For some reason, 2014 has been a year where there have been an abundance of stories about the reasons why women cheat. Whether it’s on those post-internet-explosion news aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post, Mamamia or iVillage sites, or the mainstream print media come internet savvy news outlets, if you go to Google and type in “reasons why women cheat” you will find heaps of stories all from this year.
Many of these media outlets used survey results from some of England and Australia’s top online extra-marital relationship sites who conducted these surveys to find out exactly why their clients are cheating. Not surprisingly, amongst the list of reasons why women cheat is that they feel under-appreciated, neglected or ignored, especially when made to feel more like a housekeeper or nanny than a wife or girlfriend.
And although it’s not like that in my own household, I can understand with all those memes being shared like the ones I mentioned in my most popular post Dear Mums, Please Talk to Your Husbands that there is still many households where the mothers feel under-appreciated for all the jobs they do that go unnoticed. In my own household I do most of the laundry (sorting out, putting it on, hanging it out, bringing it in) although the folding and putting away part is a joint effort. I do many of the roles involved with raising the kids. And something that has been my job since I first moved in with my wife (then girlfriend) is the cooking.
In the evening our house can be busier than Time Square during peak hour. Most nights my wife assists our eldest with his homework while she multi-tasks as she takes calls from her patients confirming appointments or checking on or placing orders for products they need; all whilst trying to entertain our youngest. Sometimes she is in her upstairs office doing research when I finish cooking the dinner and am serving it out, and although I call out to her she often ignores me or keeps telling me she’ll be there soon. It frustrates me that I have “slaved over a hot stove” and yet my family is not waiting at the table to eat the fruits (or vegetables and meat) of my labour.
Whilst my wife works three days a week out of a clinic, she does quite a bit of work at home after hours. Whilst my work can take me away interstate, overseas, or a two to three hour drive away, much of my work is done out of my home office. It gives me a little bit of freedom, but then again there’s some negative things that working from home can bring on. Often times whilst I am cooking dinner, I am still working especially when daylight savings starts in Sydney, NSW because my head office is in Brisbane, QLD and they don’t adjust their clocks. So between 5:00pm and 6:00pm, I can still expect calls and emails, and that’s when I am cooking dinner.
We like to eat as healthy as possible in our house so throwing frozen crumbed chicken and fries in the oven and walking away for 20 to 30 minutes is not an option. I admit I did do that for a while, but seeing that our eldest has some issues eating loads of wheat, gluten heavy food and fried items, that sort of meal is off the menu.
I tend to buy things like chicken breast fillets, premium minced beef, fish and lean cuts of lamb which I can turn into a variety of meals. Both our sons love vegetables as well so we don’t have to force them to eat their greens (or reds, or yellows or oranges). Purples however, they don’t go down too well…
The kids are happy to eat the meats without them being seasoned or marinated and the same can be said for my wife and I. Both the kids are going through a raw food stage at the moment so it has been carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks, wedges of tomato, and baby corn that have been the sides for them. Earlier this year our little one went through a “I love broccoli” stage and both enjoy steamed peas and green beans too.
But sometimes I look forward to cooking something a little more fancy. When I first started this blog I mentioned that I often cooked two to three meals with the kids getting a variation of our meals (without spices) and sometimes I even served up my wife’s meal before adding extra spices to mine (I love spicy food).
Recently I was asked to try some new Indian sauces from The Spice Tailor (Australia) and because I absolutely love Indian food, there was no way I was going to say no that that. I was sent three different packs of their traditional curries and other sauces; the Delicate Korma Curry, the Spiced Spinach Curry and the Original Tikka Masala.
Although our eldest is a little bit fussy, I recently cooked an Indian meal for my wife and I and he told me that the smell of it was delicious. I told him that next time I do a curry I will give him some to try to see if he liked it.
Now I am not one for following the instructions on jars or packets to the nth degree, nor do I follow recipes so closely as I like to add my own flair. And because I was going to be dishing out this meal in stages (to suit taste buds) I started off by cooking the vegetables in one pan (I used zucchini, squash, pumpkin, onion and broccoli) and the diced chicken in another pan. As soon as the chicken was cooked I added it to the main pan less the few pieces I was dishing up plain to our youngest.
Each of The Spice Tailor’s packs comes with three sachets which include a sachet of dried spices, plus a base sauce and a simmer sauce. I added the base sauce to the main pan and mixed it in well. Once that had started giving off aromas I added the simmer sauce and turned the heat down for a few minutes. At the completion of this stage I took the Masala coated chicken pieces out and served that up with his side of raw vegetables to our eldest.
The great thing about these sauces is that there is a step by step instruction inside plus it mentions that there are more recipes on their website if you want to add even more flair to your meals. As I mentioned, I was not following these instructions and was doing it completely different to the step by step instructions. I took the sachet of dried spices and added them to my mortar and pestle and smashed them up as small as can be.
There was a full dried chilli in there and I wanted to include the whole thing so I ground it well and added it to the pan. Of course you don’t have to go that that effort as the instructions suggest you adding these spices to some heated oil and then you can remove the large chunks of spice and the chilli once the flavour has taken hold. I might try that next time, although it would mean cooking a separate meal for the kids because they don’t do spice.
Traditionally we would have our Indian on a bed of Jasmine rice , Basmati rice or wild rice but at the moment my wife and I are cutting down on starchy carbohydrates such as potato and many rices. But the meal that I made was both filling and flavoursome and very satisfying.
Now I know that you are wondering when I am going to get to the part where I admit to cheating. Well here it is. Because The Spice Tailor’s sauces are more than just a jar of simmer sauce I felt like I had put in an effort as though I had made the sauces from scratch and sourced the spices from my spice collection on my own. Having said that, it was as simple as adding a jar of some other brand of sauce except these sauces are free from additives, colours and preservatives. It really is cheating, but without the guilty feeling.
Please note, this is a sponsored post by The Spice Tailor (Australia) but the words and ideas are all my own. You can find these sauces in your local Coles store (ask your store manager if you can’t find them) or you can buy them from Coles Online by clicking here. Happy cooking.
Featured image from Pixabay.com