Happy New Year and a food manifesto
Are you writing a whole list of New Year’s resolutions? Do you find it helpful, inspiring or another stick to beat yourself with? I’m easing myself out of my ‘everything on a list’ comfort zone and focusing on a word. Sounds a bit strange? Here’s why:
A while ago, a new friend walked into my kitchen for the first time and sighed with relief. “Oh it’s not as perfect as I thought it would be.” She’d seen the photos on my blog which, taken by a talented photographer with a bit of diffused lighting, doesn’t show the cabinet doors hanging off their hinges, the worn chairs, the notes stuck up with magnets, the tray of bottles balanced on top of the fridge, the ancient micro-wave, the mismatched pots and all the other things that show it’s a real kitchen at the heart of our home rather than a show kitchen.
My friend’s comment filled me with relief as I’m always a bit embarrassed about the slightly too cluttered surfaces, the inability to fit all the food and implements neatly into the cupboard space available which must be the curse of every keen cook. Looking at my kitchen you wouldn’t think that I’m a perfectionist but in my head I am and – I’ve had a light bulb moment since I read this post by Fat Mum Slim. It’s hard living this way and spending a huge amount of emotional energy constantly letting yourself down.
Kinder to me: to stop being so hard on myself; to look after my health by eating well and not missing my newly found love of yoga.
Kinder to others: Not be impatient, to understand more and put myself in their shoes.
Yes. It’s a kind of mindfulness and if you want to know more about this I recommend Ruby Wax’s Sane New World.
Making better pastry, mastering sour dough, dusting off my pasta machine, learning more about Emirati cuisine, cooking something Georgian, learning more about Polish cookery, making more stock, baking more pies, cooking fish more often…. all these things are recurring resolutions which crop up year after year.
However…. I’m not putting them on a list this time. Instead I’m pinning up my food manifesto and trying to stay true to it.
Savour every bite… of ingredients, of food, of life. Let’s greet 2015 together, wide-eyed with excitement, grinning with pleasure, enjoying every last morsel of whatever comes our way…. Happy New Year.