I’m into food in a big way, one of life’s really simple pleasures. Not your poncey, million dollar, organic, freshly squeezed Foodie food. There’s a reason that our food is farmed the way it is and that is that there are 7 billion mouths to feed. Lots of what I see regarding food in our selfish part of the world is ridiculous and offensive.

No. The kind of food I’m into is simple, healthy hearty meals and cheap, cheerful baking. I willingly admit that I might have gone down the poncey route if my budget had allowed, and that necessity has taught me to be more creative with simple ingredients. But the joy and satisfaction that this has given me is immense.

I’m no great baker, MrsP handles that side of things, ably accompanied by a very talented BigBear. Her cakes, and his saffron & almond cookies are worthy of their own website. For me it is a combination of utilising the skills learned when I became an accidental chef at the Punch Bowl back in ’09, my passion for all things Spanish, and my inbred instincts through Mother’s cooking skills that combine to ensure that my family eat a varied, interesting and tasty menu on a monthly budget of less than £150 for our main meals. The deep freeze helps enormously with this with regards batch cooking.

The Spanish influence is the simplicity. When it’s 40′ in the shade you don’t want to be spending long in a hot kitchen so you cook simple, tasty meals and I apply that theory to most of my cooking. Even before the Punch Bowl days I had catered for several dinner parties in people’s homes with a menu of Spanish tapas dishes centred around mighty paellas.

My heartfelt thanks go to mum for the meals I had as a child and the “eat what is put in front of you” lesson that became “I’ll try anything once” as I got older. To Mick Poole who turned me from a passable cook into a just about passable chef by letting me watch him at work in my kitchen (Punch Bowl), and to the other chefs that worked for me who each taught me something, one way or another. I’m off to make a Sage and Butternut Risotto for our tea 🙂