Homemade cooking has become a real passion for Rob. He shares his story of combining his four favourite interests; cooking, listening to music, history and railways.
“I moved into my Golden Lane Housing flat in Warminster during 2007. For a long time I only cooked the basics with the help of Mencap staff.
I’ve always eaten well but never did much homemade cooking. It’s important to eat healthily. By making your body stronger it can help you to avoid getting colds and being sick as often.
It was my Dad who inspired me to do more homemade cooking. He also suggested using a slow cooker, especially in the cold weather. That was in October 2015, and I’ve been doing more homemade cooking ever since.
The staff have been really supportive, and I talk to them about the dishes I’d like to make.
Watching programmes on TV has helped me to come up with ideas. I like the Great British Bake Off and occasionally watch Masterchef. Another inspiration is the history of food and how it’s cooked. The Great British Railway Journeys and The Great Continental Railway Journeys hosted by Michael Portillo are good programmes, and sometimes shows different types of meals.
I’ve got a really good memory so I don’t use a cookery book. If I like a dish on a TV programme, I memorise the ingredients and how it is made.
I love going shopping for food. It’s better to go to a variety of shops so you can get the cheapest deals. I buy ingredients for my homemade cooking, get some frozen foods and ready-made meals.
Cooking can be relaxing, especially if is everywhere is quiet. I sometimes put the music on in the lounge too. I’ve downloaded a digital clock app on my phone and there’s also one on my Ipad. When the food goes in the oven I set the timer and it pings when it’s ready to take it out.
All my homemade cooking is done at the beginning of the week. I’ll only cook when the staff are there so they can help me if I need it. They use to help me a lot, but now I do most of it myself. I’ll make a few dishes so I can freeze some of them and eat them during the week. I’ve also baked a few cakes and biscuits too.
Cooking is like a work of art, you can be creative and come up with your own ideas, that’s what I do. My overall favourite dish to cook is a curry. I’ve experimented using different ingredients and rice.
Once I’ve cooked a dish I take a photo of it and send it to Sam at Mencap. She prints it off for me, and I put it in my book. I usually tweet the picture to Golden Lane Housing too.
I’ve only ever cooked for myself, but I’m thinking about inviting my friends round for dinner.”
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