As someone that took to the kitchen from an early age it's easy to forget not everyone enjoys food the way I do. For many, baking doesn't come naturally, it sure as hell isn't relaxing, and I suspect the mere thought of having to cook a meal every single day would no doubt feel quite overwhelming.
For many, it would seem, it's not as simple as A, B, C.
But we've all been there and, while I appreciate some of us have a bit more of a 'knack' than others when it comes to cooking up a storm, it certainly doesn't have to be difficult, and I think it's a common misconception that to bang out a spectacular home-cooked meal you need to spend hours behind the hotplates. Everyone gets tired of cooking, and even those of us who enjoy handling the pans have those favourite "go to's" for when we can't be bothered or don't have the time. And so I thought I'd share with you one of mine.
Whether you love or hate his unique approach to the English vernacular, I think many will agree that Britain's most recognisable Mr Oliver does turn out a decent recipe or two. And in his efforts at gastronomic self-globalisation, one topic he has been particularly good at championing is that if you start with a few simple, good-quality ingredients you're virtually guaranteed of producing something awe-inspiringly delicious in relatively no time at all and with a minimum of effort.
And when it comes to minimum effort there's nothing I love more than the tray bake. Besides, what could be simpler than taking a few complimentary ingredients:
Greenvale Farm Berkshire pork chops
throwing them all together in a pan,
sticking them in the oven, and then coming back when everything smells so good you can't help but feel hungry?
The four P's - pork chops with herby potatoes, parsnips and pears
But as for the Q's... It would be remiss of me to post without at least some form of baking, and so in continuing the theme of grain experimentation I have on offer these delightful little wholemeal quinoa cookies.
Whenever I bake something new I like to stick to the recipe so that I get a feel for what the author had originally intended, and while admittedly I was already plotting additions of dried sour cherries and pecans as the dough came together, I was most certainly glad I didn't because I must say, the combination of quinoa and nutmeg was in fact quite the revelation.
Move over anzac biscuits, because you've got yourselves some pretty tasty company...