I like to eat. This is not to say I am greedy – although my love for cherry bakewells has often made me wonder if there is fat girl inside me trying to eat her way out.
What I mean is that I like food. I love to cook it, eat it, share it with friends, wash it down with red wine, spend lazy afternoons enjoying it and fantasise of living in
and making eating a full time occupation, or failing that, moving to a countryside cottage and magically morphing into Nigella Lawson. Italy
But I am not a foodie. I know this because I recently met one. She was straight out of book of ‘how to be a dreadful snob.’ After remarking that she would think less of person for eating in a chain restaurant, I had a sudden desire to invite her round to my home for dinner and force feed her battery farmed chicken. Perhaps even mechanically reclaimed.
Foodies do not eat crunchy nut cornflakes, or skip dinner after a long day at work for half a pack of hobnobs and a cup of tea. And boiling up a pan of spaghetti, then stirring through some Jamie Oliver pesto is definitely not classed as cooking.
But, I imagine, being a foodie is an expensive pass-time. Farmers’ markets do not have BOGOF offers. Purple sprouting broccoli is expensive all year round. And happy animals mean high prices.
As someone who is trying to make necessary financial cutbacks I was interested to read that Sainsburys have launched a promotion that claims that a family of four can be fed on £50 a week. A £50 a week budget equates to £1.79 per person, per day. By these calculations I should be able to feed myself for £12.53 a week. Needless to say this is a lot less than I currently spend, so I was interested.
Shortly after, I learned that this amount is less than is allocated to guests of Her Majesty's Prisons, and only marginally more than is spent on the daily meals of the majority of NHS patients. Whilst one doesn't hear of too many people dying of malnutrition in hospitals and prisons, one also doesn't hear of too many people clamouring to change places with them when dinner time comes around.
As such, perhaps this is one scrimp too far, even for a non-foody. Come to think of it, having subsisted as a penniless a student – the regular arrival of bowls of soup or dishes of spaghetti bolognese, night after night, was enough to drive me to bloody murder.
For now I might allow myself to continue a love affair with food. I like Pizza Express too much to give up chains, could not get used to daily macaroni cheese and cannot bring myself to eat unhappy chickens. I'll never own a noodle maker. I will never tut at other people's lunches. But I will enjoy cooking and haplessly attempt to emulate the mighty Nigella.
I must practice my food related innuendo. With a sideways smirk announce: ‘My gleaming lemon cream is ready.’ Sigh giddily: ‘Ah, look at these gorgeous golden balls.’ Purr at the male guest assembling a fajita: ‘It's a very artistic package you have there.’ Easy.
But let me tell you my favourite part of the Nigella magic – it’s the moment at the very end when the credits are rolling. It always shows her (slightly slutty Nige!) in a silk robe in the dark, peering into the bright lights of her refrigerator to find the leftovers of what delights she cooked earlier. She’ll find her midnight feast treasure and take a bite right out of the bowl.
Oh Nigella you are naughty. Are there any cherry bakewells in there?