My name is Rachel and I have been cooking for myself, family and friends for more than 20 years. Food was a big part of my childhood. Every night my mum would make a main meal and a dessert. There was a repertoire of bread pudding, bananas and custard, blancmange, trifle, jelly whip and my favourite lemon meringue pie. It was years later that I learned most kids didn’t get dessert every night.
My cooking started with cakes and bread. I remember learning to crack eggs into cake batters and how to separate the yolk and the white, being shown hold to fold ingredients together and how to knead bread dough. As a teenager, I had a casserole phase. I would spend all of Saturday immersed in the kitchen. In the morning, I would choose some recipes and go to the local shop to get the ingredients. Then I would spend a very happy afternoon baking a dessert and cooking a main meal and listening to the radio.
Much of my knowledge and confidence in the kitchen comes from my mum. I feel very lucky that she went to catering college and learned many of the techniques that I now see celebrity chefs using. She can finely dice an onion keeping her finger tips out of the way, separate the segments of an orange or grapefruit and core apples in her hand. She has a laissez faire approach to following recipes and never worries if she doesn’t have an ingredient, she just finds the nearest replacement in her pantry and it is always fine.