The Eagle & Child Presents: Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution Month, Day 1

Dixie is taking a course or two this month. I told her that I would start cooking in May and to that end, I acquired a copy of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Food Revolution, which Joel tells me was actually revolutionary for his cooking. So May is Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution Month.

I’m not sure if I’m cooking supper every night, but today–May 1–was the first day. It was kind of a last minute decision as I hadn’t given it much thought beforehand. In fact, I had given it none. So I decided to make the Classic Tomato Spaghetti. Easy peasy.

First lesson learned: plan the thing beforehand. Usually when I cook, I don’t use a recipe. I did read the recipe and instructions through for this one, but promptly forgot (or ignored) them.

First problems: ingredients. The recipe calls for 2 cloves of garlic, 1 fresh red chili, a small bunch of fresh basil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, spaghetti, olive oil, diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, I did not have any of the fresh options. Instead, I had to go with freeze-dried garlic, chili powder, basil-in-a-tube (which was actually dill, so I went with dried basil), and kosher salt.

Further Problems: The garlic, which was to be browned, I promptly burned because I realized I didn’t have the tubed basil and I still needed to open the can of diced tomatoes. That garlic browns quickly! (I was told afterwards that freeze-dried garlic does not need to be browned.)

(I must have been frazzled by this. I just told Olivia  to get her soccer things on, but when I turned to look at her, I discovered I was addressing a pillow.)

Then I threw in random amounts of chili powder and basil and dumped in the diced tomatoes. Also, I cooked a random amount of spaghetti, which turned into an unfortunately high spaghetti-to-sauce ratio.

I guess it tasted okay, but probably more burnt, artificial, and weakly flavoured than Jamie would have it. I’d call it a failure, but everyone ate it without complaining.

The next meal will be planned in advance.

3 thoughts on “The Eagle & Child Presents: Marc’s Jamie’s Food Revolution Food Revolution Month, Day 1

  1. Jobina

    I’ve noticed that he does use mostly fresh ingredients for his meals which has always made them a little daunting to me, especially when it comes to fresh herbs, the flavour can be profoundly different. I’m impressed that you would take this on Marc, I’m looking forward to hearing about more recipes that you try. Julia Child said that she never apologized for her culinary mistakes, she just expected that they came with the territory and that she would learn from them. Wise lady!

  2. Toni

    Like I said on facebook, Jamie has a very particular take on cooking (usually with a higher than normal chili content) that may not completely suit everyone’s natural way of cooking. I’d suggest using the recipes as a base to work from, rather than worrying about precision and having stuff not work quite right. For me, a part of the fun cooking is improvisation around the things I DO have rather than the stuff I (often) don’t.

    As for fresh herbs etc, in Europe it’s fairly normal to have pots of thyme, mint, chives etc growing in the garden, and we often try to keep a pot of live basil in the kitchen. I guess Canadian winters tend to kill European herbs, making that slightly tricky. I do like his technique of crushing cloves of garlic, making the resulting lump easy to fish out later.

    Something you might fancy trying is pressing root ginger in a garlic press – you get all the nice ginger flavour and none of the pithy woodiness and cardboard flavours that accompany whole root.

    And now I’m wondering about posting my stir fried lamb rump recipe.

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