The Oxford English Dictionary defines food as ‘any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth’. For me food has always been much more than mere fuel for life. I love eating. I love cooking. I love watching others cook. I love talking about food, (I frequently discuss my next meal whilst eating my current one). I love thinking about food. Yes, I love food. A favourite game of mine is playing ‘what would your last meal on Earth be?’ For some time now my choice has been as follows: old-fashioned prawn cocktail with brown bread and butter and/or homemade melba toast; proper roast chicken with spuds sprinkled with semolina and roasted in beef dripping, cauliflower cheese, sausage-meat stuffing, (cooked separately from the bird), and pigs in blankets; pavlova, ideally with raspberries, with additional cream on the side for pouring, (hey, it’s my last meal, calories are not significant!); cheese with water biscuits, (known my whole life as ‘Grandad’s biscuits’ but that’s another story); and to finish, coffee and After Eight Mints, (old school!) The wine I’ll drink throughout this meal will be Barolo and Veuve Clicquot with port for the cheese. I have given this considerable thought. They say the road to Heaven is paved with good intentions. Mine appears to be paved with good food!
Food is central to a lot that goes on in my life. Pre holiday plans tend to involve what I’ll be eating more than anything else. Before going to Paris recently all I could think about was the bread I was going to eat, not visiting the Eiffel Tower. A trip to Laduree had to happen on our last day even though I was flu-ridden by that point and could barely stand. It was worth it. Two words…hot chocolate. Most of my childhood memories have references to food, admittedly food of the kiddie sweet variety, but still. In my mind there is no occasion or situation that can’t be enhanced by the introduction of food. If people are happy, I’ll feed them. If they’re upset, I’ll feed them. They have something to celebrate? I’ll feed them. My name is Karen and I’m a feeder. There is nothing better for me than to have family and friends in the house enjoying food and drink together, making noise and enjoying themselves. Whilst I like food and the eating of best as a team sport, there really is something to be said for a bit of self gratification. There’s something deeply satisfying about sitting down to enjoy food that I’ve cooked or bought just for me. My ‘single girl dinners’, as I like to call them, tend to involve seafood of some sort as Bobert, (my ‘better’ half), isn’t really a fan of food that swims. These SGDs have also been known to take the form of crackers and butter or a bag of crisps! This leads me on nicely to my next point. Food snobs. Can’t stand them and have no time for their pompous waffling. Yes, I really love good food and I think the provenance of our food is very important. However, I also think there is deep joy to be found in a packet of chicken SuperNoodles, and a roll stuffed with cheese and onion crisps is a thing of beauty. I hope this blog reflects my love of food in its most humble form through to more highbrow experiences.
And so to the aforementioned blog…
After tweeting constantly about this love and posting numerous pictures of soon-to-be-consumed goodies on the Twittersphere, I finally decided it was time to free myself from the constraints of 140 characters and start blogging. My first challenge in this world of wittering, as opposed to twittering, was to come up with a suitable blog name. Many names were suggested and ditched and in a fit of frustration I contacted my sister to see if she had any ideas. Almost straight away she got back to me with a name my much-loved brother-in-law had come up with…Blow Your Own Crumpet. There is no doubt that blogging has more than a touch of narcissism about it and that, coupled with my love of a play on words, made this seem like a fitting name. Now the eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the header photo on here is not, in fact, crumpets but roast potatoes. Well here comes the confession. “Bless me Father for I have sinned. Not only have I never been to the confessional but I have also never cooked crumpets.” Shocking. This is something I plan to rectify to avoid my non-Catholic guilt every time I see my blog name. Watch this space.
So if you’ve decided to read this blog, (I thank you), then you can expect the following: lots of chat about the food I’ve cooked, the food that others have cooked, the food I’ve eaten and the food I want to eat. I also have a love of cocktails so some imbibing chat may also appear from time to time. I’ll also try and post links to other blogs and stuff I like and I’ll be recommending products, producers, restaurants, etc. I think are worth mentioning.
As well as my love of food I also have an obsession with cookery books. I currently own over 100 and there’s some weird and wonderful titles in there as well as the obligatory Nigella, Nigel and Delia. I recently decided to set myself a challenge to cook something from one of these books every week so I’ll be blogging the results of that too. The first book I cooked from in this challenge was the wonderfully titled ‘Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis’ Favourite Recipes’. (Compiled by Brenda Arlene Butler. Published by Gramercey Books). In an homage to the great man himself, any posts relating to this challenge will come under the sub heading Elvis Has Left The Kitchen. Uh-huh-huh. Thank you very much.