Mother's column – Appreciating culinary creativity


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash

I have a memory like an elephant when it comes to blunders and bloopers. Thus, I still remember the first meal I cooked for my student association as if it happened yesterday.

In my first year of study, I rent a room in a town close to Leyden, where I live together with two other students and an elderly couple. I usually benefit from my landlady's cooking skills.

But once, because the Bible study group of the association comes over for supper, I have to make it myself. To practise my cooking skills, I attempted to make macaroni already, precisely following the recipe of Knorr. The macaroni tasted delicious then, so I think cooking bami will be easy as pie now.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

In the supermarket, I buy a package of egg noodles, a good share of chicken fillet, a jar of Chicken-to-night, a bag of vegetables and a can of pineapple for extra vitamins.

Now, nothing can go wrong anymore, I assume. I heard somewhere that you just have to make sure that the chicken is cooked well enough. It would be a shame if all people from the Bible study group got food poisoning. The result: sticky noodles and tasteless pieces of chicken that almost break your teeth. In addition, there is not nearly enough food for everyone, but I do not think anyone is sad about it.

Making mistakes is no problem, as long as you learn from it. As the years pass, I slowly gain more and more knowledge about the art of cooking. Every time I use a little less Knorr and a bit more of my own ingredients.

The development is accelerated by the concept of Too Good To Go. That is an app where you can order a box with food that would otherwise be thrown away. The box only costs 5 euros.

Throwing away food is a pity, and I love discounts, so Too Good To Go is perfect for me. However, sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to make something of the ingredients. Googling ingredients often leads to the solution.

What do you think about sauerkraut with sweet potatoes? I use the left-overs of the potatoes to make a gratinated oven dish with endive. Yummy...

However, the children are not very impressed by my culinary posturing. They like pea soup, so maybe I should try making traditional pea soup. First, I soak the peas for a night, even though Google does not provide a consistent opinion on whether that is necessary. A day later, I serve the soup with sober pride.

But what a pity. "The meat tastes great, but the soup is a bit dry", Martha assesses my dish. "Yes", Jolijn agrees. "A bit like rubber." They prefer the ready-made meals from the can. Well, whatever Google says, I know one thing for sure: next time I cook pea soup, I do not need to soak any pea.



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