Last night I had the pleasure of having people to dinner for the first time in my new home - yay!
To dinner, not for dinner; despite my love of quoting Dr Hannibal Lecter, I am not inclined towards cannibalism. Although I must admit, the thought of boiling a few politicians' heads is extremely appealing at present.
The reason I mention this is whenever I am talking to someone and they say 'Oh, I'm having X and Y for dinner' - well, all I can envisage is a big pile of fava beans and some fairly unpleasant screams.
And they ain't coming from little lambykins.
Not quite sure how I got onto Dr Lecter then - a need to fire up grammatically and a hangover from the desire to seriously injure a flight attendant on Thursday I think (see My House post for reference).
I must admit, I was a bit excited about the whole dinner shebang. Because I love cooking. Absolutely adore it. I love the whole process associated with putting great food on the table; I find it extremely calming and it means a lot to me that everything is (hopefully) perfect. But for quite some time I haven't been doing much cooking at all, which for a chick who used to regularly hold four course dinner parties for twelve people without blinking an eye has been - well, pretty blah.
So yesterday afternoon it was a case of dancing around the kitchen to extremely dorky music as I caked it up and threw garlic around like a vampire hunter gone wild; and naturally, being me, cut myself on one of my samurai-sharp knives just for that added touch of cheffy messed-up fingers authenticity.
It was ace.
And it made me wonder something.
Is cooking - or more to the point, being taught to cook - a lost art?
Much like the practice of writing (writing, not texting) thank you notes and other antiquated notions which Gen 'Y Do I Have To Listen To This Old Bag Blather On At Me' look at me blankly about when I mention them, is learning to cook slowly becoming a dinosaur?
I'd love to say 'Nope, everyone loves cooking' but the reality is, how many 25 year olds now would know how to make - oh, I don't know - gravy? And yes, I realise you don't need to know how to make gravy, because all you have to do is walk into Woollies and pick up a pouch of said substance and zap the hell out of it, but that's not the point. There is something hugely satisfying in creating something very simple and delicious from scratch. I'm not saying everyone should be spending their weekends boiling up huge pots of chicken bones and making stock, but taking the time - just occasionally - to not take the plastic fantastic option is massively rewarding.
And tastes even sweeter.
Because you know in yourself - even if nobody else at the table realises - that what you are eating was made by you. Not by someone in a pair of plastic gloves and a hair net somewhere.
And definitely not while dancing around to Vogue.
How could it not taste amazing?
Finger slicing good. Those knives are really, really sharp. Ouch.