I enjoy take-aways and have the figure to prove it but I also enjoy good home cooked food and am a pretty damn fine cook myself (and so say many people who have experienced my cooking). I am completely hopeless at following recipes – I always want to change things – and very good from making things up from scratch.
Working my way though the education system has found me sharing rooms with both Chinese and Indian students from whom I have picked up some interesting cooking techniques. I will never make it to Master Chef – could not pronounce most of what the competitors produce let alone understand to make it – but I can whip up plenty of food from single-pot offerings to full size multi-course banquets.
I am pleased to say that both of my daughters have picked up my cooking style but learnt from my wife to follow recipes to some extent (she will adapt recipes whereas I simply reject them on principle). They can therefore both happily knock up a full Sunday-roast with all the trimmings or create some new dish from a random selection of ingredients found around the kitchen. One of them is also an especially accomplished baker of cakes (lighter than my mother or paternal-grandmother ever achieved)
It comes as something of a shock to me that a colleague whom I consider to be particularly intelligent confesses to hardly bother to cook at all. Of course, he could just be winding me up. At least I hope so. If not, well, I feel sorry for him in that condescendingly superior manner we all hate to experience but often cannot help exuding when in "parent" mode (reflecting on how we have educated our children on the topic in question).
The story goes that he lives alone and is away from home all week living in a hotel. How long he has lived alone, how he conducts his private life, what kind of relationships he has, whether he is straight/gay/bi/uninterested I know not – I don’t know him well enough to be aware of any such things. So, he lives alone, keeps virtually nothing in the cupboard or the fridge. He says he hates anything from the freezer (which turns out to mean anything he is involved in getting from the freezer and being involved in the defrosting of).
Shopping at the end of the week when you get home late on a Friday is not a fun proposition. This, he lives on take-aways. He has a huge choice and includes custom order sandwiches at the local deli under the "take-away" umbrella.
Whilst my colleague is not exactly slim, he is much smaller than I am so it is hardly appropriate for me to criticise. At lunchtime, he will often go for healthy salad options whilst I load up the chips and beans. I can not help but think that he is storing up damage for the long term though BUT more importantly, he is missing out hugely.
Most take-aways are not that great and many restaurants are much of a muchness and don’t get me started on hotel food from the food-services companies (3663 and Brakes in particular). You cannot beat home-cooked food for range, choice, quality, taste, freshness, comfort, etc. What a thing to miss.
I am looking forward to having one of my "fishy-stuff" breakfasts at the weekend, perhaps prepared by one of my daughters. What tinned fish will they chose to use? Which spices shall they mix and how? How fired will the spices be? Will there be eggs? Any sauce? Try that in your hotel!