Apple and Gruyère pie. After Christmas over indulgence I call for something clean with not too complicated flavours. The crust is made with cheese and leaf lard. The filling has cinnamon, star anise and nutmeg.
..11:00 on a Monday morning, the house is still cold, the postman has already delivered once.
It seems that work will never finish today, brine salt ratios and speaking to Eric with the welsh accent from the fishmongers in Cardiff is what I had for breakfast.
It’s the day to research about the food that is going to be cooked for the week.
Some times I can’t help but drift off between e-mails and invoices and you give in to the passioned voice in your head that keeps yelling “come on just get up and make something” and sometimes it echoes in the room.
One of those moments that you wish the dog is going to come In and ask for a cuddle and bring you back to reality. I don’t have one so I keep on going deeper and thinking, exploring.
What makes chicory, chicory and how can you bring it out of it without killing it, perhaps a chicory ice cream.
People say that I am a very emotional person. On one of my first day at school the head teacher with the glasses, his name was Vasilis told me “Alex, you are a very sensitive boy” for some reason it’s one of the few things that I can still remember from those years.
Just today I was pointed out how I speak about food like it feels things, for example be gentle with the salad or its not going to be happy, I’ve always believed that.
The farm back home always had the aubergines and the peppers growing in rows next to each other. The plants will Grow tall, every day I will walk up and down just to say hello really and pick the odd dead leaf off.
Plants do like to be loved, we where plants before we where fish.
I’m up, prep lists are great fun but I now have stuck in my head tart with spinach, fenugreek and goats curd.
From the window the snow keeps falling on the barely alive garden. The Aga is burning furiously and every once in a while you can catch a glimpse of the smoke traveling through the crispy air. Being Tuesday morning it requires slippers and a nice breakfast to wake you up.
The silence, the stillness of it all makes the fridge motor sound like it’s a German military vehicle.
After the necessary double espresso I open the dishwasher and there it was, the signs of last night’s dinner and the perhaps a few too many glasses of wine. My dear friends Benjamin and John where here last night.
Mondays are usually the days we invite people over, the table is big enough for ten but we usually try to keep the guest numbers relatively low so the conversation flow won’t break.
The dinner was simple and straight forward, a bit of local smoked salmon with golden and red beetroot. Horseradish sauce watercress and blood oranges.
Slow cooked lamb with hard herbs and garlic with lemon potatoes.
Vanilla and semolina filo parcels, aniseed poached pear coated with toasted quinoa, beetroot sorbet, poached rhubarb, cinnamon meringue.
When I was a kid I was almost constantly craving a big bowl of strawberries. At that time importing soft fruit on a remote island would be almost catastrophic. Besides the fact that half of them they won’t make it there where other factors that made them not so popular amongst the Greengrocers.
My mother will sit me down outside the house on a sunny day ( maybe gossip a bit about the neighbour) and pick them with me.
Now after 20 years no matter how many strawberries I eat or cook with, pomegranates will always give me that warm feeling as you open them up.
I guess it isn’t gastronomy or plain body fuel but food for the heart or magic.
Simple childhood memories that I was lucky enough to have experienced.