I consider myself a serial collector of recipes! Sadly, it’s incurable and no doctor’s waiting room is safe from me. I now have piles of magazine recipe cuttings and I love the free magazines, leaflets and cards now available from supermarkets. I own mountains of cookbooks, some given as gifts, but many from sales and charity shops. I regularly borrow from the public library. I also beg recipes and book loans from friends and family (these are, of course, returned!) I have lots of scribbled down recipes copied from TV and now, with the advent of the Internet, I find quite literally that the world is my cookbook!
Down the years I have found and made some lovely recipes but after a while it is difficult to track them down – the downside of having so much paper. This site was planned as a way I can store the best so they can always be at my fingertips. I am going to have a lot of fun looking back through my books and papers.
Although I love cooking, I live a busy life and am particularly interested in serving good food which is relatively quick to prepare without spending a lot of time on complicated processes, though I don’t mind doing this occasionally for a special occasion or a recipe that is really worth it. I keep an eye open for extra quick meals, those which I can get on the table in a maximum of 30 minutes. These are especially useful on self-catering holidays (when my I tell my family: ‘if I cannot cook something in half an hour I am just not interested!’) This does not mean that I want to live on and feed my family processed foods. I like to use good fresh items as far as possible, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, but I am realistic and unafraid to cut corners with convenience foods from time to time – it’s a question of balance.
Watching the waistline: Although I like sweet and rich foods, I do not have a very sweet tooth. I often find that I can successfully reduce the fat and/or sugar content of a recipe with no ill effect and regularly substitute lower calorie, fat reduced or ‘light’ products in recipes (for example I regularly use Elmlea double, single or whipping cream in place of the full fat product).
My food loves include: fruits of all types, in particular berry fruits and citrus fruits; fresh crusty multi-grain bread; avocado; nuts & seeds; fragrant spices (cardamon, cumin, coriander … I’m quite keen on the hot ones too); cheese; fish (though not boringly steamed and plain); lamb (though never cold); coffee & chocolate in combination…
My food hates are few: My main dislikes are stews with meat and lumps of fruit cooked together (so if that is what you are searching for, sorry, but you are unlikely to find much in that category on this site); white chocolate (‘real’ chocolate just has to be brown – as dark as possible); rum & rum flavouring; tomato ketchup; brown sauce; sweet brown ‘Branston’ pickle…
I am a supporter of Fairtrade and delighted to see more and more ethically traded items available in our shops and supermarkets. I recommend the ‘Divine‘ Cookbook for chocoholic cooks with a conscience!
On this site you will find: personal recipes, tried and trusted family recipes, variations on recipes found elsewhere plus, of course, recipes that need no variation at all from the original. As they are needed, I will occasionally add some essential basic recipes. There will also be information about items in my freezer and storecupboard that I would not be without. I also plan to give information on equipment and gadgets I find particularly useful (and will gradually add all of these as I use them in recipes).
Credits: Wherever possible I will credit the original cook, publication or source, even if I have varied and/or improved the recipe, though the source of some recipes and the name of the original cook is often lost in the mists of time. I had no idea when I cut out the recipe for my ‘must cook sometime’ file that I would ever be re-writing it here, so apologies to anyone who recognises their work here uncredited. (I would be happy to add a credit if I am convinced of its authenticity.) Most photographs I use will be my own, with a few illustrations taken from the Internet where the most recent concoction has been eaten! Again, if I can be sure that I credit the original source of the picture I will do so.
I would be grateful if anyone who refers to my recipes or images credits this site. I will do my very best to do the same in return. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of original material from this site (text and/or images) without express permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is prohibited. References, short excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Hopeeternal and Meanderings through my cookbook with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Meanderings through my cookbook was officially launched on 1 April 2009, April Fools Day, though the only fool you should be able to find here will be the fruity/creamy variety. However, if you do find that I have ‘made a fool’ of myself I hope you will let me know, though please be charitable in your comments! (I welcome comments about posts on this site as well as ideas but, of course, reserve the right to include/exclude comments that are sent to me. I have, and will continue to, add links to other websites and blogs that I have found helpful or fun.)
I may be just an ‘ordinary’ person, but I am also unique and grateful for the ‘hope eternal’ that Jesus gives. As a Christian, I hope that my faith impacts on all areas of my life and as part of this you will find information in these pages about Fairtrade. Apart from cooking and food, I also enjoy art (both being creative and the work of others), music (listening – many different types – and taking part, particularly singing), reading (again many different types), travel, especially to France, (there will occasionally be travel/food related items on this site) – and I am very fond of cats.
This site is not just for me and for anyone who visits, but also for my daughter so she can always access favourite family recipes wherever she ends up – and be able to re-create a slice of home which will hopefully bring back good memories!
Happy cooking – and eating – who and wherever you are!
PS (August 2011) Since I started writing here I have made lots of contact with other lovely people who post about food. I have decided, however, that I would prefer not to take part in passing on awards or memes – thanks for your understanding!
Personal Link (sorry – not for public view)