There’s no place like home…
Unfortunately for all you Dorothy fans this blog is not going to be a ramble about the Wizard of OZ. However, Dorothy does raise the question: is there really no place like home?
The Domestic Goddess Dream
One of the many things I was looking forward to doing when I moved to University was my own food shopping: sad, but true. I honestly could not wait to potter on down to the supermarket and buy whichever food I fancied. I had visions of myself gliding down the aisles with a well thought out shopping list and a trolley full of food that I would then make delicious meals from. The domestic dream did not stop there oh no; I thought once I got home I would, for example, stuff the chicken breasts I bought before I put them in the freezer. HA! As if that ever actually happened!!! Ok so I was probably (definitely) not your average student when it came to food but I did not emulate this domestic goddess I thought I could be. The novelty of shopping for myself soon wore thin…
The Cupboard was Bare
In first year I frequently found myself in the same position as ‘Old Mother Hubbard’. Luckily I normally had a fairly good stock of cupboard items but unfortunately they tended not to go together. My worst ever ‘dregs of the cupboard’ meal was couscous with Lloyd Grossman’s char grilled vegetable sauce, oh yea and a tin of sweet corn so I would get my vitamin intake. It was just a big sloppy mess but I was hungry and I am pretty sure that the shop was closed. Separately these things are great but together they are gross, in fact I am holding back a wretch now just thinking about it. I am fully aware there are worse things to eat, and I am sure I have had to eat much worse but this one stands out in particular. Ok fine, yes maybe I am being a bit of a diva about it but I really remember how rank this meal was. Fortunately incidents like the couscous and sauce one were few and far between and the majority of meals I prepared were not too shabby. I have had a head start in the cooking stakes though… My mum teaches in the hospitality department at Oxford Brookes University. I have always had delicious home cooked meals and have been taught to not buy ‘rubbish’* but to make the best with what you have. She sent me off to university knowing that cooking for myself would not be a problem yet she still got me a note book and wrote cheap, quick and easy meal ideas in it for me.
Feels like home
Despite me knowing how to knock up edible meals there was nothing like coming home to a fridge full of food! I especially loved Sunday afternoons (a time that now makes my heart sink) mum would make a roast dinner (ultimate home comfort) and occasionally me and dad would go for a walk in the country whilst it was cooking. After dinner I would go and get my train back to Sheffield feeling refreshed and well fed.
When me and my friends would talk about coming home from Uni, food seemed to be one of the main perks of home (as well as heating, clean house etc etc etc). Someone (this someone has many a home comfort as they live with a relative whilst studying) recently said to be that when they come home for a weekend they love having a bath then going to check out the fridge before attacking its contents which is usually cheese, biscuits and chilli jam.
Bye Bye Uni
I honestly don’t think I was that upset about leaving Sheffield and finishing University, to me it was just the end of one book but the opening of another. It was when my friends all went back to uni that I realised I missed the student life. But when I think about it, home is pretty darn good; there is always good food and food shopping is an enjoyable serene experience (Waitrose we love you!)
Dorothy, I totally agree! There really is no place like home!
*NB. By rubbish I mean value sausages and ham. There is nothing wrong with economy food as long as you buy the right bits for example I always got economy vegetables the only thing wrong with them is that they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing. The same goes for salmon; smoked salmon trimmings (about 80p) and Sainsbury’s ‘salmon fillets of all shapes and sizes’ made regular appearances at my meal times.