Monday, 13 January 2014

Keeping it simple

One of the very basic human needs is good nutritious food - wholesome ingredients, well cooked and in appropriate quantities.  I was musing on this tonight whilst I was making Cornish pasties for supper.

For me the trick to tasty and good food is to buy/grow/obtain the very best ingredients you can, and you can't really go far wrong.
For my Cornish pasties, I use only beef, turnip (aka swede in England) and potato, diced finely, salt and lots of black pepper, encased in good pastry made from butter, flour and water, and baked in a hot oven until golden brown. No faff, no nonsense, no cheese, no mackerel and beetroot, no scrambled egg and sausage (I saw the last two on a pasty company's website today), not even an eggwash for me.
It got me thinking about other foods that are made at home. Things that come to mind are tomato sauces for pasta, pizzas, mince, lasagne, pancakes, sponge cakes, lemon curd, ratatouille, crumble topping, bread, sausages. all sorts.  If you have top notch ingredients, or at least the best you can obtain, then they need little embellishment. I find this to be true of British cooking too - it's not plain food, it's simple food maybe, and when well cooked simply can't be beaten.  Regional foods are just wonderful, and have to be kept alive and being cooked so that generations that follow can enjoy real taste and value for money, a link with the past and a sense of achievement. A healthy appetite for knowledge, respect for the food itself and those who produce it, and a willingness to learn the proper cooking and baking skills and methods required to feed yourself - not to hard to cultivate from an early age, or, indeed, any age. Call it peasant food if you like, but I for one am proud to be a peasant when life can taste this good.


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