Students preparing Fresh Ricotta and Broad Bean Ravioli
Sometimes I feel that cooking is an act of faith.
In life, there is no guarantee that what you’re doing will end up the way you want it to. Even if you do the same thing, day after day, you might not get the result you are looking for. There are so many changing factors. It’s a total crapshoot.
With cooking, following a recipe will give you some assurance, but still, the variables that get thrown at you can change the outcome. I was thinking about this because I have just gone through a few weeks of intense cooking for various events, and each time, various obstacles were thrown in my path over the course of creating the meal. It was a little worrying. When you are catering for 120, you can’t afford to start over (time-wise, money-wise, sanity-wise) if something goes wrong.
Take ricotta, for instance, which I have made four times in the past 2 weeks. Ricotta is a very simple cheese to make. You bring milk (cow, sheep or goat, or all three if you want) to 190F – or just before it starts to boil – and then you add the vinegar. Stir it a bit, let it sit, then strain it, and voila! You have just made a lovely, fresh ricotta cheese. Or maybe not. Continue reading →
According to some sources, like me, these count as part of a balanced diet.
When I was about 7 or 8 years old, my mother read an article that stated almonds had all sorts of health benefits. (My mom was very keen on healthy food, and later went on to cook up all sorts of things for us from Adelle Davis‘ “Let’s Eat Right To Keep Fit” and “Let’s Cook it Right”. Which meant that we had to have wheat germ on everything, powdered milk became a commonplace ingredient [why? WHY?], and we for some godforsaken reason had to have Brewer’s Yeast in our orange juice. The Author reports that his own mother went through a similar healthy food tyranny and says that every day before school he was fed a spoonful of malt extract with cod liver oil. Now that I think of it, I got off easy.) But back to the golden years… Continue reading →
One of the things I love best about where we live is the abundance of great local food, and nothing is more local than moorland bacon from our neighbour Sean and organic free-range eggs from our friends 1/4 mile down the lane.
Our little spot in the world. There’s good food to be had in those hills!
But my kids are weird about eggs. They’ll eat them in omelettes, but hate them in quiche. They’ll eat them in Salade Niçoise, but detest them in egg salad. Poached eggs are deemed “disgusting”, but I suppose it goes without saying that the kids don’t mind eggs in custard, or in cakes and in cookies. Continue reading →