Something that I’ve realised over the past few days is that, as this awful epidemic storms on, how much more grateful I’ve become of some of the smaller and simpler things in life – things that, in my “pre-Corona” life, I now realise that I really took for granted – like the shelves in supermarkets being fully stocked, having fresh produce in my fridge and not having to ration the eggs. However, two very precious things that both Jamie and I appear to have lost in learning the lesson of appreciating simplicity, are our senses of taste and smell. Whilst I know that, in the grand scheme of things and given the losses that others are facing, this really is a minor concern (and one that I’m hoping is temporary), as someone whose life and career revolves around food, this has come as a big blow. At the moment I would like nothing more than to be spending these hours of “lockdown” in my kitchen developing, perfecting and sharing recipes with the world – trying to give people inspiration for what to cook at a time when grocery shopping is a challenge for so many of us and we are having to make do with what we can lay our hands on in the supermarkets or find in our cupboards – and whilst I’m still trying to do this as much as I can, I’m definitely finding it extremely challenging and frustrating.
Thankfully, I am still blessed with the gift of sight and the ability to identify textures and so I’m very much relying on these more than I ever have when cooking and eating – and my appetite remains as strong as it ever has done so I’m hopeful that, if I keep nourishing my body with deliciousness and rest, those two precious senses will return. Each day I’m still going out of my way to use up what we have in the fridge and cupboards, determined not to let any of the (now even more) precious food go to waste. It does mean though that, for the time-being, I’m having to hold back on sharing some of my more recently developed recipes as the perfectionist in me doesn’t want to “put anything out into the world” that hasn’t been given my personal seal of approval (and that of my chief taster Mr Little!) but hopefully the recipes in my cookbook and on my website will keep you going for now and my Instagram Stories are inspiring you to create deliciousness with whatever ingredients you have at hand – fingers crossed this will only be a (very) short-term affliction!
If, like me, you’ve lost these two precious senses then I would love to hear from you – please give me hope that it will come back soon!
However if you ARE lucky enough to still have both your sense of smell and taste, then my request of you would be not to take them for granted for a second – you don’t realise quite how comforting the smell of freshly washed bedding or how mouth-watering the smell of just baked bread, still warm from the oven are until you can no longer smell them – or how delicious a perfectly poached egg or sublime a perfectly ripe piece of fruit are until your taste-buds have been silenced – cherish these things, if not for yourself then for me!