“Some tasty little flavour bombs…” -Jamie Oliver

Once upon a time I remember not really liking Jamie Oliver… I cannot remember why I just didn’t. There are a few reasons that I can think of now that might have been why… like a silly one being that so many other people liked him and therefore I decided not to… or simply because I wasn’t all that interested in cooking and didn’t need a reason to be interested in him.

I think when I started liking him was when he started his healthy school dinner projects in England. He has such a passion for food that when it came for him to teach children about it he became a naturally good teacher. He didn’t go into to schools and got children to follow recipes, take notes from the board, gave them rote learning exercises, etc. He got the children involved in not just the cooking of the food, but in what types of food are good for us and how they can become delicious. From there he went into people’s homes and talked to the parents about why their children were eating unhealthily and how they could make changes in their cooking.
I remember that something he was teaching was learning a ‘set’ of recipes maybe about ten that you know off by heart, that will keep you and the family happy, that are affordable and most importantly – healthy.
Around the time that this show was being aired in Australia I was about to move into student accommodation and begin my uni degree. Knowing that I wouldn’t have Mum there to help me,I gave myself that very challenge. One of the recipes I learnt was how to make my own fried rice… I loved it and knew the Chinese take-away option wasn’t always the best…

Unfortunately, arriving at my new home some of these ideas I had for cooking great food…came crashing down as soon as I saw the state of the kitchens…hmmm hundreds of young students sharing kitchens together isn’t always a good idea… just maybe… I learnt to be a bit more resourceful with my cooking… but it was not quite the same.
The year after I had almost the opposite experience. Boarding with family friends who cooked for me and not just simple basic meals either… I’m talking about barley and lamb shank cassroles, middle eastern feasts, yummy soups, chocolate puddings, apple cakes, roasts, etc, etc… just really good food! I was never hungry!
But then the year after that, I was living in a share house and diagnosed with Coeliac Disease.
Not only was I cooking for myself again, but I had to figure out what on earth I was going to make that was Gluten Free. I had to enjoy it and try and put on weight, healthily.

I was hungry all the time and just could not work out how to be full.
Last year came and things started to improve… I was cooking pretty decent meals, all gluten free, healthy, filling and great tasting. But I was wasting lots because I did not know what to do with it.
This year came and with my weird hours in before and after school care… it was either really basic cooking or take-away… a little ashamed to admit it… but it’s true…
I have have since resigned from my job to get back into focusing on teaching and with more time comes better cooking.
I have decided to shop at the market, try out lots of different recipes, transform ones with gluten to make gluten free and cook from recipes that are already gluten free.
On top of which I have been watching Jamie’s show “Save with Jamie” and it has really inspired me to be aware of not just how to stretch money when cooking but on how not to waste so much food. The show is really upbeat and it looks like most his recipes are doable. Maybe not in his style, with his perfectly stocked pantry or team of cooks… but it actually looks realistic.

Plus his crazy passion for food oozes from the screen as he gets excited with Jamieisms such as “Some tasty little flavour bombs”
It’s just a great show and is making me just want to cook and eat well!
Signing off… need sleep… it’s late…

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