This is the entry I wanted to write earlier! I remembered it!
When I say the name Jamie Oliver
, Brits and many other Europeans will think of a young chef with light hair, big lips and excessive use of interdental consonants. He has been on TV for several years now, being one of Europe's celebrity chefs. I remember watching some of his shows and I have to admit that I have used more than one of of Jamie's tricks and ideas in my own kitchen adventures. And so I was happy.
A few weeks ago I discovered a new side of Jamie Oliver. It had to do with the Hungarian Ministry of
Education put together a list of items that should be/will be banned from school snack shops (though not from school lunches... hm...) Some of it included (alongside the evil chhocolatebars, hard candy and chips/crisps) every Hungarian's beloved Túró Rudi, fruit yoghurts, most nuts and cereal bars. In a parents' forum online someone linked to Jamie Oliver's site and his Feed Me Better
campaign. Jamie made headlines with wanting to reform school meals--getting rid of the processed junk and replacing it with healthy and tasty school dinners. He actually got a promise from the British Government for cash injection for school meals.
Jamie actually has a DVD called Jamie's School Dinners
, in which viewers can follow Jamie as he takes over a place that produces something like 20K school dinners a day. I saw one of the four episodes, so I would love to have that DVD!
Another show with Jamie Oliver that I grew to enjoy (though I tend to miss at least half of every episode, is Jamie's Kitchen
. It is more of a documentary than a cooking show, touching the category of reality shows, in which Jamie takes in 15 unemployed young people to teach them to become chefs and work with him at the restaurant he was about to open. I don't know why I was so captivated by this, but I just fell in love with the show. Maybe because secretly I always wanted to be a chef
. Yep. I always loved the kitchen, always loved good food, new things and just being able to create something that people will like. I never dared to tell my parents about it, they would have flipped. They thought that working in a bookstore was below their status, so they denied that I was actually working there when they were asked by a friend of theirs who had run into me at the store. So me cooking as a profession was something that could have never happened.
Yet when I moved here I had a small side business that I quite enjoy doing when it comes up. It is catering. It is pretty easy to do for me, to plan and organize events like that and I quite like doing it. It is not so much me working in the kitchen and doing everything that I can do the best, but getting everything rolling and still doing some of the cooking things myself is my favourite thing.
When I'm home I bake an insane amount of cookies. Craig takes them to school, or the twins take them to the nursery. We take them to Church and to community events. And my neighbours buy them off me by the dozen. It is a very exciting things, when the wealthy neighbours who could buy the expensive (and very yummy) cookies that are sold at the grocery store come to me and offer to pay more per piece than the professionally done and marketed cookies. Not that I actually charge that much, but I love the little extra I can save for fun, or for school supplies or even some seafood!
With all the cooking shows on television these days, I have met some different kind of people who cook and can share tricks and tips. There is Jamie Oliver, and Keith Floyd and the two fat ladies, the former news anchor, the chef and the actor together. What I don't really like in these shows that they always rely on the most well-equipped kitchens and many times on pre-prepaired veggies and stuff. That alone often makes me frustrated, because when they say the preparation time is 20 minutes it takes me around two hours just to chop some veggies! Even with using the very limited modified equipment everything takes a lot longer for me and it often becomes really frustrating. I think I made my point about how frustrating it all can be!
I'd love to see Jamie Oliver have a cooking show when he cooks with some people with disabilities. There would be a lot of people interested in that, too. I mean using a kitchen can be a challenge to someone who has control of his arms and hands but uses a wheelchair. Not to mention someone, who has limited use of their arms/hands! Or an upper limbs amputee... or a blind person. I think I could learn a lot more from them now than from any celebrity chef. I can read and usually recipes are quite easy to follow, but I have no idea how to chop tomatoes. Well, I know. I ask Kevin to do it, but that is not always an option.
One of the things I have learnt about cooking is that the key is not giving up. Yesterday I finally gathered my courage to go to the kitchenette at the end of the corridor and to my surprise I found a grill oven and some burners that are quite low, so I can use them as well. Since Kevin was coming to bring me some clean clothes and a book or two I made a very yummy omelette for him. The onions weren't finely chopped, the bacon wasn't thin enough, the mushrooms were rather oddly shaped, but it still tasted great and Kevin ate it all.
And I didn't need Jamie Oliver for it.