It was only during my years living in Surrey, just outside the M25 and studying in London, that I appreciated what a real commute to work was like. I remember my very first day on the train from Woking to Waterloo. It was, without wanting to exaggerate, a total nightmare. It took me a little more than three hours to get to Kensington. It was chaotic – it always is to be honest but that day was awful. All the lines had delays and many services were suspended or cancelled. It was my first day of lectures and I was going to be late. I arrived just in time…and famished. I hadn’t taken any lunch with me so I grabbed something quick from the nearest food store. I cannot remember if it was a sandwich, a salad or a bag of chips, but it felt hurried.
I learnt my lesson after that and almost always prepared my lunch at home before heading into London. Now, although I know my way round how to construct or deconstruct a sandwich, things soon became boring. What I would have liked is a tiny look into a future where I had Made in the Office to hand. Granted, I didn’t work in an office at that stage, but this little bundle of ideas would have been so helpful.
We do know by now, or at least I hope we do, that to eat well we don’t need any fancy gadgets. This book is proof. It’s like a camping book but here all you need is a kettle, a toaster and preferably a microwave. So it’s also perfect for students living in dorms, or for those sharing a small kitchen with limited resources. Don’t you love multipurpose cookbooks? I do.
Made in the Office came into being as a result of the author’s experience. Rachel Maylor, an architect by profession who loved to cook, stopped abruptly when she moved to London on a new job. We’ve been there. There’s just no time to do everyday things because we feel constantly tired. Grocery shopping and cooking are the first to go. Other household chores also get pushed to one side but when the flat is messy somehow many of us do find the time to tidy up. However cooking finds itself out the door the quickest. Since I started running this blog I have always stressed the importance of learning and/or finding time to cook a meal, even if we eat alone, and although I still do, I never point fingers at whoever doesn’t. Made in the Office could be a great solution.
The idea is to deviate from the usual wrap or salad day in day out and preparing meals using minimum prep with tools found in the office, while avoiding preparing your lunch in the morning. This is about simple but exciting lunches that will keep you full for longer and cost you less than buying your meal every day. Instead of paying as much as £4 on average per day, Rachel says that you can actually spend around £7 per week with good planning. That’s a substantial difference, keeping the total cost as low as possible by sourcing the ingredients from your local grocery store and using them in more than one recipe. Common sense prevails.
The recipes can be seen as more of a guideline, with options for variety and inspiration, but just as good if you follow them to the letter. It’s a thick book, so you know you’re in for a treat and loads of recipes. Breakfast ideas, snacks, light lunches, more substantial ones, and yes, sweet treats, drinks and dressings and spreads. Nice. There’s no need to prep in the morning, and you only need 15 minutes from start to finish to make. Right I’m keeping this one in my kitchen. It won’t give me any excuse not to eat while writing from home. Added plus – I really wouldn’t know anyone who wouldn’t like this book as a gift.
Made in the Office: Tasty & Hasty Meals With Just a Kettle, Toaster & Microwave by Rachel Taylor is published by Frances Lincoln, RRP £12.99
Made in the Office: Tasty & Hasty Meals With Just a Kettle, Toaster & Microwave was kindly sent to me by Frances Lincoln Limited, part of Quarto Publishing Group for review.
All photos used by permission of the publisher and copyright holder.
(This is not a sponsored post.)