cooking with a big pot…

a nomadic abode

i love observing how, given long enough together, most couples start adopting eachother’s habits, expressions, ways of doing & being…

some finish eachother’s sentences whilst others find their wardrobes merging as one with matching his ‘n hers…

for my boyfriend & i the crossover is all about our approach to preparing food…

i don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that historically our respective family dining experiences have consisted of polar opposite approaches…

his parents are italian whilst mine were both english born & bred: in short this means that beyond the cuisine itself, our families’ entire culture of eating is altogether different…

at my inlaws’ house dinner is an occasion…

it represents a time to come together & catch up on the day’s events over a long & varied array of courses…

antipasti or, more often, a pasta dish starts off proceedings, swiftly followed by two or three meat options laid out in the centre of the table ‘family style’ & accompanied by sides of vegetables & always, always a salad…

dessert will typically consist of a platter of sliced seasonal fruits, occasionally followed up with a plate of home-made biscuits & always finished off with lashings of stove-top coffee drunk hot & black with a spoonful of honey…

despite the plates of food repeatedly being passed around the table in a circular motion in the hope of depleting their contents, there are almost invariably leftovers…

on the flip side, dining in my household was a somewhat simpler affair: one serving of food pre-plated before it hits the table, prepared & served with the sole intention of satiating a family’s hunger…

pudding wasn’t always a given, but when it did make an appearance {more often than not} it was invariably something simple, but substantial like home-made bread pudding or banana & custard or mum’s apple pie & icecream: all the kinds of comfort food i’m drawn to more & more with each passing year…

my mum was charged nightly with feeding a family of eight {as opposed to a family of four}, so in actual fact the volume of food she prepared was probably similar to that of my boyfriend’s mum, but there were rarely second serves or leftovers to be had…

consequently the act of dining was always a relatively quick affair: we could down dinner in about a third of the time it would take to prepare it &, instead of coffee, the first of many subsequent cups of tea would be on the boil before the last mouthful of food was devoured…

with all this in mind perhaps you’re now wondering how such a diversity in approaches could possibly yield a crossover?

well, given there are only the two of us, adopting the multi-course ‘family style’ option was never really going to work for my boyfriend & i…

but interestingly, in the same way he has come around to the ‘one plate’ approach, i find myself leaning towards the european way in other respects…

it all started not long after moving to london when my boyfriend insisted we visit the brixton markets in search of a saucepan…

& not just any saucepan…

he had a fixation on acquiring a saucepan which, at a minimum, was big enough to cook two whole chickens at the same time!

he was disappointed, to put it mildly, when we came away from our outing with a mere 13.6 litre vessel {the biggest we could find}, but i reasoned that for the two of us i thought it would suffice…

since then, the concept of cooking in bulk has been one firmly adopted in our household…

at any given time you can usually find one form or another of home-made, ready-to-go meal in our freezer: from hearty soups to pasta sauces, curries & casseroles…

now at this point i must concede that 75% plus of all the cooking conducted in our household is entirely of my boyfriend’s doing & 90% plus of the bulk offerings are his too…

but today, with neither provocation nor threat of disownment, i found myself buying up in bulk at the butchers & pulling out the aforementioned ship-sized saucepan to prepare a feast that could be enjoyed again, & again, & again…

& whilst i realise this act in itself isn’t exactly extraordinary, i do believe that given my humble ‘one plate’ beginnings i’m well on my way to becoming an honorary italian, if only in the frozen food department!

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