My history with food dates a while back… way back, to be honest.
I am the only one of my siblings whose mother did not have to force her to eat but had to stop her from eating. At four and a half, I was stuffing Kroush (the Lebanese version of haggis). I say four and a half because my aunt, at whose place I was stuffing the haggis or Kroush, said I was four years old, and my mom said I was five, so I did what they taught me at school and calculated the average age.
During my teenage years, I started eating my emotions to the extent that at age 35, I underwent a gastric sleeve operation in which the doctor cut out 75% of my stomach. I considered this operation as a reset button for my life. It didn’t stop me from loving food cooking and eating it, but now I have become more discriminating. I only eat good food, and if it is not good, I won’t bother. My love of cooking helped with this since I can eat in if none of the restaurant options fit my criteria.
I am lucky that I live in London, where the food scene is rich and diverse, and all sorts of ingredients are available.
Speaking of ingredients, I come from a farming family. My grandparents were farmers, and my dad and elder uncle are still. My other uncles worked the land during their youth. Hence, ingredients, good agriculture practices, and good husbandry (not the marriage kind but the bovine one) are essential in my life.
Cooking is my kind of meditation. It helps me relax and focus, especially since I am working toward my PhD degree. I work from home and organize my day around mealtimes. I am not a health freak and never will be, but when I am at home, I cook well-balanced, healthy, nourishing meals.
I like to have meatless Mondays. I started this tradition when I was living in Lebanon since Sundays are family days and are usually centred around meat.