Monday, 29 March 2010

Tastes of Summer

I was watching a programme showing the life of the food writer Elizabeth David the other evening , and it was interesting to find out about the woman behind the name .
Elizabeth Davids' cookery books and columns were probably the first truly aspirational lifestyle publications . She brought the Mediterranean sunshine quite literally back to post-war austerity British kitchens , quite a feat given that most of the ingredients would have been impossible to buy locally, if at all given that rationing of food was still in force .
In a conversation between Elizabeth and another housewife , the housewife states that good , properly cooked British dishes are far better and (more to the point in 1950's Britain) the ingredients easier to buy , and why should British folk cook and eat this "foreign" food !
The woman had a point. Good British recipes with good ingredients and cooked well are superb. However in post-war Britain the vast majority of folk did not have access to decent food , and with rationing of items like meat and bread, folk were happy to take what they could get . Also , she was missing the point. Good food is good food no matter where it comes from . Simple good food is the tastiest. Elizabeth David went on holiday and brought back the recipe's and food, the way most folk bring back holiday snaps ! I know which one I'd prefer!
The recipes of Elizabeth David re-introduced people to taking the time to cook well , choose food with care AND taste a little bit of the colourful Mediterranean with its sunshine and blue skies to grey , bombed out , rationed , poverty stricken Britain.
I love good British cooking , especially in winter, but I also love the cooking from continental Europe , mainly the warm Mediterranean countries like Italy and Spain . I also love food from further afield , like Asian and East Asian cooking with its warm spices and hot chilli's . Just now winter has gone on so long , I really need something of a pick me up .
So I decided I really needed a little bit of sunshine and blue skies in my kitchen , and bought all the necessary ingredients at the supermarket .
Something hot and spicy to cheer up my day , a lunch from the far east , Noodles with chilli prawns and soy sauce . And then a little (actually a lot) fresh pineapple with...... nothing! Fresh pineapple is so creamy and sweet , but my two wee monsters are yet to be convinced (tinned pineapple at school dinners is so NOT the same , sweeties!)
It definitely cheered up a grey day .
My other colourful "thing" to brighten up this long winter is some gorgeous Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn , in shades of bright pink , green , yellow , blue , red .... . It feels gorgeous , and will be knitted up into a lacy summer sweater, just after I finish the kidsilk haze (again , lethargy is affecting my knitting , I really need some light therapy!)
I have also started Two at a Time socks , in Opal yarns "Harry Potter : colourway Tonks" . I had fun (frustration) trying to cast on , but now I am almost finished the cuff I'm getting excited at how quickly they are knitting up .
I also finished the "monkeys' for me" , and I love them . Aurancania yarn is just fab and feels so good to wear .
But I still can't wait for bare feet and sunshine ! Sigh!

1 comment:

Carrie said...

2@aT socks!?! Hooray for you!! Are you the first to try 2 at a time, or have others jumped on the wagon??