I have been thinking a lot about the inevitable return to work. I am a teacher, an educator…..and although we don’t use blackboards anymore I really like them. I have a small board at home in the kitchen and it becomes all things to all peoples in our home. Shopping lists, menu ideas, graffiti board, messages and so on. Now that the two oldest kids are loving writing and practicing their hand I often find letters erased or re-written to spell something I had not intended. But what has been good in the last weeks is to discover that I am teaching my family not just about food but about the language of food.
Chilli con carne
Hoi Sin Sauce
As a lover of language and learning and all things food what could be more satisfying than teaching and inspiring while we prepare food and eat together.
We have had family and friends to stay over the past week so life has been busy. “A” has had a few outstanding food contributions recently. He made great berry and buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, an orange and almond cake ( a la Stephanie Alexander) for his Mum’s birthday and last night he peeled and chopped 20 onions for Guy Grossi’s Tuscan Onion Soup. The latter was infused with red wine vinegar and cinnamon – an amazing taste. I’ve just eaten the leftovers for lunch today.
For those who I have given some sourdough starter to:
PM: Mix 200g starter with 400g flour and 700ml water
Midday the next day: Mix with 4 cups of flour, salt and a good dash of olive oil. Mix until a good dough forms. Knead and shape bread. Leave to proove for 3-5 hours. Bake at 200 c for 30 minutes – remove from tins and bake for a further 15 mins.
Life is a bit of a rollercoaster this week with A working day and night for various reasons. In the midst of the busyness I have found myself cooking for others. A family we know is moving and as the packing up is happening I thought a meal would be appreciated. L was indeed glad to accept the offer of me delivering Thursday night’s dinner to them. But not everyone has the same comfort when it comes to accepting food. Food is made with love and is a sign of generosity and community. Amongst our Christian friends it is normal to make food for those in need. When our first child was born we were overwhelmed with people bringing meals to us and we felt so blessed – words failed. But how do you know if a chicken casserole will be wanted or that pot of soup will be used?
I think I have to say – just make it and bake it anyway. Most people eat!? And it is the thought that counts. As we strive to bring Christ into our community and into our everyday I say we should cook for everyone – to say welcome, thanks, take a break and we appreicate you.
I wish I had neatly copied the sourdough recipe from Moro by Sam and Sam Clark, ever so neatly. http://www.moro.co.uk/moro/restaurant/default.asp But alas it is in short hand chunks that only I can decipher. I found their cookbook and site on the web and was reminded how wonderful it was to read. I will endeavour to re-write it for those of you who must try it! Epicure featured Nigella today, my domestic idol and celeb cook who embodies all things good about food writing. She would describe my afternoon of biscuit baking as that wonderful pleasure of all things sugary, buttery and infused with vanilla. I love the smell that intoxicates you as you mix and scoop and roll the dough – and eat the raw bits, heaven. Today I made small vanilla drops which I decorated with almonds and some more gingerbread people and baby ginger angels covered in 100s and 1000s. Lunchbox treats. Oh, my baby rolled over today. The 6th mouth is getting bigger everyday and soon will be mixing and scooping and rolling the dough with me!