First things first: yesterday I invented a word and I want everyone in the world to be using it by Christmas. The word is 'squoze' (sk-woes) and it is the new past tense of 'squeeze.'
"Did you make this lemon cake from scratch?" "Yes, I squoze the lemons by hand."
"Wow, how did you fit those jeans?" "I squoze in."
"Raphael pulled Helen to him and squoze her tightly."
Totally the best word ever. Start using it.
Now that I've got that out of my system, second order is to go and watch Ponyo. It's a Japanese cartoon (from the makers of Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle, if you need a pedigree) about a goldfish who wants to become a little girl. It's really a kids' movie, but it's enjoyable for adults too - the characterisation is spot on, and the animation's really charming. Also, it's not a gritty movie in any way - no thought required. You will like it.
Third order: make soup. Soup has long been one of the easiest meals ever (when I was flatting I pretty much lived on Fridge Soup, in which you take everything in the fridge and put it in a pot) and yesterday we had a soup night at my cousins' house, featuring Leek and Potato Soup, and Almost-Borscht. Here are a couple of genuine original soup recipes to get you started - they will be pretty not-detailed though as I have to go and get ready for job interview soon (at the moment I am wearing wide-leg jeans and a striped t-shirt and seem to be sporting a sort of 'Unintentional Sailor' look.)
Leek and Potato Soup (serves about 6)
Don't worry, it doesn't really taste that much like leeks.
3 leeks (of any size)
2 potatoes (medium)
1 onion (large, if you like onion)
chicken stock, either real or powder
herb stock - think this only comes in powder form
salt & (white) pepper
Slice up the leeks and onions and put these in a big saucepan. Drizzle generously the oil, and turn heat up. While these are cooking (stir them occasionally), slice the potatoes (really thinly) and chop the parsley (by hand if you can be arsed; obviously I used a blender).
When you're done with the potatoes & parsley - probably about 5/10 minutes after the leeks/onion went in - add the potato to the leek & onion saucepan. It's ok, they won't mind.
Add water to cover all the veg - at this stage it should look like about the right amount of soup. You will feel a little bubble of satisfaction rise in your gullet. Good Job!
Add the stocks, stir it all about. Let this simmer for about 15-20 mins, or until the potato is soft, or at the very least al dente (Italian for 'oh, fuck it, this is soft enough.')
Pour the soup into a blender and add the parsley. Blend until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot.
Add milk until the soup's the right consistency - if you enjoy a really thick soup, you might not want to add any milk at all. It's up to you. You are the soup master. Add salt & pepper. Taste the soup - if it's not flavoursome enough, add more stock. If it's too flavoursome, add milk.
Serve in bowls (durr) with a sprig of parsley, which no-one will eat, as a garnish.
Pumpkin, Almond and Coconut Soup (serves 6)
Half a pumpkin - use less if you don't want quite as much soup, this isn't rocket science
1 tin coconut cream
Cook the pumpkin in a saucepan of water, as if you were cooking spuds. In another saucepan, cook the sliced onion in some oil until soft. Don't fry it though, just make it soft. When the pumpkin is soft, put it (and the water, and the onion) in a food processor. Whizz! When the pumpkin is no longer in lumps, put this back in the saucepan. Now you have soup! It's like magic, isn't it.
The pumpkin mixture should be really thick - let's fix this. Tip in half the tin of coconut cream. Stir. Keep adding ccream until soup reaches desired consistency. Add about half a teaspoon of nutmeg, and keep adding until you think it tastes right. (If you don't have, or don't like, nutmeg, just pick another spice; cinnamon, clove, cardamom; something in the 'warm spice' family. Not chili, that is too warm.) Taste the soup. It probably needs salt or something - add this.
Serve in bowls (durrr) with slivered almonds scattered on top, and a swirl of sour cream if you wanna get all fancy on it.