I don’t really have a New Years Resolution this year, but eating less and being more efficient with the food I do buy is something I have been thinking about over the Christmas period.

Part of the reason for this was that I was lucky enough to get a copy of An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace for Christmas. It’s not a recipe book per se, it’s more a book to change the way you think abut food. I started reading it one afternoon, where like only some of the best fiction, I sat transfixed reading cover-to-cover until I was finished.

An Everlasting Meal

From the jacket copy “She explains what cooks in the world’s greatest kitchens know: that the best meals rely on the ends of the meals that came before them.” I like that while it does give recipes, it’s more about the general techniques. There are chapters on a whole range of topics but some of my favourites are: meals to make from a couple of eggs and other store cupboard ingredients, rice dishes (including using leftovers) and making flavourful stocks.

In some ways it reflects more the way I used to cook for myself in the students days. Ok so I wasn’t making stock or cooking a whole chicken – but I was more adventurous, and less confined within the normal cooking (e.g meat and two veg, or sauce and rice combos).

I was more willing to say ok I have half a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a tin of cannelini beans what can I invent for dinner tonight? Pulling ingredients together and making something out of nothing, is not particularly difficult once you know the basics of cooking a few different types of meal. Most of the time you will create a perfect dinner, that is more frugal for using what you already have.

Over the past few days I have got much more into this mindset, I am actually excited about cooking again! I can see it more for the creative side than just the need to make something to sustain energy levels through the rest of the day.

If this is how you have been feeling to then I would thoroughly recommend reading this book. While it is not the cheapest boook in the UK you can pick up second hand copies on Amazon for less than £7.

Have you read “An Everlasting Meal”? What other cook books have inspired you to cook differently?