The DIY Chef

ShaunWords by Shaun Cooney

With Jimmy Doherty drying meats in old wine fridges and Tim Hayward teaching you how to smoked fish in your old high school locker is it really possible to be a DIY chef living in the middle of London? With the cost of one bed, kitchen/bathrooms, no garden, 3rd floor flats with no balcony rising month on month the opportunity to turn your hand at some DIY cooking is pretty limited to a few herbs on the kitchen window sill. But there are lots of things you can cultivate in your tiny kitchen and its windows other than mould and herbs. Chillies are just as easy to grow as herbs requiring barely any watering and heat, a good excuse to keep the radiators on for an hour or two more. Seeds can be purchased cheap, or taken by the fist full at Wahaca and planted just under the surface gently watered and covered with cling film and left above a radiator in sunlight they can be left for a few weeks to sprout and with regular gentle watering within 8-10 weeks you should see you first chillies on their way. Delicious limoncello couldn’t be easier to make. Mixing the zest and juice of 6-8 lemons with a bottle of vodka and shaking once a day for 1 week. Dissolve 200g of caster sugar in 650ml of water and leave to cool and mix in the now yellow vodka, decant back into bottles, leave for another week of shaking, chill in the fridge and enjoy. Turning your hand to DIY cooking doesn’t need to involve acres of land or even a small patch of concrete by the back door the estate agent sold you as a garden/patio, just some sunlight, a window and bottle of vodka.

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