Slice of Life Story Challenge March 11 -Food, Life and Love
Food, Life and LoveYesterday after presenting a day of writing at Ascot Vale Primary School the staff graciously presented me with a book. A book that really hit the mark…
I found myself looking at a ‘just right’ book. A cooking book of recipes (Cooking with Ascot Vale Primary School) with stories conceived and compiled by students and parents celebrating kids in the kitchen. The book also draws in the some of the best offerings from neighbourhood cafes and restaurants. Such a comprehensive view of food.
For this food lover and occasional cook, it was a real joy to be able to add this beautifully presented title to my ever expanding collection of cook books.
I love how modern cook books are more frequently examples of hybrid texts, presenting not just procedures for conjuring up cooking delights, but also providing the background story of how that particular recipe came to life.
Sometimes there exists a rich family tradition of cooking a dish of enduring delight. I love these stories. Food memories are evoked in these considered texts. They give the food an authentic context, an essential connection.
There exists an inherent celebration of food and its connection to lives, times and places. This adds a richness and depth to the cooking experience.
A Taste From the Food Files
In recent years I have discovered some wonderful ingredients originating in Middle Eastern cuisine. Pomegranate molasses, sumac, and zatar have become favourites. Our spice drawer is now a sight to behold. Spices from to A to Z in tiny glass jars. Zing is the thing. We currently have growing in our garden a previously unknown edible green, Yukina. Yukina is an Asian green leaf vegetable, related to Bok Choi. Its large crinkly leaves can be used in stir fries and salads. It’s good to experiment.
I have to say I find the garlic press quite indispensable. Quick and easy to use. I also love the old wooden chopping board my Dad made my Mum all those years ago. Each time I use it I am transported back to the kitchen of my childhood. I can smell the scones being baked.
I love cooking shows that don’t involve contrived angst or competition. Cooking is not a competition sport. For me it is both therapeutic, and an act of creative endeavour. To use fresh healthy ingredients to create a meal is a continual source of inspiration.
On The Menu:
I get regular requests to cook Chilli Con Carne. It has become a staple. Served with red rice, sour cream and garnished with parsley directly from our garden it makes for a wonderful winter warmer. The fact the request comes from my culinary mentor and wife, Vicki makes it all the more special to be able to deliver the Chilli of her delight. I also like creating salads full of freshness, texture and colour. Salads have moved so far from the bland presentation of my childhood and much credit for this goes to Yotam Ottolenghi and his re-imagining of what constitutes a salad.
|A Collage of Salads|
|Orrechiette Pasta,cheese and caraway seed bake with cherry tomato and spinach salad|
|Chorizo, tomato, spinach and goat's cheese Frittata|