At 43, Nick has cooked to feed our family as required; which is not very often as I, Nick’s wife of 18 years, am a “fast and furious” cook. I cook to feed. Each night we sit down to dinner at our dining table but the focus is more on getting the meal out of the way, as opposed to enjoying the food.
For the last 10 years our focus has been on our home-based businesses and raising 3 kids, now teenagers. We finally feel as though we can breath again and some normality (friends may question this) has returned to our lives.
So what made us decide to focus on food? The Royal Wedding, believe it or not! I was invited to a “Girls Night In” to watch the Wedding of the Century and each guest was to bring a plate of food to share. A friend is on a gluten-free diet so rather than make a delicious dessert for everyone except her, I decided to do some research and choose a gluten-free dessert. We have a Mayer lemon tree that is loaded with beautiful, big lemons so I searched the Taste website for a gluten free dessert using lemons. The result was a heavenly Lemon Tart that used rice flour and GF cornflour instead of regular plain flour. (I could not source soy flour so replaced it with more rice flour). I had such a nice time baking, with our youngest child, Holly, that I gradually started looking through my old cook books for more recipes.
On 6th May I returned home to find Nick cooking up a storm. This was a huge surprise as he usually keeps out of the kitchen and out of my way (as I said before – I’m fast and furious). He had found chicken drumsticks in the fridge, had Googled a recipe and was making honey, soy and ginger marinated lovely legs. Not only did they smell fantatic but served with fresh broccoli, brussel sprouts and mash potato, they tasted fantastic too.
Further inspiration came, once again, from the Royal Wedding. This time in the form of the Australian Woman’s Weekly. In the recipe section, they interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow about her new cookbook. Her favourite recipe, apparently, is Duck Ragu. Late last night Nick roasted a duck (as you do), left it to cool slightly then removed the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and skin (damn – I love the fatty parts – Nick is far more sensible than me). Today, Nick has made the ragu, following Gwyneth’s recipe to a T (once again, he is far more sensible than me – I change everything to the point that I wonder why I bother with a recipe). And the result? You will have to wait and see. He is serving it tonight with pappardelle pasta.