Saturday, December 14, 2013

Returning to an Old Project

I started this blog in early university. Back then I like cooking, loved eating and wrote posts as creative procrastination/social media whoreing. Oh yes, 19 year old me certainly valued "likes" and blog traffic. After all, I was doing a BA so there was plenty of time to spare between lecture, tutorial readings and the occasional assignment.

As my uni life got more intense (read: I did an honours year) I ran out of time to start/finish/post articles.  I was still cooking, but between hours in the library, attending 21st and then spending hours hungover in the library there was little time for blogging.

Now times have changed. It has been a year since I graduated and left the comforts of university life, moved out of my childhood home and have packed and unpacked my collection of things in three countries in one year. I still love cooking, eating and talking about food. However, how I cook and what I cook has changed.

Firstly as my kitchen is vastly different. In Hawaii, where I now live, I am far away from the beautiful Miele appliances and marble counter tops of my parents kitchen. I am also, luckily, far away from the singe wok burner and no oven of my previous tiny kitchen in Beijing where the food was 80% poisonous or polluted. I now have much less bench space and a 1960's electric coil stove, but the air and water are clean.

Secondly, everything I cook is now on my budget. The great thing about growing up, moving away and living on your own is freedom. However, freedom costs money. In fact, freedom cost surprisingly more than you anticipate. Therefore, while I still cook great food and love to entertain, I am now aware that I perhaps don't need the french hand churned butter for that pastry at $12 a block when there is perfectly good normal butter next to it and maybe not everything needs to be purchased from Whole Foods.  While Hawaii is a beautiful place to live, the islands are not very self sustainable. Almost everything is flown in from one destination or another which also assist in jacking up the cost of living in paradise.

Thirdly, how I eat has changed. I no longer have a whole wednesday afternoon to hand make pasta. Or a Saturday to plan and make dinner for the family. I now mostly either cook for myself or only one or two other people if I have a guest in town or friends over for dinner. While I do love spending a Saturday or Sunday at the farmers markets and in the kitchen I have come to realise that having either something pre-prepared, or having the right ingredients in the kitchen to make something healthy and easy during the week is really important. To prevent a post long day at work dinner of wine and tim tams on the couch in front of the TV planning definitely is needed. That just reminded me, I have a half gnawed at Aero bar in the fridge somewhere.... Any way, organisation and planning is important.

This third point leads me to what I was really wanting to talk about. How this blog is going to change. Sorry, guys (you know who you are) the writing will still lean toward the self gratifying and mildly painful but the content is taking a shift. Purely to make it easier on myself I will simply be documenting what I make, what I like to eat and occasionally reviewing places. While this will also from time to time include big events, dinner parties or travel food writing expect more mid week meals and things you can make ahead.

So read, enjoy and maybe make something if it looks tasty enough. Now go do that pile of washing you have been neglecting or ring home to your parents to say hi.