As my mother was going into labour she didn’t know if she was having a girl or a boy (she was actually it was twins, one of each). Mum and Dad had already planned a name for a boy but had nothing for a girl. As they were leaving our house, Dad pulled a book off the shelf next to the front door and opened it. His finger landed on an old map of Scotland, specifically on the region of Deira and that is how I got my name. Now, 25 years later I have gained many kilos, grown bones and developed a fully working nerves system. My parents are proud of my achievements.
A few things to note about my cooking:
1. I am over zealous with my use of olive oil. This is mostly because I was using way too much butter in my cooking (thanks to the film Julie and Julia, a two hour butter advertisement) and decided to switch to a healthier fat source. I’ve found that while olive oil doesn’t give the same heavenly creamy taste, most of the time it isn’t noticeable and the food is lower in cholesterol, richer in vitamins and after a while your skin and hair will look nicer. So, olive oil is worth the small flavour pay-off in most cases.
2. I love to experiment in the kitchen! Whenever I make a new food I always make it three times; the first to follow a traditional recipe, the second to make any improvements I think necessary and the third to play with different techniques and flavours. I have many notebooks flying around my kitchen full of my failures and success stories. This may stem from my early dreams of wanting to be a scientist and my year 10 teacher breaking those dreams when he told me I had to be good at maths to become one ( I am infinity bad at maths).
3. I own many cookbooks but the only book I use on a daily basis is ‘On Food and Cooking’ by Harold McGee. I discovered it at a book clearance sale when an old book store was closing down many years ago. It changed the way I approach food and opened my eyes to new and wonderful aspectsof cooking. Just the other day I had my brother over for dinner and it settled a long running argument over whether hollandaise sauce is a type of mayonnaise (it’s not).
If you don’t have a copy, buy one right now: http://www.amazon.com/On-Food-Cooking-Science-Kitchen/dp/0684800012