One of the joys of coming home has been cooking again. When we were away, we tended to eat out during the day, and snack on sandwiches – tomatoes, cheese, prosciutto, fresh pesto – in the evenings. Cooking in the evenings was hot work for much of our trip, and so we kept it to a minimum. When I did cook, it was simple. Roast chicken bought from the market, grilled steak to satisfy iron cravings, eggs because they’re quick and easy, or pasta and vegetables (to satisfy our vegetable cravings). I realised how much I rely on my pantry (over) full of ingredients. For our three months in Italy, we ended up with a large bottle each of olive oil and balsamic, and these travelled with us.
The best thing about being home in my kitchen though, is my knife. I contemplated taking it with me, but didn’t and regretted that decision. Rental accommodation is good for a lot of things, but it doesn’t supply sharp knives. A couple of our places had serrated steak knives, and I had to rely on these. We bought a very cheap chef’s knife in Rome. To put it bluntly, there was a reason it was cheap. And so I struggled, chopping onions, or slicing meat or vegetables with inadequate utensils. Coming home to my beautiful big sharp knife is a joy.
That said, I wrote most of this yesterday. It was Saturday night, and we were having takeaways for dinner.