I realise that I need to do a proper profile and a banner at some point - to explain myself, my food philosophy and simply What On Earth I Am Doing With This Site. But it falls into the do-later category and probably, I'll get round to it in about 2007. But until then, a quick word or two:
I find myself being less and less interested in recipe books
these days (not that you could tell it from sprees like these
!). I am far more drawn to food writing
, with Jeffery Steingarten, Ruth Reichl, MFK Fisher and Robert Wolke being my favourites. I am becoming acquainted with Elizabeth David and find her surprisingly funny - I'd always pictured her as a kind of maiden aunt, with some stern and antiquated ideas
about cooking. And Gay Bilson's Plenty
is so wonderfully written that it makes me doubt my desire to ever compose text at all.
But I digress. I have recently dipped into 2 compendiums of food writing, Choice Cuts
by Mark Kurlansky and Fish, Flesh and Good Red Herring
by Alice Thomas Ellis. I did enjoy Choice Cuts
in small bites, but I was surprised at the reliance on MFK Fisher. Don't get me wrong, I adore her writing, but in a selection from all the food writing the world has to offer (he went back as far as the fifth century B.C.), I found it odd to include nine extracts from MFK Fisher's works. Red Herring
has only lured me in a chapter or two so far, but I did enjoy this bold statement
"any adult who has tasted a spoonful will have concluded that the manufacturers of canned baby food hate either food or babies or both
And so to the photo. A classic baby dish round here - probably served up to Plumbaby a couple of times each week. Wholemeal rigatoni, an onion, a large bottle of tomato passata, diced carrot, capsicum and leafy greens. The onion is fried in olive oil briefly and then the passata is added to the pot. Once on the boil, add the pasta and diced carrot*. I detest the taste and texture of boiled capsicum, so this and the greens (lettuce, spinach, whatever comes to hand) are only added at the last minute to heat through and nothing more. A dash of salt and pepper and a splash of oil and it makes a fine adult dinner too.
*This is a new technique I'm trying, to cook the pasta in the sauce to save time and pans. It has worked surprisingly well, but I suspect that is because I use a fairly sturdy wholemeal pasta - a softer pasta might absorb the passata.