Monday, April 21, 2008

Food for thought

After an extremely productive day, this evening I decided to go all out and cook North African Lamb with Chilli, Ginger, Chick Peas and Couscous - thank you Jamie Oliver. The result was delicious and the best part is that there's enough for two more dinners, hooray! Not having to come up with tasty nutritious meals night after night certainly makes late afternoons easier in a house with a small baby, tired kindergarten boy, tireder husband and trying-hard-to-do-everything composer masquerading as a mother/housewife.

If you want to see spectacular meal planning though, have a peek at Dani's website. Dani is a great cook and what always strikes me about her food obsession is the imagination that goes into all her recipes.

I love to cook and I love to eat. At the wedding on Saturday there was a choice of roast beef or Jamie Oliver's fish pie, with three salads and some gorgeous crusty bread rolls. I have to say I'm a big Jamie fan. His recipes always work and they're delicious. The chef on Saturday agreed with me.

There are times in life, though, when you just lose your food mojo because there is so much life going on around you and you can't keep up. Fortunately I don't feel like that at the moment, I'm just trying to clear the decks in the evenings so I can write. But when you have small children in tow it's difficult to make many stops on a food-shopping outing to get exactly what you want at a variety of different shops. So creating meals becomes fairly predictable and unimaginative, using ingredients that you can get hold of on one quick trip.

What did I do today? Alexander was back at school and Lillian slept for enough time for me to get back into the piece and I'm reaching the end of the first poem (of three poems). There's a nice bubbling motive going on and while part of the poem is a little puzzling -- "Ice light of the aurora veils Canopus" -- I quite like what I've done with it, some quartal harmony and a mournful oboe obbligato which will morph into a flute line and back to the oboe. It's nice to be thinking clearly about my work again when those moments allow me. And also to feel like I'm getting a bit done in the day so I can make something nice for dinner!


Dani said...

Maria you always manage to make Jamie Oliver stuff sound divine. Which I'm sure it is. But then I catch a glimpse of him on the box and he makes my brain fall out. So frustrating to have such lovely food ideas and be so hard to watch. But once again, you've inspired me to give him another go.

Maria said...

Some of his recipes make my brain fall out too - pot-roasted guinea fowl and somethingorothersauceythingy for example. I just pick ones that I know I can get ingredients for and don't sound too hard or involve too many steps.

Em said...

I've been thinking of trying meal planning again to recover some cooking mojo... we've been living out of the freezer and the garden lately, grabbing something that appeals at 5pm. And it's getting a bit bleurgh. Jamie's recipes are delish, but IKWYM about him being hard to watch - they are screening repeats now and somehow it doesn't do it for me 2nd time around. Nigella however, has always made my skin itchy. We like Simon & Maggie on ABC :)