Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Food for the Soul

You were actually supposed to get a soup recipe today but while I was being wined and dined by my gorgeous academic son FX last night I started thinking about why food is so important to me.

Food connects us. Good or bad, we always seem to talk about it.
When I started my PhD I moved back into halls of residence and I think one of the main things that made that year as amazing as it turned out to be was the fact that I saw the same people for meals 3 times a day. And you always had something to talk about (yes the food was on the less-amazing side of the spectrum). Who would have thought that fruity meatballs would have such an effect on a group of 50 postgraduates.
It didn't matter where you came from, what you were studying, or anything else for that matter, manoeuvring the perils of Deans Court food together turned strangers into best friends.

I spent an entire year complaining about the food we were being fed, forgetting that even the most amazing porridge in the morning doesn't make up for having to eat it on your own.

Back to last night :) I got to enjoy an amazing warm pasta salad and chatting away I was wondering why we often try to impress people with fancy food as opposed to focusing on why we tend to invite people over for dinner (and no, "to show them your new pair or shoes" is the wrong answer here).

When I made the soup I was planning to write about I was running participants all day and was trying to get ready for leaving St Andrews again, I was running around like a headless chicken (wondering why I had invited people over for dinner all day...). But just this lack of preparation meant I made some soup which everyone seemed to love (don't you worry, the recipe will follow soon enough), that was simple enough to have me chatting to my guests while it bubbled away.
Since I hadn't had any time to make a desert we decided to have some Chocolate-Aubergine Cake I wrote about in January. Every time I make this cake I freeze the leftovers (if you microwave them they go all gooey and amazing - the perfect food when you come home after pulling an all-nighter in the lab) so this was their time to shine. I must admit I felt like a bad host pulling out leftover chocolate cake from my freezer and sticking it into the microwave (why was I actually feeling bad about doing this?) but sharing a plate of cake between the 6 of us seemed like the most natural thing on this planet.


  1. I gotta start taking photos. i've made some amazing food in the last few days on my own here in Paris. It would have been great to share them, but i enjoyed them immensely!! :) I love food and i loved this soup!

  2. Now I'm jealous! I've had rather disappointing food all weekend...I found a new ice-cream recipe though which I shall explore.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the soup! I can't wait to cook with you again!!!


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