I love old fashioned food. My favourite tea is a boiled ham, parsley sauce, marrowfat peas and potatoes. I don’t want sorbet or soufflé, I want custard – preferably poured over a hot sponge pudding. A buffet has to have orange coloured baked goods and vol-u-vents and I think the trifle is greatly underrated these days (and I even like a slight blush to my wine sometimes). I once had a boyfriend who nearly had a fit when I bought a pie made with shortcrust pastry instead of the more elegant puff, but I find it just doesn’t go as well with the mash and gravy.

Sadly I am not a natural cook which is why probably still gravitate to the more simple fayre from yesteryear. Don’t get me wrong I would love to be an imaginative, modern cook but its just not me. Despite trying to be a good housewife I find the secrets of the stove still allude me… I can easily execute a roast dinner, a cooked breakfast and a shepherds pie, I cannot however just whip up something using oil, garlic, herbs, tomatoes and something I found in the cupboard. The cook books groan and try to close themselves when I determinedly spread them across my handy recipe book holder and attempt the latest from Rick, Jamie or Gordon. Even the ten second recipes you see on supermarket adverts are beyond me as Husband came home to some burnt ‘home made salmon fish fingers’ the other day; I assumed that you had to squash and steam the fish before coating it in breadcrumbs and frying (for ages). Even the dog didn’t want them.

College friends still remember a meal I made for the student house one night which involved boiling mince in milk. Husband rolls his eyes when I say we are having a ‘surprise’ for tea, or I have attempted something new. I have been threatening him with the idea I have for a Gooseberry Fool for weeks now. He often comes in to waves of smokes billowing out of the kitchen, which I always blame on the oven. Pasta (usually only shells or spaghetti, nothing complicated) is nearly baked dry and served up cake like. We mainly now rely on tried and tested favourites and sometimes we just have sandwiches. Annoyingly he is a completely competent cook! Regrettably I just don’t seem to have the lightness of touch or imagination required to be a whizz in the kitchen.

After a row with a friend Husband cheered me up with a huge box of baking equipment and ingredients, including darling little books about cupcakes – I still adore that kit today and often make up little bakes and cakes and cookies to take to the office, everyone is really nice about them, but usually only have the one.

I keep trying and always buy the latest books and have to attempt the most famous of recipes because I can’t bear to miss out on anything that might reveal the inner chef in me – Nigella’s Christmas (which involved keeping a turkey in a bucket of spicy water in the yard and ended up sliding across the floor), Jamie’s Fish Pie (I can’t stand it myself) and Marco’s Roast Pork (crackling STILL alludes me).

I have met some of the great and the good from the food world and could have easily asked for a tip or two. But no, I asked Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall what he fed his dog (sardines), I asked Gillian McKeith where she got her dress from (it was unusual) and I asked Gordon Ramsay for his autograph (I’m not proud when I go out drinking!)

I am desperate to start baking with Baby as soon as he is old enough, although he might end up being better than me? For his first birthday I decided to lay on a little spread so once again set to work in the kitchen – I never seem to lose enthusiasm despite the amount of failure – and launched into a small banquet of baby friendly fayre. This included a sugar free chocolate cake (iced with his name which was illegible) and some salt and sugar free muffins – these muffins completely went to plan, they looked and smelled great. I was thrilled – I knew these would be the high-point of the party. Maybe I wasn’t such a bad cook after all?

A few friends came round and we all tucked in, I watched everyone take a bite of the muffins and waited for the compliments but their faces registered nothing, they were blank. I had to try one myself, the reason for the blankness became clear, the muffins tasted of NOTHING. Just nothing, you know like water just tastes of nothing. There was a texture there, you could definitely feel them in your mouth but you couldn’t taste them. I was aghast. We kept trying each one but all just the same. How can a foodstuff made with real, actual ingredients (like flour, cheese, carrots, courgettes, butter) not taste of anything? Well I managed to achieve it. We called them Air Buns, or Clouds, and put them to one side - I am available to make them for your little ones birthday party if required.

I love food, I eat far too much of the stuff. I love going out for dinner and watching cookery shows, I imagine myself cooking amazing things and running a little café, writing out a menu every day of delectable delights. I think about just popping out to the local market and picking up a ‘fish’ or some ‘in-season vegetables’ and just knowing what to do with them but alas that will never be the case and so tonight I am getting some fish fingers out of the freezer - they go lovely with baked beans or in a white bread sandwich with salad cream (not mayo obviously).