Just an aside?
My blog seems to have taken on a new life. After rereading my home page I have noted that I did reserve the right to modify my practice at will. And I have. These pages have given me a chance to share my creative pursuits and the ebb and flow of my life. I’ve deviated from my original intent. Having the gift of time has allowed me to reflect on what I really want from this little blog of mine. There doesn’t seem to be a huge appetite for the type of teaching resources I enjoy creating. Nevertheless, I will continue to add creative writing ideas as they pop into my head. I’m on a journey, with no set destination, what could be more exciting!
I’m currently drawing pictures for my Forces of Nature post. Quite appropriate really, given that torrential rain is falling outside. Cyclone Cook is gracing us with ‘his’ presence. I love to write, I’m opinionated, and my fluffy aging head is full of fanciful notions just busting to get out. What is it they say? Use it or lose it. So write I must.
For those of you who take life a little too seriously please bear in mind, that this is an opinion piece.
Where was I? Spaghetti Pizza!
I couldn’t believe the mock fest that followed Bill English sharing his spaghetti pizzas on Facebook. For those of you who don’t know, Bill English is New Zealand’s Prime Minister. The media were frothing at the mouth, unnecessarily I feel. Why couldn’t they see it for what it was? A father cooking his family a simple, inexpensive evening meal.
Let me just say that many that past criticism probably can’t even cook a simple meal. When did everyone become food snobs?
The backbone of every healthy family’s diet is good simple food. The food our grandparents and parents cooked. Recipes were handed down. In years gone by families sat down every night to a home cooked meal. Takeaways weren’t an option, if you were lucky there was a local chippy shop down the road. Most of us couldn’t afford to go there. Money was tight.
I learnt to cook by watching my mother; we were encouraged to get involved from a very early age. I can still vividly remember many run ins with exceptionally sharp knives.
One of my fondest memories was Home Science classes, cooking and sewing, at intermediate in the late 1960’s, I was in heaven. That was in the days when they taught you to cook. Every student was given a copy of Food for Families. To protect the book we were instructed to cover it with plastic from an old plastic bag. I’ve treasured that book. Almost half a century later, it still has pride of place on my bookcase. We learnt to cook Pizza Pie using spaghetti instead of tomatoes. In the good old days most families grew tomatoes and bottled excess produce. Canned tomatoes were difficult to buy. Spaghetti was a cheaper option, everyone had cans of spaghetti in the cupboard.
Spaghetti Pizza was the backbone of my repartee as a teenage cook. At seventeen I cooked it for the man; I can still recall the delight on his face when he discovered I could cook. He still loves my food forty-three years later.
As a relief teacher I’ve been fortunate enough to teach Cooking. The most successful lessons were when I went back to basics. Yes, they learnt how to make Spaghetti Pizza; every delicious crumb was gobbled up. A simple scone base, that crisps up perfectly and simple ingredients. Add a salad and you have a balanced meal. Take that!
Fast forward to today, we are constantly bombarded with stories in the main stream media bemoaning society’s problems with obesity. Time poor, many families eat preprepared or take away meals. A precious skill that we all took for granted, the ability to cook, with confidence, is slowly slipping from our grasp.
Just to prove my point I made one last night.
So for those doubting Thomas’s out there, the recipe is here, give it a go. Don’t forget to replace the tomato with spaghetti. Put just the right amount on the crust first, and then layer on the remaining ingredients. Cook to perfection and enjoy.
Oh and that young girl, me, who still makes spaghetti pizza occasionally turned into a stupendous cook.
Ka kite ano.