It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I will chalk it up to being inordinately busy, and shifting through some major changes (like moving unexpectedly and starting a new job with a schedule that requires getting used to) and generally feeling blah all winter.
This book arrived in yesterday’s mail (with several others that I’ll speak to in a moment) and though it isn’t one that the doctor recommended I own (she did tell me, after encouraging me to follow a more plant-based diet, to get Plenty and Plenty More, both by Yotam Ottolenghi), I couldn’t resist My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz after reading through the sample pages online.
While the recipes cover a full spectrum of foods that would delight any omnivore such as myself, it is the rambling dialog that endeared me to it, and the tacitly apparent sheer love of food that the author has, which borders on reverence. I understand this, even if I am not a trained cook. It’s the fascination with the ingredients, and an appreciation for their unique and special qualities that draw me to cooking. When it is not a mere utilitarian act (to feed and nourish the body) it becomes a sort of dance with the ingredients, leaves us open for new discoveries of flavours and textures, and how they meld together when consumed. Food nourishes us in many ways, not just through their ingestion and digestion but by our interaction with it, in a dance of sorts.
Maybe I exaggerate. Maybe you don’t have this symbiotic relationship with food, or perhaps you have it with something else.
For me, it always comes back to food. I’d like to think I came upon it honestly. My mother was a fabulous cook, though she never strayed from the Hungarian cuisine she grew up on and mastered. Delicious as it was, I became culinarily curious the older I got. I grew up in Montreal, and anyone who has been to that city can attest to the fact that food, good, great food, is plentifully available throughout the city.
My challenge is that I am mostly cooking for one, these days.
With the movement towards local fresh food, and almost forgotten varieties of fruits and vegetables slowly making a reappearance on the (mostly farmer’s) market shelves, it is an exciting time to be cooking. This summer I’ll be looking for those white-tipped radishes, fresh mixed greens and locally made cheeses.
I can’t wait.