My palate is jaded. I have had enough of Christmas fare, delicious though it is. As usual for this time of year, we are bombarded with instructions for healthy eating and ways of cleansing our systems. This is all well and good, but how long do healthy diets last? I think getting back to sensible eating is the key, without being too radical.
I like watching cookery programmes. It is very entertaining to watch professional chefs painstakingly preparing delicious delicacies on our screens (try saying that when you’ve had a few glasses of Prosecco) ! There is always a new and elaborate dish or recipe to try, and a new exotic vegetable that will soon sell out in the supermarket, once the word is out that no discerning foodie’s kitchen should be without it.
How do we manage to get a meal on the table without the use of a water baths I wonder? Can we find space in the kitchen for hayboxes, ice-cream churns and sorbet makers? Do we have a supply of pine oil or basil oil? Can we confit an egg? Do we have time to go foraging?
What can be more enjoyable than sitting at a well-laid table being served fancy food, but sometimes, do we not yearn for simple fare?
At lunch time today, we had a simple dish of tomato soup and some bread and butter. I started thinking back to the simple foods of my childhood, and the warm and happy kitchens.
A Devonshire Kitchen.
As a little girl, I often sat at my grandfather’s table and watched him as he prepared his version of afternoon tea. A large white loaf, fresh from the baker, was upended and buttered with rich, yellow, freshly churned Devonshire butter. Then, with the sharpest knife kept solely for this purpose, he sliced the bread so thinly that it looked like lace, when delicately laid on a china plate. Served with tea from a silver pot, this was a delicacy like no other. It needed no accompaniment. No matter how much I have tried over the years, I have never been able to replicate the dish in quite the same way.
Cornish Kitchen I remember granny's kitchen The cushioned window seat, A pantry with its vat of cream, The Aga's cosy heat. Sitting down to breakfast Was always a delight, With bowls of creamy porridge That had simmered overnight. Pasties were for lunchtime, Crimped and golden brown, With chunks of homemade bread And tea to wash it down. At tea-time there were Cornish splits And fragrant saffron cakes, Bowls of jam and clotted cream And fancy china plates. On Sunday, there was Grandpa Who took his rightful place, And seated round the table We bowed our heads for Grace. Now I look back in time And in an old book I see A recipe, written in my granny's hand That once she cooked for me. Lmh Maybe it is time to embrace simple fare for a while! Happy New Year.