Monday, 21 July 2014

For the love of a good description......

A Quote;

“It was a meal that we shall never forget; more accurately, it was several meals that we shall never forget, because it went beyond the gastronomic frontiers of anything we had ever experienced, both in quantity and length. It started with homemade pizza - not one, but three: anchovy, mushroom, and cheese, and it was obligatory to have a slice of each. Plates were then wiped with pieces torn from the two-foot loaves in the middle of the table, and the next course came out. There were pates of rabbit, boar, and thrush. There was a chunky, pork-based terrine laced with marc. There were saucissons spotted with peppercorns. There were tiny sweet onions marinated in a fresh tomato sauce. Plates were wiped once more and duck was brought in... We had entire breasts, entire legs, covered in a dark, savory gravy and surrounded by wild mushrooms.

We sat back, thankful that we had been able to finish, and watched with something close to panic as plates were wiped yet again and a huge, steaming casserole was placed on the table. This was the specialty of Madame our hostess - a rabbit civet of the richest, deepest brown - and our feeble requests for small portions were smilingly ignored. We ate it. We ate the green salad with knuckles of bread fried in garlic and olive oil, we ate the plump round crottins of goat's cheese, we ate the almond and cream gateau that the daughter of the house had prepared. That night, we ate for England.” 
Peter Mayle
, A Year in Provence

A Link;

Another Quote;

“To the cauliflower and onion, she suggests that you add a few sprigs of thyme and a few whole, unpeeled cloves of garlic, all of it slicked with some olive oil. Then you chuck it in a hot, hot oven, and after barely half an hour, the cauliflower winds up velvety, meaty, even rich, and the onions relax and soften into sweetness, and the garlic is tender enough to spread on toast, and a dark, savory, somewhat bewitching smell has filled your kitchen - or your entire house, if you’re me and your house is small and the exhaust fan doesn’t really work, even though it roars like the engine of a semi scaling a mountain pass. Then you grate some Parmesan over the whole pan, slide it back into the oven, and pull it out when the cheese has melted and crisped into crisp, lacy, frico-like webs and shards.”
Molly Wizenburg, Orangette, 21.3.14

 I will keep coming back to this book, I have to. It settled something in me. More than enjoying cooking, more than enjoying serving and eating, and yes more than the community that forms around a good solid meal. Because what makes A Year in Provence so special is the documentation of both a good meal and of the community around it. See a good meal ends, but a good writer or photographer can solidify the memory by making your saliva glands wet, you happy hormones pump, and your right-brain inspired to spur on to the next good meal.

I discovered a very small, seemingly insignificant fact this month. My favorite reads are all written by journalists. At first this was nothing more than a little, “Ha! Isn't that interesting”, moment, but after a few days though this little thought turned to something more, something I should have really, quite honestly, figured out a long time ago. Despite almost failing high school English, I really enjoy writing. Despite my fleeting photography attentions, I really enjoy taking photos. I really REALLY enjoy capturing a moment. Something special, be it a mood, a conversation, a group of people laughing, or just a really enjoyable meal. I think I should go back to school or something…..HA!

On that note; Broccoli. Broccoli Pesto to be specific. 
I have taken on a quest to work on my daughters appreciation for Broccoli. This involves having a little bit served to her on a regular basis, not so much as to completely put her off, but so she gets used to seeing it. I’m also serving it in different forms, such as pesto- which I must say she wolfed. 
I’m such a big fan of pesto. I’m not sure what it is about it that makes it so irresistible to me. And I can’t better it, I have to eat it tossed through hot pasta and adorned with fresh Parmesan so that it melts slightly into the green mess. EVERY time without fail I ponder tossing through chopped cherry tomatoes or some grilled zucchini and EVERY time without fail I shake my head and bury my fork, it’s always just perfect as it is.

Broccoli, Rocket and Green Pea Pesto.

1 head of Broccoli
1 cup of Rocket
½ cup of Peas
½ a Lemon
1 Garlic clove
¼ cup of Pine-nuts
a good amount of salt
oil (about a quarter to a third of a cup)
shaved Parmesan (third of a cup for the pesto and half a handful for on top of the pasta)
Cracked pepper

Wash and roughly chop broccoli head, place in food processor with rocket, peas, garlic, lemon juice, pine-nuts, salt and oil. Process till smooth paste. Toss through hot pasta and serve with Parmesan and cracked pepper.