In the early few months after Steve passed away, friends rallied around, inviting me to dinner, bringing hot soups to the house, one friend Susannah made a vegetable lasagne large enough to feed the street. People were so kind but there comes a time when you really have to get back into preparing your own meals. I don’t find it so easy to cook for one. I always make more of an effort when my son comes for a meal. I usually cook extra so I can reheat the leftovers the next day.
But what exactly am I eating?
I make smoothies most mornings, I use a Kefir base with bananas, grapes, sometimes spinach and kale. I make a whole pint and pour it into my favourite Birra Moretti glass. I like to add bright beetroot powder to give my smoothies extra colour.
I’ve only just been introduced to Kefir, a drink made from fermented milk grains. Every 2 or 3 days you strain the milk liquid and use it for smoothies and then add fresh milk to the grains to repeat the cycle.
I made this video with my friend John who gave me the starter grains. He loves kefir and drinks it every day.
Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, originally from the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe. It is similar to yogurt – but a drink, with a tart, sour taste and a slight ‘fizz’. This is due to carbon dioxide – the end product of the fermentation process. Kefir is a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotic bacteria.
Sometimes I’ll skip lunch. For those steady 3 meals a day people, you’ll find this hard to understand but if I do eat lunch I love a salad dripping in olive oil with a ripe avocado.
I’m not a strict vegetarian, my travel experiences across Japan and China last year made it impossible to eat just vegetables. At home, I mostly cook veggie meals. I love Quorn and pesto sauce and will often knock up a stir-fry or a rich tomato sauce for spaghetti, my favourite pasta dish right now. I enjoy a crispy jacket potato and during the winter months, I use my slow cooker to cook chickpeas and kidney beans overnight so they’re super soft. My slow cooker comes with chalk and a black surface so you can write on it.
What do you like to cook/eat?
One of the scariest firsts for me was inviting friends over to my house for a meal. When you’re a couple, one person usually looks after the guests, filling up the drinks while the other person focuses on cooking. When there’s only one, you have to do everything. It takes longer to prepare everything, Steve used to chop the vegetables and organise the seating, now I get everything ready. Once the invites to friends had gone out I had a feeling of dread, but I had a plan.
When my first guest arrived, I put them in charge of the drinks, I asked another friend to serve the food out while I brought the prepared food to the table. Friends will be there for you and will want to help.
Give it a Try
Invite a friend over for dinner. If you can’t face cooking, invite people over for drinks and nibbles or order takeaway pizzas, I’ve done that. It will feel strange at first but it’s important to keep friendships going and sharing your stories over a meal with a good glass of wine is wonderful.
I still don’t do as much entertaining as I used to but it’s I plan to do more this year.
Please share dishes you like to cook in the comments