First of all, I'd like to introduce myself. My name is María, I am originally from Spain but have been living in England for quite a while. I am married to an Englishman and have a seven month old baby (well, seven months at the time of writing this). Before being married, and therefore having other people to cook for, I lived on my own and never really felt the need to cook "English" although I do like to look at English cookbooks and English chefs' websites and sometimes try their recipes.
Here I hope to tell you a little bit about how I get on with cooking Spanish dishes (or Spanish style in many cases) in England, where I find my ingredients, whether what I find is good or bad quality and, when I succeed, I would like to tell you what recipe I used and how to adapt it to the English (super)market. Also, one of the main goals (also known as my ulterior motive) of this is to hopefully get recommendations from other Spaniards based in the UK and people of any nationality who are familiar with what we can find in the UK and what is available in the food markets and supermarkets, i.e. where do they get their Spanish ingredients or their UK substitutes, for instance.
On the other hand, I would like to take advantage of this space to write about what is good about the English gastronomy; good places to visit because of their food, drink and ambiance; good food-related activities and hopefully a long etcetera. In countries such a Spain the British lifestyle and gastronomy are not exactly highly regarded, I think there is a lot to be said for food, drink and lifestyle in this country.
Now, let's call a spade a spade: I'm not a good cook. At least I don't think I am, I don't like to spend lengthy amounts of time in the kitchen (I leave those recipes that seem to take forever to my husband who, when he has time, does have the patience to slave over our stove), my cooking is more day-to-day cooking, quick and easy meals that require more imagination and flare than time. But I must admit that what comes out is often rather tasty, even if I say so.
I do have one big problem, I don't like to follow recipes to the letter or even step by step, I feel it's a bit like being told what to do and I don't like it! So, often I will remove certain ingredients or add others.
There is one other major hurdle: my audience is composed of a diabetic Englishman who isn't too keen on fish or seafood (which I love) and a seven month old baby.
Right, let the challenge begin!