Wednesday, 20 May 2020

When one door closes.....

Illustration from an original edition "O livro de pantagruel" 
On a health level,these last 10 weeks we’ve eaten better than we have in years, and that’s saying a lot.Here at casa rosada we eat pretty damn well, but if the truth be known I have been secretly quite enjoying this period of forced confinement. I have been able to cook at home as I always do, but just for the two of us minus the privilege of cooking for our patrons. 
In the early days of lockdown we saw chefs, bakers and other crafts people do a commendable job with baking classes and cook-alongs, helping us all navigate our kitchens with panache.They taught us to bake, how to be thrifty and one thousand and one other tips for managing a better kitchen.
This informative video is a useful time-saver that will enable you to get good at meat pies, pork recipes, classic British food, oven bake recipes, main dish recipes, bacon recipes, more than 1 hour.

For some it has become a near-daily ritual to exchange photos with family and friends of what they are cooking. I find it quite remarkable, that in distancing ourselves from each other, we now know more about each others’ daily lives.
With the pace of life slowing down it has been so rewarding for me to hear from readers in response to my blog posts who are cooking the recipes and enjoying them and seeking further information.

"After reading your post 'm aroused and hungry 
all at the same time!"

As the writer of a blog about my biggest passion, it means the world to me when recently I received this response(above) to one of my posts. The post in particular was Soufflé de bacalhau,rising to the occasion.I re-read the post to try and ascertain the basis for this comment,but was left wondering whether the reader had misinterpreted an unintentional inuendo in the heading. Whatever the reason, it was a great pleasure to know one is being acknowledged by one´s readers.I have always been well aware when writing that content must include something to trigger that all important emotional response.

As we move into the next phase,whatever that maybe, it would be great to see gastronomy moving beyond these instructional formats that have been seen so far.We now have to put those lessons into practice.
 It would be exciting to exchange ideas, getting creative together by co-creation.From the keenest of cooks to the humblest of beginners, the kitchen has provided us all with the one thing we’ve been missing the most, freedom. We have been able to cook to feed our families and experiment in our own time without that pressure of having to get a meal on the table at a certain time. And I dont mean getting creative with a banana or a jar of peanut butter.
As our plans were all halted, we sat first twiddling our thumbs then joined in to the newly re-established love of home cooking. We baked, then we fermented and rendered and tempered, over-egged the pudding and even more goals would have been the icing on the cake. Some of us  live streamed what we were doing to give friends and followers a way of joining in.Having learnt all this we must continue to connect to our communities in this way, while championing local purveyors, farmers and artisans. Sharing our resources so that they too may survive this bleak economic period.Flag up what you know is good; tell us all about it, be it a restaurant you visited,a particularly well stocked farm shop or an unusual local supplier.
 Necessity is the mother of invention they say, and this has been the time to pick up our spatulas,spurtles wooden spoons and whisks and embark on a culinary adventure.These are the tools that have given us the freedom to become creative.Now is the time to look at what´s in our spoons with fresh eyes.Let us not be afraid of creating delicious meals out of the humblest ingredients, leaving extravagance behind (at least for a while). Be resourceful! Be savvy! just COOK will ya!
We have had more than enough doors closed to us for the last two months,shops restaurants, the barber,you name it, but they say when one door closes another one opens and one grand portal that is now wide open and beckoning, the doorway to a place of enchantment,the kitchen.The new necromancer.Bring things back to life, go back to mum´s recipes.
Cool your biryani with leftovers from yesterdays vegetable curry.Use those leftovers to jazz up and embolden the flavour of tonights whatever.
My amateur attempts are no match for those supremely crafted mouthfuls made by someone who’s been honing their skills with balletic repetition their whole professional life, but I am proud that I can induce a positive response from the gourmands I feed, and dont get me wrong I´m yearning for food cooked by someone else – especially if that someone happens to be a masterchef. God I miss flawless plates prepared by a professional.
What does the restaurant world look like as we good citizens slowly emerge from a deep slumber.The chefs and restaurateurs are recommencing the stirring of industrial-sized stock pots and setting of tables with gleaming cutlery ready for us? Support an industry in crisis and spread the word....

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