This website is based on my own personal experiences of having to move from non-cook to cook.

My story starts with a very sad event. In October 2015 my wife Maggie peacefully passed away. We’d been happily married for many years. She is sadly missed by me and the many other people she’s helped and who’s lives she touched.

In addition to the emotional loss I very quickly discovered that Maggie did many things that I didn’t know how to do. Top of the list was cooking. I’d never lived on my own before having moved straight from my mother’s cooking to my wife’s.  On the plus side Maggie was a great cook. On the minus side she would never let me into “her” kitchen let alone have a go at cooking. I’m sure you can see my challenge.

Where to start?

Malcolm with kitchen toolsIt’s a pretty daunting experience to look around a kitchen at lots of strange tools, foods or ingredients and think that it’s now all yours.  After a few days of anxiety and discovering ready meals I came to the conclusion that the best way of dealing with the cooking challenge was to treat it as a project. This decision also gave me something else to focus on – which I know I needed.

The big revelation

I’d assumed with so many recipes, TV programmes and cookery books out there that I’d easily find something to help me.  After all there are thousands of people who’ve never cooked but suddenly find themselves in a position where they have to.  I spent hours researching websites, buying “basics” cooking books and getting very frustrated. Everything that I looked at assumed some basic level of cooking skills – even many students cookbooks.

Most recipes were unclear, only had rough timings and were full of phrases such as “brown the meat” or “when it’s nearly ready”.  Not helpful for a total novice.  Things  got worse when I saw long lists of ingredients that I’d never heard of.  Also, what on earth does a “glug” mean? Worst of all there were very few recipes for one person. It’s easier to find recipes for 6 or 8 people.

I had to learn a lot and create many things for myself including recipes for one.

Building cooking knowledge

I soon learnt to write down all of the things that I was rapidly learning.  Yellow stickies for recipes times and when to carry out the next action. Ring binders for useful information. Project cooking was starting to get under control and actually becoming fun. Some of the meals that I created were quite good too.

I soon realised that I needed to organise and manage all the information that I’d collected and decided to build a very basic website and blog – just for my own use.

Great idea Malcolm

When I told friends many of them asked to see the site. Quite a few said that they knew someone who could really benefit from using it. It took me about three months to be convinced to share my website.  The turning point was that I couldn’t find another site written by a total cooking novice in a simple and fun way with lots of tips and recipes for one person.

My “challenge” then changed into a mission to produce something that could really help people save lots of time and frustration.

All I had to do was produce a smartened up website and blog with tightly edited useful content.  Not quite as easy as it sounds but with the help of many family and friends, plus the Greenfisher team, was born.

What is my objective?

The objective is simply to help novice cooks learn and share cooking experiences and knowledge in a fun and interesting way.  You could need this help due to a loss or relationship break up but also for short term situations such as a partner having to go into hospital. It’s also helpful for people who have got used to organisations such as hospitals or the armed forces providing meals for them in the past. In fact anyone living alone for the first time. To my surprise it’s also proving to be popular with people who just want to escape from ready meals. I don’t blame them!

This is a free to use not for profit website and will not generate income by selling products, advertising, email addresses or anything else.

I’ve really enjoyed creating and hope that you find it fun and helpful to get into the world of cooking.  I’m still learning and will keep developing the website and creating new blogs. If you have any comments or topics you’d like covered please get in touch.

 Malcolm Wicks