It wasn't so when I was working but nowadays I prepare 99% of our meals. Even though my son Ian has written four bestselling cookbooks with his Bosh! colleague Henry, I myself hardly ever look at a recipe book. I just go with what I know and my culinary instincts.
It occurred to me this morning as I lay in bed like a lazy sealion upon some remote shore that when it comes to main evening meals I have developed a repertoire. The wheel keeps turning and old favourites reappear. These are the eleven staples in that repertoire:-
♦ Sunday roast with Yorkshire puddings - might be chicken, pork, beef or rarely - lamb. Vegetable accompaniments will vary.
♦ Spaghetti bolognese with fried mushrooms and parmesan.
♦ Oven broiled salmon with fresh pasta in a pesto sauce, broccoli, roasted tomatoes and lemon wedges.
♦ Chicken thigh fillets in Sicilian tomato sauce with mushrooms, peppers and grated cheese served with farfalle and tender-stem broccoli
♦ Beef stew with swede, green lentils and dumplings
♦ Chicken stir fry in a satay or black bean sauce with noodles
♦ Rump or sirloin steak with fried onions, mushrooms and green beans plus baked potatoes
♦ Chicken curry with basmati rice, peshwari nan breads and mango chutney
♦ Cauliflower cheese with gammon, pineapple and roasted potatoes
♦ Slow-cooked mince with gravy, mashed potatoes and garden peas
♦ Tossed summer salad with quiche and fried rice
Occasionally I will try other things - often influenced by what I encounter at the supermarket but essentially these are the meals I make. And that reminds me...
I love Greek cuisine and it is about time I got round to baking stuffed peppers. It's something I have thought about doing before but have never got round to. On the isles of Greece I have also enjoyed stuffed tomatoes but that requires those massive beefsteak tomatoes that you rarely see in English supermarkets so I think I will just stick to peppers in the first instance. Watch this space.
By the way, please pick a favourite staple or two from your own meal repertoire and put in the comments below.