Being the youngest son of a large family, by the time I was 14 I was pretty much left to my own devices when it came to preparing food.  In those days, my menu consisted of little other than cereal, frozen pizza and the occasional pot noodle.  I saw preparing and cooking food as an enormous waste of time, which could be better spent playing music, listening to music or practically anything else.

Up until about 4 weeks ago, my inability to cook (other than scrambled eggs or somesuch) was a source of humour between me and my wife.  But about a month ago I decided it wasn’t funny anymore.

The decision to take a more hands-on approach certainly had something to do with my current dedication to losing weight, but it had more to do with the realization that cooking is such a fundamental human skill (a skill that quite possibly separated homo sapiens from other species in the evolutionary process) that I decided I wanted to acquire it.

It’s a skill that seems to be dying away with the proliferation of pre-packaged goods and fast food (food, I might add, that myself and my family still use a lot of).  It’s also a skill that’s essential to movements like Slow Life – an idea I admire and hope to incorporate into my own life.

Somewhat to my surprise, I’ve found the whole process enormously gratifying.  With the help of, I’ve made some pretty simple dishes all taking between 1.5 and 3 hours to prepare, cook & serve.  

And as an extension of Sophie’s birthday this week, I decided to take my first ever real stab at baking.  She love’s Peppa Pig ( and Peppa’s daddy loves Homemade Chocolate Cake.  So on Sunday – that’s what we made.





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