Thursday, June 14, 2007

Breaking it down


So, it's been a bit quiet round here. Not so much a feast as a famine of words. And after all that about posting once a week and so on...

This is what happened. This time it wasn't simply my natural tendency to laziness and abandonment of projects. I've been working away a lot again, eating crap, eating junk, eating far too much. And then in the few days I had back home I would suddenly get panicky about posts and about making something 'good'. I would spend some obscene amount of money at the supermarket with some hasty idea in my head - something photogenic and impressive. And then it would be a bit ill-thought out and not so good and I would feel all disappointed.

And then I started to wonder what I was doing... This did not accord with my position on food, the reason I started this blog. I was getting all caught up in the end result and losing sight of what inspired it all in the first place. It wasn't the number of posts or the photos and whatnot. It was an appreciation of good food, of food as nourishment and joy and as something which draws links all over our world, that is important and inspiring. Wanting to share that.

I don't believe in buying a whole bunch of new things frantically, stressing over the cooking, not enjoying the end result, throwing stuff away because you bought too much.
I wondered what happened to the days when I shopped once a week and I had a cupboard full of veggies and fruits and staples and I made dishes depending on what I had, what needed using up. Sure, I'd be inspired by recipes, by reading, books and magazines. I still love the art of food, the experimentation, the craft of it. Sure, I'd buy special ingredients and plan stuff. But I'd fit it around being sensible and resourceful and thrifty.

Alongside this, I was putting in less effort. I was buying all my lunches and dinners, and it was making me feel dissatisfied, or nauseous, or sticky or gross. Disappointed...

So, first of all I decided to spend a week recording everything I ate, thinking about it as I ate - about how it made me feel, and where it came from, being more conscious of my eating. Trying to get back in touch with food, with my beliefs on food, trying to identify better what it was that made it good, what made it bad. Which was really interesting for me. I may post a link to this at some point.
And now I am just trying to get back into the routine of making lunch, of shopping wisely, of thinking about what I eat. Of delighting in food again.
And mostly that has just been big fresh salads - grated carrot and new potatoes and lettuce drenched in vinaigrette, juicy tomatoes and smoked mackerel or houmous or grilled halloumi. Or things unashamedly simple like the roasted vegetables in the picture at the top of this post.
Not particularly pretty, and nothing like the recipes I aspired to be churning out weekly. Not really postable lamentably...

But good. And now I'm going to try and experiment and find some new recipes and work that in to the mix. And hopefully I'll have more exciting things to post soon...
For now, here are the veggies above - eminently simple but really rather good. Broccoli turns sweet and crispy like the 'seaweed' in Chinese restaurants - slightly barbecue-y and very moreish. Fennel is delicate and slippery and sweet and roasted tomatoes just make my tastebuds sing...

Roasted Summer Vegetables

Roast fennels chopped in quarters, big stalks of broccoli and tomatoes with a liberal splash of olive oil, a teaspoon each of salt and sugar and a good grind of black pepper for about an hour at 180C.

And enjoy.


2 comments:

Little Sister Saucepan said...

mmmmm roasted fennel, yummy!

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