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You know, there's an awful lot to be said for good home cooking. ^_^

Today, I felt like using up some cubed lamb that'd been defrosted at an awkward time (not much space in the fridge or freezer, and still half a pizza awaiting its fate), and tossed it into the slow cooker with a package of tomatoes, a tin of chickpeas/garbanzo, a few inches of a Moroccan spice blend, garlic powder, rosemary, lemon thyme, and mushrooms. After a couple hours, I thought I'd tweak it a little with the addition of some sliced up Cumberland sausages, a tin of chana dal (got to love having a good Indian/Caribbean aisle in the supermarket), and a sliced up leek, along with a little cheap cider to help keep everything moist.

When I came back from today's rabbiteering, all it needed was a little piquance and some tomato purée. Rather tasty, along with some brown rice. ^_^

And yes, a proper entry will be along in the next day or two, with any luck.

Which all leads me to wonder: how often do you cook? Do you enjoy it, or is it just a necessity? Are you even, perhaps, quite good at it?
 
 
 
 
 
 
I cook a few times a week, and I really enjoy it. I tend to make curries of one sort or another, but have had moments with Italian, French and Chinese food. My girlfriend thinks I'm fairly good at it, I think, but I think there's room for improvement.
Ahh! I presume you mean curries of the Indian/Pakistani variety, rather than further east? I've not really been that successful with my attempts there, so far - they're perfectly edible, just lacking that wondrous complexity and tender heat. What's your secret? ^_^

My curries, therefore, tend more toward the Thai styles, albeit utterly ersatz - usually I eschew coconut milk, given just how fatty it is, and go with something like a vegetable chowder soup as a base, enlivening it with adequate heat, and seasonings to nudge it in the right direction, like a little oyster sauce. But, having recently discovered some fantastic red curry paste in the supermarket, that's my preferred way now - just puréed chilis, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and all that good stuff, without any bulking agents, so it's not only richly flavored, but dirt cheap; a bearable combination.

French I love eating, but there often seems to be such a degree of complexity involved. Then again, maybe it's simply relative unfamiliarity - certainly, the cassoulet I made a few weeks ago was perfectly easy, even if unlikely to be authentic.

I don't suppose you bake your own bread? I'd love to work out if it's possible to make a real baguette at home. None of the supermarket offerings come close, with the exception of M&S. Oh, the joy of that extraordinary crunchiness, and vanishingly light within.. add some rillettes du porc, a good Camambert, and a some red table wine: instant picnic. =:9
Most of my curries are Indian or Pakistani, but I made a great Cambodian pork curry the other week which was coconut milk based.

As for my secret with curries, I don't know what level of authenticity you go for, but I tend to go from scratch - not only do I make my own curry pastes and spice blends, but I buy as many whole spices as possible and grind them myself.

I don't tend to bake my own bread, although Mary has made naan breads to accompany some of the curries I've made recently.

Gosh, I'm getting hungry now :)