I have to admit I have been slightly struggling in the kitchen over the last few months. I've had to contend with a miniature kitchen, no oven, and separation from my cookery library. I'm now back in a good-sized kitchen, with a working oven (although still no cookery books), but I've realised that the most essential ingredient of all for good cooking is people.
I'm not about to start extolling the virtues of anthropophagy; I just need people in my kitchen! I love having someone to sit and chat to while I'm cooking and I need the spur you get from cooking for appreciative diners. While retreating into the kitchen to prepare supper in silence sometimes sounds attractive, on balance I much prefer company.
My kids are now 7 and 5, and are just getting to the stage where they can read a simple recipe and even handle the occasional sharp knife. I'm hoping they will both share my enthusiasm for cooking and help me banish my lonely kitchen blues forever. In the meantime, guys, please just hang out in the kitchen.