It’s Diabetes Blog Week! Thanks to Karen from Bitter~Sweet Diabetes for coming up with and coordinating this exciting annual event. It’s a great chance to discover other diabetes bloggers from around the world. Here’s my fifth entry for the week!
I have been looking forward to this #DBlogWeek post all week because, well, food is my thing. I still believe that growing up in a family where food is considered important and dealt with in a positive, healthy way is why I have such a balanced, appreciative attitude towards the food I eat and the food I prepare for my family and friends. And I hope that this is being instilled into the mind and heart of the kidlet of the house.
I love to cook for people and our new home is the perfect entertaining space. We have a huge kitchen with heaps of prep space and a view over the garden. There is an old Aga stove which, when we get around to having a chimney sweep clean it out, will be used for all sorts of things including making bread and pizza.
On Saturday night, we had some friends over for dinner. Although I love cooking, I can be a lazy cook. I make no apologies for that, nor is it a negative trait. I made a chicken, chorizo, lemon, garlic thing that took a whole three minutes to throw together. The oven did the rest. (In a baking tray – chicken pieces, chopped chorizo, sliced lemon, bashed garlic, a bit of chicken stock in the bottom of the tray, sprinkle the top with paprika, sea salt and black pepper and shove in a 180 degree (Celsius) oven until the chicken is all golden on top and the smoky chorizo has infused it all; about 30 – 45 minutes.) I made a couple of yummy vegie-based sides and a salad using quinoa and that was it. Dessert was a crumble because it’s crumble weather.
While we’re talking crumble, I always make double or triple the quantity of topping to keep on hand in the fridge. That way, it’s always easy to throw together a simple, yet scrumptious dessert. Stewing apples or pears takes no effort and if you want to be super-lazy, open a tin of peaches or apricots or whatever floats your boat, drain some of the juice and sprinkle the crumble-topping-already-in-the-fridge over the top. Twenty minutes in the oven and you’re done. (Basic crumble recipe – rub together a cup plain flour and about 100 grams of butter; add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar, a cup of oats, and then whatever else you have that you think will work. Add cinnamon for apple crumble, dark chocolate for pear crumble, coconut when you have rhubarb, almonds for stone fruits. Walnuts always work in crumble. Always!) According to my husband and the kidlet, crumble must come with ice-cream; I prefer King Island double (or triple) cream. Plain Greek yoghurt works well too.
Baking biscuits and cakes is one of the most therapeutic and calming things I know how to do. Yesterday, I decided to try something new and found a recipe for Nutella drop biscuits which were just a buttermilk scone recipe with Nutella swirled through. Great concept; super easy, made the house smell like a bakery and tasted great. Plus, they can be frozen and then thawed, heated and served with some salted butter for a speedy afternoon tea.
Vegetables are a big deal in our house. I love veggies and at this time of year, my favourite way to eat them is in a thick chicken stock-based soup with added barley. Again, this is a lazy cook thing because not only is it a great way of using up almost-past-eating vegies, a huge vat will do a couple of meals. (It freezes really well too.) I usually serve with some toasted crusty sourdough. Last night, however, I used up some leftover risotto and made crunchy rice croquettes to go on the side.
We eat out quite a bit. For me, the plethora of workday meetings are often more palatable if there is a coffee, a pleasant café and, possibly, a little cake (Or fairy cake!) involved. Weekends involve catching up with friends at local cafés and regular catch ups with the girls are another excuse to go to Marios.
Food is a thing of joy. It is a thing of love and it is a thing of celebration. It should taste wonderful, it should be evocative and it should not be full of angst, but I know that is not the case for a lot of people. I really do believe a big part of that is the current focus on ridiculous diets and eating plans and rules instead of enjoyment, moderation and joy.
At the moment, it’s a rare day when the oven is not on, baking or stewing or roasting something in its warmth, intensifying flavours and delivering, at the end of the cooking process, a wonderful hearty dish. It’s probably my favourite thing about this time of year and there is nothing better than settling in for the cold night on the couch, fire lit, with a delicious, hearty bowl of something.
I am so pleased that diabetes hasn’t stripped me of my love of food, because many people do think that those of us living with diabetes have a strict, flavourless, boring, repetitive diet. It doesn’t need to be that way.
Friday tune – Fats Waller with ‘All that meat and no potatoes.’