Sunday, September 04, 2011

We wouldn't even recognise ourselves...

I have loads and loads of things to tell y'all about, and many pictures to share, but today I wanted to talk about something I've been pondering since yesterday.

Matt and I went grocery shopping, as we do most weekends. Normally we try to stick to what we need, but about once a month we splurge and buy more exotic foods. We were in the checkout queue, and we were eyeing our purchases.

When we met (12 years ago, minus two weeks!), we seldom cooked. We'd grill bacon, or put together simple pasta dishes. Mostly, we'd eat frozen lasagnes and oven chips.

Nowadays, our shopping features fruit, vegetables, pro-biotic yoghurts, couscous, reduced fat hummus and creme fraiche (I have a rule with things like this - if it doesn't affect the flavour, I'll choose low-fat. If it does, then I won't), fish, cheeses and meats. It certainly isn't some moral thing or even specifically a health thing. It just seems our tastes have changed.

We suspect that we might be middle-class ponces, whose pomposity knows no bounds.
We were certainly putting on the voices and going 'Ahawhawhaw' a lot at the supermarket...

I have been thinking about how we wouldn't even have contemplated buying this sort of stuff back when we met, and I was wondering what changed. Some theories:

Age: Maybe it is just that tastes change with age, as my mum always told me. If you'd told 19-year-old me that I would be enthusiastically eating courgettes and beans and aubergines and chickpeas, I would have laughed in your face probably nodded politely and assumed you were mad.

Cashflow: We are no way rich, but unlike 12 years ago, we are fortunate enough to have a decent-ish cashflow. This means we have more options.

Knowledge: For me, the best way to learn to cook was just to damn well do it. Other people learn other ways. Over the years, as I have moved from ready meal afficionado to enthusiastic cook, I have discovered that I'm not really a follower of recipes. When I find one I like, I will make the food to the recipe the first time, but then make substitutions, additions and subtractions on subsequent occasions to suit our tastes.

Experimentation: I made a joking passing comment on FB the other day regarding Matt and my's "quest to try every food in the world". That might be a slight exaggeration, but we're very excited by new foods, and that's almost entirely been inspired by people I know (Jay, I'm looking at you), books and blogs I read (especially Smitten Kitchen, with which I am infatuated), and just... pictures and flavours and imagination! I love love love when there's a day on which I'm wondering what to make for dinner, and my brain just goes "Well, we've got half a pack of feta. Ooh, and we have loads of peppers this week. Hmm, I wonder if we've got quinoa..." and it all snowballs from there.

Realistically, it's likely to be a combination of the above. And that's cool with me, because it's an infinite experiment! There are always new flavours and combinations and techniques to discover. I am having a ball with the cooking, and Matt's having a ball with the eating, so it's alllllllll good.

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At 9:55 pm, Blogger Winona said...

Funny, Erik and I were talking about the very same thing recently.

At 10:09 pm, Blogger Mouse said...

Heh, Chris and I were looking at our groceries on the checkout at Asda a few weeks ago, and realised that ours was probably the most upper middle class trolley in the shop. When he and I first got together he ate a very limited range of foods and I'd never cooked much (if at all!).

At 3:32 pm, Blogger Brittyb said...

this is so true! I have noticed the same in myself and my boyfriend lately. I love your blog! It is very inspirational!

At 6:02 am, Blogger Shawna said...

Dave and I certainly eat different foods from what we did years ago! I'm a lot more willing to try new foods nowadays, though I still have a food rule (I don't eat things with more that four legs or less than two), which is mostly a rough rule of thumb.


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