The debate between the merits of eating out and having meals at home is a long-standing one. In what follows, I will relate how I had tried to prepare some of the dishes at I had tasted at the Toscana restaurant in Dublin, at home.
Most of my friends and relatives are of the opinion that I am a tad finicky about food. I don’t really like eating out (much to the displeasure of my close buddies!) – at least on a frequent basis. My stand is – if I can prepare healthy and tasty food at home, why fritter away money at restaurants, where I will not be able to ascertain whether the food is hygienic enough or not?
The number of times I had eaten out when I was single can be counted on the fingers of a hand (go ahead, have a good laugh!). However, Patrick came into my life in the autumn of 2010, we got married a year later – and as fate would have it, he really loved to try out new restaurants. Even on our honeymoon trip to Dublin, Ireland, we regularly had squabbles about whether to visit the Italian restaurants in Dublin, or to cook our meals at our furnished apartment! Makes me chuckle, when I now recall those tiffs!
While at Dublin, we had (at Patrick’s insistence) dined thrice at the well-known Toscana restaurant. While the food was, admittedly, of the finest quality – I maintained that all the dishes that we had there could be prepared at home too. After we came back, I did try cooking some of the delicacies that we had tasted at Toscana (with varying degrees of success!). Some of the Italian preparations that I successfully managed to prepare at home were:
•The minestrone soup – A specialty at the Toscana restaurant – and now a signature home preparation of mine too. While Patrick still says that the restaurant soup had something extra, I think my version is better. Why don’t you drop in and decide for yourselves?
•Chicken wings – We had eaten at some of the best Italian restaurants in Dublin, and chicken wings were something that Patrick had always ordered for. While I was not particularly fond of crispy food items (that’s my health-conscious self speaking!), I decided to make chicken wings at home too – just to prove a point. Roasted corn was used by me to make the preparation even tastier. This one did find my hubby’s appreciation!
•Pasta – Come on now, who can’t prepare tasty pasta at home? I can bet my life that my homemade egg pasta is as good as the one we tried out at the Toscana restaurant. Try explaining that to Patrick, however!
•Meatballs – I will be frank here – I had no idea how to prepare meatballs at home, even a month back. However, I had gone to Edmonton, Alberta in Canada with my colleagues during the Christmas weekend – and had tasted some of the finest meatballs ever at the Continental Treat Fine Bistro. I got in touch with the head chef over there, and picked up the recipe. I plan to surprise Patrick with some delicious meatballs this Sunday!
•The Chicken Caesar salad – I had always been a master at making a wide range of healthy salads at home. Hence, I was pretty confident that I could at least match the taste of the Chicken Caesar salad that we had at the Toscana restaurant (if not better it!). However, I could not find fresh romaine leaves at any of the marketplaces at New York (that’s where we live). Patrick says that the salad at the restaurant was better, and I have to (begrudgingly!) agree to him.
Thanks to Patrick’s constant coaxing, I have started eating out more frequently than ever before. However, I still feel that eating homemade meals is a healthier, and definitely more economically viable, option. The debate, as they say, continues!
Author’s Bio: Joselin John is a renowned author. She loves to cook and has also appeared in a few popular cookery shows on television. In this post, she relates her endeavours to prepare the dishes that she had tasted, while on her honeymoon trip at Dublin.