Welcome To Man Cave Fire
Updated: Jun 11
Hi,, I'm Steve and I love food; eating it, making it, reading about it, dreaming about it. I spend most of my working day planning what I'm going to make for dinner when I get home.
I started cooking at a young age when Mum & Dad, who both worked full time, decided it was time for us kids to have chores. Initially it started off as twice a week either me or my sister were to cook dinner and the other was to wash the dishes and clean the kitchen afterwards.
I literally loathed washing dishes and all the best TV shows (A-Team, The Fall Guy, Red Dwarf, The Young Ones) were after dinner when you would be standing in the kitchen up to your elbows in soap suds so it didn't take long for me to figure out that the cooking part was the preferred option. Plus, the added bonus of making extra mess for my sister if she was getting on my nerves! So from around 8 years old, I was responsible for the family meal twice a week.
This was the mid 1980's so there wasn't much in the way of celebrity chef's, around then. I think the main contenders in the UK were Delia Smith and Keith Floyd so you had the choice of classic British basics from
Delia (fairly uninspiring, sorry Dee) or wild global cuisine from the far flung corners of the world from Keith (RIP). I took much more inspiration from Floyd but it wasn't really realistic for a working class family from Yorkshire in the Thatcher years to have ingredients like Galangal or Dried Shrimp lying around in the pantry. Also, given dinner (we called it tea back then in Yorkshire) was my fathers only real meal of the day, my experimentation had to be slightly reigned in and I had to be creative whilst remembering the main pan of the house was the chip pan!
Fortunately for me, I come from a long line of accomplished home cooks and my mother was no exception. She is the kind of cook who can look in a refrigerator that would have anyone else reaching for the take away menu and can create a decent plate of food from the most meager of ingredients. Additionally, back in those days you had to be thrifty so waste was seriously frowned upon.
My mom is still like that today, she is good at re-inventing left overs or stretching food out to make it go further even though these days she doesn't really need to. I learned a lot growing up about that and it really molded my cooking style even though now I don't really need to worry about the cost of ingredients, I refuse to throw away good food or pay for high end ingredients unless I know they're worth it. I'm a lot like my mother when it comes to cooking but have developed my own style and draw the line at some of her food preservation techniques like freezing cheese!
So I'm starting this blog as my online recipe book. I live in Cape Town, South Africa now and have been introduced to a whole new world of ingredients and techniques whilst I've been here so want to capture some of my new recipes as well as document what I learned growing up in the UK before I get really old and forget.
I hope you enjoy the recipes and feel free to comment or share, We'd love to hear from you.