The urge to cook is upon me - it strikes every year at about this time. When a warm meal seems the right way to welcome home the boys from school and hubby off the train. When whatever I've made says 'I was thinking of you today, whilst you went about your business in the big wide world'.
Because they are often on my mind when I stand, hand on trolley in the supermarket, waiting for inspiration to strike. How can I fill them. With food, love, nurturing. They are all sort of bound together in my mind. And I am not the only one for whom this is true, as my latest recipe book aquisition demonstrates.
I think I read about Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys on Alicia's blog. But it could have been Erin. It sounded interesting, but it was an import and seemed a relatively large amount of cash for a book I'd not even flipped through. I had put it out of my mind when up it popped on the shelves of TK Maxx. Meant to be mine then!
Mark was sufficiently intrigued by the title to pick it up, so I thrust some post it flags at him and told him to choose the things he fancied trying. By the number of pages he marked,it's clear that the book had some tasty sounding things. And this is how we came to be eating Empanadas the other evening (part of my childhood vernacular, but unfamiliar to them).
And they were very good. Not instant food, but filled with love. The time was inconsequential - the breathing space of an empty house allows me to plan what is going to appear on the table and cook something that either needs a long time to simmer or whose preparation is fiddly enough not to be practical with the inevitable interruptions that everyone at home brings. And who begrudges a little kitchen time, pottering on a cold day with the radio on and a cup of coffee to hand?
Don't misunderstand, dinner is nowhere close to domestic goddess territory here every evening. There's many a night when we run in the door from school starving hungry and throw some pasta in a pot. Though actually, a little jaunt to Ikea this week did produce not only much happy chatter with Val, but also a couple of bags of Moose shaped pasta. Which you have to say is pretty damn fancy. For a zero effort dinner night.