What if there isn’t enough food?

My name is Catherine, and I’m obsessed with feeding people.  I come by this honestly – just about all the women on both sides of my family (and some of the men, too) are chronic over-caterers.  If you tell us we don’t need to bring anything, we will interpret this to mean that we should just bring a few biscuits, or some homemade confectionery, or maybe a tray of pizza.  You know, not real food.  Just a little something to add to the table.  I also need to feed everyone.  Yes, even you.  And all the food has to be delicious, no matter how many dietary requirements I am catering to.  If the allergy-friendly food isn’t so good that the people without allergies are fighting over it, I’m not doing my job properly.

I live in Coburg, which is an excellent place to be if you love cooking and eating Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food.  If you work at any food business around Sydney Road and have ever had a woman come bouncing up to you at the counter talking really really fast about how exciting these ingredients are and what she is going to make for dinner and did you know you can make blue chocolate ganache and tomorrow she’s going to make 250 cupcakes for a wedding, that was probably me.  Hello!  (If it wasn’t me, that’s even better news, because that means there are two mad cooks running around the Moreland region telling everyone what we are planning to cook next, and sooner or later we will meet each other, join forces and fill the world with extremely good food).

The downside of this obsession is my constant fear that I have not cooked enough food.  This has actually never occurred, but it would be so world-endingly bad if it did that I still panic about the possibility whenever I have people around. Usually, this results in me making even more food, just to be on the safe side.  I am, in fact, capable of simultaneously worrying that I haven’t provided enough food and wondering how on earth I’m going to fit all that food onto my  three-metre-long kitchen table…

I also have a truly incredible number of cookbooks.  I don’t dare count them, actually.  I’m too embarrassed.  So you can expect to see cookbook reviews here on a regular basis.  You can also expect recipes, enthusiastic babbling about farmers’ markets, bragging about my latest cakes and feasts, mad cackling over culinary science experiments, and occasional attempts to set the kitchen on fire or inflict permanent injury on myself.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, fantastic! Come on in and make yourself comfortable.

I promise there will be enough food.


Postscript: This site is now registered under Creative Commons (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/).  I’m delighted (and flattered) if you want to quote or share my work (though do, please, attribute it properly and provide a link to this blog), but if you would like to quote a post in its entirety, please ask permission first, either by commenting here or on Twitter.

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12 comments for “What if there isn’t enough food?

  1. May 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Can’t wait to watch your blog grow. Good luck.

  2. Danika
    May 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    *raises hand* I’m also in Moreland.
    And I know of at least one other person who would join our Moreland Over-Caterers League should we ever form one. 😉

    • May 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

      So do I! I suspect that we could do some pretty serious overcatering between the four of us…

  3. May 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    great blog – have finally added you to my blog reader so I can keep up – look forward to catching up on a few older posts as well as seeing how the blog develops – and am pleased you are into farmers markets – shame there isn’t a local one, though we are a bit spoiled for food stores in coburg

    • May 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Thanks, Johanna! And good to see you here (I’ve got your blog on Google reader, too). I agree with you on the Farmers’ Markets, though the Showgrounds don’t take long to get to. But I don’t think Coburgers like our selves have much to complain about when it comes to food…

  4. Elise
    June 2, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Catherine, as someone who regularly attends event’s where your concern over the possible lack of food might occur, i laughed out loud when I saw this heading.
    I can honestly say you have never once in the 10 or so years I’ve know you has there ever been a lack of food at your house. This includes when dropping in out of the blue without phoning ahead. Add to this that the quality of food is always superb, you are the ultimate caterer. 😀 loving the blog

    • June 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Thanks, Elise! It seemed the appropriate heading for the ‘About this blog’ page…

  5. Andrea
    September 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    I’m also a chronic over-caterer! If there isn’t enough food left to feed everyone again the next day, then there simply isn’t enough food!
    I love to cook….I love to eat. Sadly, my family are not as adventurous in the food department as I am so many great ideas stay as mere ideas.

    • September 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Andrea,

      Always good to meet another over-caterer! And I completely agree with your definition of ‘enough food’. Leftovers – significant leftovers – are an absolute requirement for any proper party.

      I have the opposite problem to you, incidentally – Andrew is happy to eat any weird thing I come up with, but won’t touch anything meat-and-three-veg-ish. On the whole, this is great, because it gives me free rein to experiment, but on a Wednesday night when I’m tired, it can get old…

  6. Eleanor
    June 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    Hey, Just found your blog and it looks amazing 🙂 I love food, and have just come into a love of cooking I never knew before moving to university (I hated cooking at home, I know shocking, so Glad I love it now)

    strange question, on the pictures at the top there is a pic of some kind of food in little basket like pots, it is the second picture along, what are these? can you send me a link to find out 😛 as even though I have no idea what they are they still look strangely delicious 🙂

    • Catherine
      June 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Hi Eleanor, sorry to take so long to get back to you! The food you are looking at is cupcakes with miniature croque-en-bouche on top. They are from the wedding cake I made for my brother and his wife just before I started this blog. I’m afraid the chou pastry is from the Women’s Weekly, so I can’t share it, but essentially, you make really tiny balls of chou pastry, and then use caramel to stick them together. This is a first-class way to burn your fingers, incidentally. And then I had leftover hard caramel so I made sort of halo things out of it. I also piped lemon curd into the middle of the pyramid (not the individual choux, because that would be crazy).

      So yes, delicious, but rather a pain to make!

      Good luck with your discovery of cooking – I didn’t really learn to cook until I moved out of home to go to university, either. My sole culinary accomplishments were baked potatoes and spaghetti bolognese. But I didn’t know about pricking holes in the potato before baking, so I exploded the potatoes the third time I tried making them…

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