Oh how I abhor the stereotyping of students – slobbish ne’er-do-wells with government loans, unwashed clothes, several days’ stubble and an alcohol problem. Fie on you nay sayers, you! The vast majority of my fellow students are civilised, cultured and diligent. But my God do they eat some absolute slurry. Before I continue, and hopefully before you close this blog, I will say this, however – there will absolutely not be any food snobbery in this blog whatsoever. When I say ‘slurry’ I mean only that I don’t consider a take-away pizza or microwave chicken kiev a suitable supper for a student (you know who you are), the first being uneconomical and greasy, the second quite a health risk. No, there will be no snobbery here. All there will be is delicious recipes made with good ingredients.
In our house in Bristol last year the five of us ate together pretty much every night – certainly whoever was around would eat together, and it meant that by the end of that year we felt like a family. Food is such an intimate thing, that feeding someone and watching them enjoy it is a real pleasure. I am also convinced that we spent less money than others who didn’t cook every night. Good food isn’t expensive. Take-aways are.
In an ideal world you should buy organic produce wherever possible. However, I think that much more important than organic produce is that it is local produce. There are environmental implications to eating basil that has been flown over from Israel, or beans from Brazil, but there are gastronomic implications also. A vegetable that comes from soil near to where you’re eating it will have grown in the same environment in which you live, breathed the same air you breath, been quenched by the same water you drink. It will taste infinitely better than one that has grown in foreign soils, been sprayed to keep it fresh, packed onto a ship and crossed oceans and time zones. The day you eat a potato that you have dug out of the soil an hour before is the day you eat perfection.
So, here I am, taking a hammer to the public perception of students as kebab-munching, beer-swilling lager louts…I am the Larder Lout.