelou

 

Ovo-Pescatarian

I love a Sunday Dinner. My favourite is roast chicken and stuffing. I love a full English breakfast or anything with bacon. And so it is with much resentment that I fill you in on the past week…

I have tried several options of treatment and I have struggled to cope with either side effects or the fact that they just don’t work. And so after reading up on Endometriosis in Dian Shepperson Mills’ book , I’ve research some lifestyle changes that could help reduce flare ups.

In Endometriosis: A Key to Healing And Fertility Through Nutrition, the author describes how food and nutrition can help illness and improve fertility. 

I have also researched the Endo Diet. This diet suggests cutting out foods which trigger or cause inflammation. I struggle enough with inflammation of their internal organs/reproductive system so if there’s anything I can do to improve things- I’m up for it!

What are inflammatory foods?

Meat (especially red and processed meats)

Processed and packaged foods
Sugar
Gluten, white bread, and wheat
Dairy products
Alcohol
Fried foods

It does just say red meats and it does say that organic meat is better, but I’ve decided to cut meat out of my diet completely. If I’m doing this, I’m doing it right!

Now this was hard. My husband is an enthusiastic carnivore and sticks to the view that “a meal’s not a meal without meat“. Well, we haven’t divorced yet. I’ve just substituted the meat products with extra veg/salad or a vegetarian product. Linda McCartney’s vegetarian range is de-lish BTW! 

Anyway…as I was worried about changing my diet so drastically, I’ve opted to eat eggs and fish. I try to get the organic/free-range/line caught variety just as an added conscience boost.

After a week, I’m not starving. I still eat 2-3 meals a day (I’m terrible for missing breakfast!) So far I feel a less lethargic and not as nauseous after every meal. Below are some of the meals I’ve had this week…

 

 

 

This book also states that too much dairy, heat and refined sugar can cause flare ups – but as a confessed Sweet Tooth, I refuse to give up my desserts just yet. Baby steps…

 

A xo

 

Home made Fish PIE

There is no greater comfort food than PIE. It doesn’t matter if it’s sweet or savoury, it just seems to hit the spot every time. Completely satisfying. Among my favourites are Apple & Blackberry, Chicken & Mushroom and the classic Fish Pie.

Tonight, I made my own fish pie.

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Instead of buying a standard pie mix, I bought different fillets of the fish I like best.

In this pie I used: Smoked Basa and fillet of Basa, squid, prawns and mussels. Plus, mashed potatoes, cheese and parsley sauce! This can be put together in advance and oven’d at the last minute!

Cut the larger fillets into cubes, roughly the same size. Place in a pan with milk and water and bring to the boil until fish is cooked. Drain and leave to dry a little.  The prawns, squid & mussels can be put in afterwards as they take less time to cook! mix these together with the cooked fish and parsley sauce. Place in an oven dish and dollop mashes potatoes on top.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and put pie in the middle. 20 minutes later, sprinkle your favourite cheese on top of the mash and return to the oven. Cook until cheese has melted and become golden.

I served my fish pie with carrots, peas and green beans. My hubby is from Yorkshire and so has to have bread and butter; yum!

Absolutely stuffed now!

A xo

p.s. (( I cheated a little and bought pre-made Parsley sauce but here’s the recipe if you have the time! ))

Nigella’s prawn & squid supper

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King prawns
Squid (we used basa white fish!)
Chili
Garlic
Lemon zest & juice of 1/2
Marjoram
Parsley
Black Rice (we used rice noodles)

This was a recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Nigelissima tv programme. We were sitting watching it the other evening, wondering what to have for tea and this looked quite easy to make- and it was! A quick trip to Morrisons and I was stood in front of the hob cooking!
We made a couple of substitutes as not all the ingredients were available but it was still really tasty! Fresh, light and yummy! A great meal for the evening, and even greater with a glass of wine! I chose sparkling Prosecco!

CHEERS!

A xo

Happy Sunday!

It’s time for steak.

Being married to a chef isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – late nights, long hours, weird shifts. But we have had the past week off together, we’ve both been more relaxed and have seemed better able to manage things. I think we were well overdue for a breather.

My husband is a man of simple tastes, he hates going to restaurants where the chef is trying to say something with food, he hates fancy over-the-top flavours. Give him a plate of pie & peas and he’s happy- I married a classic Yorkshireman!

One of the things that we both have in common is a love of good food. In place of our Sunday roast this week, Nick cooked me a surf ‘n’ turf. Rump steak, mushroom/stilton sauce, scallops, crabcakes and fat chips! We overindulged to the max today!

Here are the sneaky cheats!
Scallops-
leave in shells! mix butter, fresh parsley, 1 clove of crushed garlic – 1 tspn on the scallop, a few drops of lemon juice and put in the oven 200 degrees for 5mins

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Mushroom/stilton sauce- (I made this! If I can, you can- it’s so easy!)
1/2 onion finely chopped, mushrooms finely chopped, sautéed in butter and a little oil, double cream. Add fresh parsley, season to taste – add milk if too thick.

Crabcakes-
Mix mashed potato and crab meat together with 1tspn of milk. Shape into rounds. Seal in a pan of oil (gas mark 6) and place in the oven for 10mins.

Steak & the chips are self explanatory; cook it how you like. I have my steak cooked BLUE and prefer proper home cooked chips (from the deep fat fryer- I know! unhealthy!) But it would also be ok with oven chips or baked potato!

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The sauce is rich and the flavours in this meal are tasty but not too overpowering. Simple ingredients but extremely satisfying!
I applaud my husband to be able to co-ordinate such a feast! That’s why I married a chef! Nom!

Happy eating,
A xo