Letters to Autumn 5
Letters to Autumn

Letters to Autumn 5

Dear Autumn,

I feel like I should be a better cook than I am.

I don’t know why. I just do.

I think it might be because I spend so much time watching cooking shows and I can talk a good game about cooking (seriously I watched like 20 episodes or something ridiculous over the course of Friday night to Tuesday), but for the most part my cooking repertoire is pretty basic.

It’s not even necessarily because I want it to be basic. I pretty much learned to cook the moment that I had to in order to feed myself. I didn’t even really attempt to get creative with it. I basically went down the route of trying to replicate what my dad used to cook and also something that I could get done real quick because I just viewed it as a means to an end. I could cook pasta real good and I learnt how to cook chicken so it didn’t poison me.

My repertoire was limited and I never quite learned how to do decent things with potatoes even though I know that they shouldn’t be that hard to perfect. My dad just does real good things with potatoes and let’s not even talk about roast potatoes, my mum has that domain locked down. So pretty much the only things I knew how to cook were rice, pasta and then I introduced sweet potato, then the same protein in various different guises. And when I say various I mean like 2 or 3. I stopped trying to get creative with chicken and just started to make sure that I didn’t let it get too dry.

And then I stopped having to cook altogether and so I didn’t even think about trying to build a list of recipes that I could just whip out. Until recently and when faced with the prospect of having to cook substantial meals and also at a time where I am trying to tweak my diet because that’s the final piece of this puzzle of mine I decided to try and broaden my cooking horizons whilst also having someone do all the work for me and still be done in 30-40 minutes because I typically come home of an evening post-workout which means I’m hella hungry and can’t be waiting too long for food to be ready.

Step in Mindful Chef which did all of the work for me and the most input I had to have was just ticking boxes next to recipes that sounded interesting to me. It got me excited about food again (and understanding what all the hype is about when people on these cooking shows talk about food in such an excited way…) and it also gave me variety. Plus it’s like super easy to follow the recipes and if need be (as is the case with me because I don’t eat tomatoes and that was a key ingredient in one the recipes) modify them so that they still taste super good.

And it has also instantly changed my attitude to food again. There’s actually something quite cathartic about cooking and it helps me to stay out of that trap of overthinking so much when I’m back home. The portions are filling and in some cases (actually it was just the one) I found that I didn’t even miss the carbs in my evening meal. I mean it’s only been 3 days now, but I have also noticed that I don’t wake up and feel super hungry which is usually the case come the time I am walking the street which my office is on.

Also doing this meant that I didn’t have to go to a store to do a grocery shop so it eliminated a lot of other things, like having to think about what to cook during the week and also I’m literally only home for dinner during the week and yet if you let me loose into a shop I go a bit purchase, impulse buying happy, and end up with food that I 100% do not need and probably will not eat because I will forget about it and that’s just money spent on waste. So in the long term it’s saving me money.

I kind of sort of viewed this as a solution to this week, but given how easy it is to get from start to finish and how I still eat at roughly the same time that I usually do and the fact that I am trying a whole load of new recipes and feeling great for it, I might keep going with it. I fell in love with a chickpea and spinach curry on Monday and I didn’t even realise that was possible for me.


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