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I’m no poet, even though this title brought to mind How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

But no, if I love you I’ll certainly spare you from my poor poetry.

This best way to tell if I love you (in any fashion) is how I feed you. I take allergies, and pickiness as a personal challenge; but I never count calories. Trust me, the second it’s an allergy it becomes a challenge too. The second I can’t use anything from or related to pepper – including paprika – all I want to make is Indian. So for me the challenge isn’t always finding things that I can make that exclude the allergens, it’s in overcoming me.

I have a friend whom I met at university, lets call her Honey [I had better start keeping note of these aliases], and one day she started calling me Mum. I am well aware that I am 5-10 years older than my former class mates; but it wasn’t because of the age gap between us, nor was it because I am, in fact, a mum. Honey started calling me Mum because I bought her an ice cream from the Rob Roy dairy [if you’re ever in Dunedin, NZ it is the place to go for ice cream] to thank her for driving me somewhere.
Honey was here the day I threw my soon-to-be-sister-in-law a birthday dinner, clinging to my back while I cleaned up after a day of food prep, entertaining my boy so he was out of the way. When I finally kicked her out, so that she wouldn’t miss the movie she was going to, she had a brie and apple quesadilla, still hot and wrapped in parchment in her hand. I love food and I feed people.

There is a reason that I have a section of my blog dedicated to literary foods.

I am no Julia Child, and I have no desire to be a chef. I did think about it once, now more than a decade ago, but I don’t have the temperament […or perhaps I do (grumpy Gordon Ramsey styles)], or the ability to handle the stress and type of pressure that comes with working in a professional kitchen. Even so, at least once a year my brother encourages me to get a food truck, or a gourmet coffee cart.

I miss really cooking, I haven’t made bread since the cold weather started – it was costing too much to keep the kitchen at temperature. So we are now eating poor quality bread, that is just full of sugar. I like quality food, and that doesn’t mean that it will be seriously healthy – I love my baking – it means that it will be done right, no shortcuts to make mass production cheaper. As much as possible I follow the Destitute Gourmet philosophy about quality [you can read it in the link].
One of the many things that Peach and I have bonded over [besides our juvenile sense of humour] is our love of all things Nigella Lawson. There are certain things that you can expect when someone tells you that they have baked for you from a Nigella recipe:

  • Butter – the real thing!
  • Sugar – it’s baking for goodness sake!
  • Booze – probably. This one is a bit hit and miss, but if there’s booze in it watch out, she’s liberal with it.

The most hilarious thing (in my point of view) about Peach and her baking, is that she doesn’t eat it. It’ll turn up as her dish for a pot luck, or as bribery when needed, or in her almighty care packages (thank goodness for Peach’s care packages, let me tell you!); but she doesn’t eat it. The woman has the self-restraint of a saint!

So much of my life revolves around food. Not just in the ‘I have to cook and eat three meals a day’ sense either. I spend months planning my annual birthday dinner. The year before last I cooked, last year we went to Ombrellos, and this year I’m doing an assigned pot luck. I put weeks (where possible) into planning birthday dinners, and other get-togethers. The number of people I owe, because they are wonderful and help me out, and almost everyone of them gets this look, and mentions some kind of food. Which reminds me I need to heat up my kitchen and make cinnamon rolls.

I need to get the ‘gang’ together and have a literary dinner; simply because it has been so long since I last did a literary foods post. It’s time we did it again.

Maybe next time I’ll invite you.

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