I’ve recently started a new job which means meeting lots of new people. Meeting new people inevitable leads to the ‘so whereabouts in Austra… errr… New Zealand are you from?’ question which swiftly dovetails into all the who, what, when, and always the whys. Almost every Brit I’ve met seems to think it’s outrageous that we Kiwis would want to leave the luscious green land we call home for a smog smothered land that is London. Perhaps it’s something to do with them thinking our whole country is Middle Earth; breaking the news that it’s not is like telling a child the truth about Santa…
Once they get over that bombshell, they ask if I’m homesick, to which I usually reply… not really. More surprised looks ensue. Of course I miss my family but a couple of years away isn’t that long, and we’re always texting and skyping each other so it’s pretty much the same as being there!
For some people it could be a huge plate of cheesy pasta, for a certain someone it’s most likely to be a hearty beef stew, but for me it’s definitely a bowl of piping hot noodles. That, ladies and gentlemen, is my ultimate comfort food. I’m not fussy about which ones, I’ll happily wolf down thick egg noodles in a mee goreng or slurp up slippery rice noodles in a broth, it’s all the same goodness to me. Noodles are what I crave when I’m feeling a little meh or when my tummy just needs a warm food hug. You know that feeling don’t you?
The grey London skies and chilly temperatures of the last couple of months have definitely increased the meh days, and on a particularly miserable Saturday evening we found ourselves in dire need of noodle nourishment. Too lazy to throw something together but equally too lazy to venture anywhere further than a fifteen minute tube ride, we settled on a quick trip to Brixton… there’s that Thai place in Brixton Market our friends love and we’ve been meaning to try Mama Lan for a while, or we could also head over to Pop Brixton for a nosey, and if all that came to nothing, there was always Nanban to fall back on.
I used to think I was a pretty good cook; not the kind that’s good enough to work in a restaurant but the kind that can throw together a meal without breaking into a sweat. I have a good grasp of basic kitchen skills, a decent repertoire of dishes I can whip up almost to perfection, and there haven’t been any major complaints… well not to my face anyway. So if you were me, you’d put yourself into the ‘can cook’ category wouldn’t you?
Those daydreams I had about ‘being crowned the next Masterchef’ or who I would pick as my partner on My Kitchen Rules swiftly moved from the ‘what if’ box to the ‘dreams are free’ one. It was a bit of a reality check, I’m a decenthome cook but there are some scarily professional home cooks out there. Of Instagram’s 300 million users, I wonder how many of those accounts are dedicated to food because I have no doubt that hours could be spend scrolling through the never ending stream of food photos. Been there, done that. Well not in one sitting but since I’ve been on Instagram I shudder to think about how many photos I’ve liked, drooled over, and have been inspired to recreate.