On Sunday, I cooked spicy chicken goujons with Bombay potatoes. To my shock, the only ingredients required which I did not already have were the chicken, the potato, and the grainy mustard. This is a turning point: in the past, shopping for a particular recipe has meant buying lots of quite expensive one-off items that I justify by saying I can use them again in future. Stuff like jars of herbs, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and in one case a non-stick frying pan.
But I've got all that stuff. I cooked the chicken and the potatoes and, while they were not perfect (without the time management usually provided by M, the chicken dried out in the oven while I was still chopping the potatoes) they were still very nice, and a cut above instameal fare. I'm still quite proud of being able to cook relatively complicated things and not have them be disasters; it's like when you've just learned to read, and so you read absolutely anything you can see.
And having good ingredients around breeds more cooking. Today, when I wasn't even cooking for anyone, I prepared an experimental dish -- frying chopped bacon up, half-boiling some fresh filled pasta, and then combining the two with some tomato puree and a big dollop of various herbage. The resulting herby-bacony-cheesy-pasta-y thing was really very tasty, and looked like this:
And now that I have that really nice mustard lying around, I feel obligated to cook some really nice beef to put it on. Anyone want to come round for dinner this week?