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The idea for this book has been bubbling along in my subconscious for ages. The more I talked to my friends and observed the world around me, the more aware I became of the often relentless pace at which many of us live our lives. It struck me that despite the widely-held premise that technology was going to free up more leisure time for us all, quite often just the opposite has happened, and I see so many people around me scrambling to keep up. Unfortunately when this occurs, one of the first things that can suffer is the quality and variety of the food that we eat. Preparing a meal becomes just another chore to fit into a hectic day, so to save time we tend to cook the same old things, or pick up takeaway, as anything else is just too exhausting to contemplate.
As a cook, this breaks my heart, yet despite what I do, when the wheels feel as though they’re dropping off our daily life, I too fall into this pattern. Determined not to go down this path, over time I’ve found myself developing a cache of recipes that are not only easy to make, but also taste wonderful, for I just know that it’s possible to eat truly good food that doesn’t take eons to prepare. This doesn’t mean that all the dishes in the book are quick to cook, or take next to no time to prepare, but they are simple, and they do taste delicious. Some really can be whipped up in a flash; others may require a little more effort, but can then be left to happily bubble away for a few hours with no other thought than giving them the occasional stir. Since writing the book, I’ve found myself referring again and again to the recipes in it. Many are favourites, and my own copy of the book is covered with bright pink stickers to highlight these, so that when both energy and creativity abandon me completely, I can just open at a page and know there will be something good to eat on the table. I would love to think that you find yourself similarly marking recipes that appeal to you, and that they prove to be a helping hand to enjoying utterly delicious, simple food on a daily basis.