Sunday, August 22, 2010

Authentic living

I was snapping a photo of food for this blog and was asked why I didn't get out a fancy plate and design a pretty shot. Well, that's not the sort of blog this is. The photos here are grabbed on the fly, in the middle of actual cooking or gardening. Nothing is set up to create a false impression of what it was like, or should be. If there's a dribble of sauce on a tea towel, that's the mess I created when the food was prepared. I could take the time to set up perfect lighting, interesting depth of field and later Photoshop a picture into submission. I just don't choose to. I'm more focussed on living life than creating a fake reenactment of it

Last night's roast chicken. Photo taken when I remembered, after the bird had already been ravaged,

There is a lot of personal documenting on social media that is purely PR. I know people with Facebook accounts who update minute by minute reports of their glamorous activities. One wonders with all the time taken to broadcast blurbs about their exciting lives, if they ever truly experience them. 

This blog is about authenticity. About being comfortable with who you really are. Cutting the cord to the fake and ostentatious and getting real again. In Gardening in Slippers I enjoy good food that I've grown from the soil and I share that self-nurturance with you because I want you to experience that same wonderful, nurturing connection to the earth

Ask yourself: How do you nurture? With delicious food, lovingly prepared and served with an open heart or with boxed takeout that requires no effort and makes no muss of your state-of-the-art show kitchen? This may be harsh, but here's the down and dirty truth. If you've spent tens of thousands on the design of a sterile kitchen that's "just for show," then you are a show off. You're not impressing anyone.

So get your hands dirty, mess up your counters and fill your pantries. Because true nurturance is something that you not only feel but also hear, see, smell, touch and taste. Those of us who have gotten a friendly wink from a grandmother in an apron dusted with flour, know this.

Last night's chicken (pictured above) was  full of fresh garden produce. A recipe of Julia Child's, from Food and Wine Magazine Jan. 1997. Absolutely mouth watering. The chicken was stuffed with fresh vegetables harvested that very day - carrots, celery, onions and fresh thyme. The bird was surrounded by shallots, carrots and baby potato tots harvested off the potato roots.
Remainders seen here below.

The starter for the meal was Julia's Vichyssoise. (Yes, more potatoes!)

Vichyssoise is a cold soup made with leeks, potatoes, fresh parsley (all harvested from the garden) and heavy cream. So very satisfying. A meal in itself.

Side dishes were garden beets drizzled with balsamic vinegar, beet greens cooked with garden garlic and pancetta, and sliced beefsteak tomatoes. 

A side of elderberry jelly (canned 10 days ago) added a tart sweetness to the plate.

For dessert, a simple dish of raspberries from the garden.

This wasn't a special meal, or fancy meal. It was a regular meal. Made mostly with garden produce and fruit. But seriously, could anything be more nurturing?

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