Food cooking and eating – stories and ideas from a passionate foodie

Cooking and Eating – The “Can Men Cook?” way

In praise of – Cheating


I’m a bit of a Delia Smith fan.  She was vilified for her television series – “Delia’s How to cheat”.  She had nearly as much trouble with the one a few years ago – “Delia’s how to cook” – which did start with how to boil an egg.  She is not wrong to do this!  I think a lot of people get put off by chefs and their pernickety-ness, and the fact it just looks too difficult.


Last night’s cheat meal was a case in point.  It’s Tuesday night.  We have a busy household (two of us makes that sound impossible – if you have three kids and all their friends, but trust me, it feels like it sometimes!).  We both had evening appointments at different times.  Because they involved gyms and stuff, eating not too close to the time of the appointments was of the essence.  So, what to do?  J had her half of the de-frosted M&S mousaka heated in the oven first, and then I came in 90 minutes later and did the second half.  Yes, I know it’s not rocket science.  But it did mean we had a really tasty, filling meal (with mixed salad left over from Monday, and tomatoes) rather than something stodgy or filling up on cheese or whatever. There is a time and a place for dinner party food, and all the effort that goes into that.  Sunday Roast is still a sensible high point for many of us.  But you can’t do that every day.  But you can get nearly as good – at least as good as going out to eat at some places we know – by cheating.  I like to add to some of the cheating things.  It does feel like you are investing something into the experience while it is heating up!  The “Chicken Ding” mentality (“I put the chicken meal into the microwave and eat it when it has gone ‘ding’…”) is perhaps going too far.  But adding some accompaniments adds freshness and flavour for very little time and effort.  Don’t beat yourselves up!

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