While working in-house for a busy publishing company, I was always dreaming of what I could cook if I was closer to my kitchen. Maybe I’d have some exotic salad for lunch or set an amazing stew bubbling away, ready in time for the end of the day. Once I decided to become freelance I thought I’d got it sorted – I’d whip up whatever I liked, whenever I liked, as obviously working from home would buy me barrels of time. I was so wrong. I soon realised I needed every minute and hour I could muster – either to meet a deadline or find new work to keep things going.
Becoming a freelancer really changed my relationship with food – rather than giving me the freedom I had expected, it caused me to resent taking time out to cook and eat. I would end up eating quick carb-heavy meals (a pasta, peas and cheddar cheese combo being standard) in the hope that they would give me the energy boost I needed to just keep going. In fact, more often than not this strategy resulted in a major afternoon slump in productivity.
So I set about figuring out how to make healthier, more exciting meals and snacks in a way that would fit in around my work and actually aid productivity. On this blog, I’m aiming to share these with you.
I’ve categorized the recipes into four types:
- Quick Cook – Recipes that you can cook swiftly and eat straight away.
- Cook & Work – Meals that require a longer cooking time, but only a small amount of preparation and intervention. These recipes have one or more distinct chunks of time where you can walk away and get back to your desk, while the food cooks.
- Batch Cooking – More involved recipes which allow you to ‘pay it forward’ if you are experiencing a quiet work day or week. These meals are designed to be made in large batches, frozen in individual portions and defrosted when work is busy again.
- Snacks & Treats
I’m Rose, a freelancer living in York (that’s me on the left). I’ve had a varied career in publishing and cookery.
My catering experience has included working in a bakery and several coffee shops, as well as running my own business. In 2015, alongside my catering partner Beth (on the right), I ran the Hogacre Cafe. It’s a summer pop-up cafe located in a former cricket pavilion in the middle of a windy common right in the heart of Oxford.
The cafe challenged me to come up with new, simple recipes using locally sourced ingredients, week after week. This is where my love of writing recipes began. As a freelancer working mainly from home I realised that I could use my catering skills to help me eat and work more efficiently. This naturally led to sharing my recipes, and then starting The Freelancer’s Cookbook.