One foot slow
“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail.
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle — will you come and join the dance”The Mock Turtle’s Song, Lewis Carroll
I’m celebrating my love of the food columns and supplements in The Guardian by trying to cook at least one recipe from each issue of Guardian Feast in 2021. Find out a bit more about that here.
Issue No.161 of Guardian Feast is celebrating the delights of slow food. As Yotam Ottolenghi puts it: ‘things that take a long time to cook, but don’t require much of yours to do so’. This makes perfect sense to those of us who want a delicious meal at the end of the day but don’t have the time or the inclination to spend hours prepping and primping sprout leaves after a hard day doing whatever it is we’ve been doing. This week, however, slow food has a whole different meaning for some of us.
I had a foot op on Wednesday which means I am supposed to sit all day every day for weeks on end with my feet up (excepting five minutes’ crutchy hobbling in each hour to prevent DVT and allow loo breaks). Hence, I cannot cook. I can only look. Look and plan what I will cook when I can. And suggest to The Husband and the eldest daughter which recipes they might like to tackle and blog about for me from this week’s Feast. This, in between asking them to fetch my laptop/glass of water/glasses/book/ from one room to another. It’s very frustrating. Particularly for them.
I’m delighted to see recipes from Rukmini Iyer in this week’s issue. I bought her beautiful and well-conceived The Roasting Tin Around the World for the student daughter for Christmas, hoping to lure her away from the beguiling joys of the cheese toastie for five minutes. We’ve been rewarded with a couple of cracking dishes: buffalo cauliflower wings with blue cheese and celery and smoky sausage casserole with chorizo, pepper and beans – and I’m drooling over Rukmini’s cheddar kimchi cobbler and mushroom and pomegranate pie.
Who wouldn’t yearn for Yotam’s lime leaf-cured ‘gravadlax’? Although I notice fresh makrut lime leaves pop up yet again – is there an alternative for this lime leaf of the moment? We’re fully paid up members of Slow Food UK – an Italian-founded group (1989) that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. Celebrating food with and in the community has been one of the great pleasures of moving up to the far reaches of rural North East England from North London. And getting down and dirty with farm animals, sides of salmon, fresh game and fresh veg has been integral to that. The cure we often use is a beetroot one from Lindy Wildsmith’s inspiring romp around pickling, smoking, drying and salting: Cured. It’s always great to be lured away from the safety net of an old favourite, knowing that you’ll inevitably return after a bit of a dalliance.
It is, of course, Valentine’s Day and I am not advocating that anyone in a relationship should be lured away for a dalliance: I shall be sticking with the safety net of my old favourite. Particularly since he’s invested in lobsters and oysters for tonight’s feast. If I can persuade him to put down his Valentine’s gift from me and prepare it. Oy, you! Never mind Grace Dent, I’m hungry over here!
Photos courtesy of my lovely eldest daughter. She’ll be joining us for our Valentine’s feast. She’s a keeper too.
Links and stuff:
Oysters: Lindisfarne oysters
Lobsters: Cas Par Cas, Berwick
Lindy Wildsmith: Cured
Rukmini Iyer: The Roasting Tin Around the World