What a week. I don’t want to get into the issues too much, but when I look back at the cooking and eating for this week, it’s entirely entwined with The Vote. I made an Estonian carrot pie for the first time, to take to a potluck European lunch at work, that I had conceived in a spirit of hopefulness at the end of last week. I woke at 5am on Friday, checked my phone, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I was teary for most of the morning. I made brownies over breakfast, because, as a friend says, if you bake brownies, whatever else happens, you’ll have brownies. (She baked on both the night of the general election and this Thursday evening).
A visit to a friend and her new baby made the best of a dark day on Friday. And there were those brownies, and some sunshine. There’s something like grief that comes with the loss of a future you thought you understood. With a realisation that your country is not the one you thought it was. That even the things you thought were solid and lasting can disappear overnight. It will take some time to adjust.
My current strategy is just to try and keep away from the discussion until I have to jump back into it at work on Monday. And to keep looking for #reasonstobecheerful wherever I can. This week, those reasons included the amazing perfume from my climbing rose, the soothing tones of Glastonbury, especially James and Adele, strawberry shortcakes, and ripe cherries massacred by my daughter. All we can do is go on.
- Solo dinner of smoked trout and pea pasta – BBC Good Food magazine
- An approximate version of smitten kitchen’s peanut-lime chicken (I ended up without enough limes to make the dipping sauce, but it was still very good)
- Estonian carrot-pie for an optimistic European potluck lunch at work
- Brownies made while in despair over breakfast on Friday
Without a recipe:
- An approximation of Salad Nicoise (in that it didn’t have olives or anchovies)
- A rough interpretation of Anna Jones’ grilled ratatouille from A Modern Way to Cook, a grilled veg dinner of courgette, tomatoes, aubergines, new potatoes, and quick pickled red onions.
- A traybake of chicken breasts, sausages, cherry tomatoes and red onion, served with jacket potatoes (Friday night comfort food for a post-referendum world)
- A rerun of Yotam Ottolenghi’s beef shin and butterbean stew, from the freezer
- And then again in tacos with rice, avocado, veg and cheese.
- Jessamyn Rodriguez of Hot Bread Kitchen (and a cookbook of the same name) is entirely inspiring in an interview on the Serious Eats podcast. Hot Bread Kitchen is a social enterprise that trains (mostly) immigrant women to bake professionally, while also giving them some education (often teaching English) and preserving dying baking traditions, like Moroccan bread, or New York bialys.
- Another great listen is to Food52’s two part interview with legendary editor Judith Jones. Yes, she found and edited Julia Child’s masterpiece, but also got Anne Frank published and edited many others including Marcella Hazan.
- Bookmarked recipes: broad bean salad with pancetta. Sounds like part of the perfect summer menu. And I didn’t think carrot-ginger soup would be a good idea for summer, but Gluten Free Girl convinces me.
- And because it’s been a constant and soothing part of my life this week, some bullet journal links: Why the humble notebook is flourishing in the iPhone era; Top 12 bullet journal hacks; Bullet Journal + GTD for maximum productivity.