So what is this blog about? Who is it for?
I love to cook. There are few things in life more pleasurable than setting out a collection of seemingly incongruous and inedible ingredients and transforming them in to something beautiful, tasty, healthy and ethical. I avidly consume all types of media regarding food - television programmes, websites, blogs, magazines and recipe books. I would love to spend all of my time in the kitchen or the garden, growing vegetables, curing meat, raising chickens.
However, unlike many of my food heroes (who will become clear to regular readers of this blog) I live in what might be called - unfairly to them, I suppose - the real world. I have to go to work every day. I have to do the washing and change the sheets and raise a child (not without the help of Mrs. Jay, I hasten to add) and see my friends and sleep and....well, you get the idea. I would love to source my food locally and dig potatoes straight out of the ground but who really has the time? And when the major supermarkets, insidious though they may be, will deliver to my door, allowing me to do more of the things listed above, what's a man to do?
So this blog is an attempt to reconcile what I would like to do in the kitchen with what I actually can do. It's a record of what I have cooked, and why I have cooked it. For this format I owe much to Nigel Slater's "Kitchen Diaries", which display an admirable mix of culinary joy and everyday common sense, as well as some damned fine recipes. Sometimes, I don't even cook - I'm tired at the end of the day, the groceries haven't been bought and the takeaway calls, but that's fine. That's what happens in the real world (or mine, at the very least).
I'd like you to share your thoughts with me and other followers of this blog. Do you have suggestions for improving my cooking? Am I feeding my child beetles when at his age only spiders will do? Have you found an indispensable gadget, shop or time-saving tip that would help me or other readers?
The limits that I have to work under are familiar to everyone - time, money and energy, but given that Master Jay is only 6 months old I'm sure I'll find more. Because that's what it's all about - real food for the family within the constraints of the real world.