Come on in and grab a coffee, I hope you don’t mind I’m on my second cup. We’ve just recently bought a filter coffee maker which is great for that second helping but not good for the caffeine intake!
It’s been a quick week, posted a recipe on Beetroot and Chocolate brownies (there’s still a piece left if you don’t mind it being defrosted from the freezer). I received all manner of feed back from the writing community I’m part of which fuelled my second post on the matter.
In an effort to use some of my holiday entitlement up we took Monday off to shoot the breeze, which coincided with Nigella Lawson being in town. Thought provoking and fuel for the procrastinating wannabe writer of a cookbook. She talked about her book, released a good year a go now. This the start of her shortened tour to promote it, catching up due to the world events we all know about. Aside from the first five minutes of reading from the front pages of the book she talked from the heart about food. Taking questions from the audience via a mediator who sat at the side.
What is a recipe? A good section in her book…..but my thinking and I’d love your thoughts on my metaphor:
Broadly and I know this is a huge simplification. I think there are two kinds of recipe or lets call them journeys that we can go on. There are those journeys, that follow a set timetable. Must leave the house at 9am, to catch the 9:15 bus at the end of my street that will get me to the train station for the 10:04 to London in order for me to get there for a 3pm meeting. This is very prescriptive set in stone, you know the specific outcome you need, miss that first bus or a connection and the plan is ruined. Typically this is a baking recipe which has a science to it. You can make the odd substitution a bit like several busses going from the end of my street to the train station so it doesn’t matter which bus I get on. Take the wrong train and use a different flour and you know you might end up elsewhere. These are the recipes you need to stick to the rules.
Then there are the journeys that are about exploring, you’ve made it to Edinburgh for the day and you ask me how to get to the castle. I present you with a street map, more as a guide. There are many things I don’t know about like if you’ve been here before, your energy levels or the weather on the day. Do you want to go the scenic route, via a bookshop or pick up a coffee on the way. I can guide you to the destination, but do you want to go to the gardens on the other side of the castle or straight up the royal mile. The map or the recipe is really a guide or the inspiration for the destination and you don’t have to follow it by rote. If you deviate from the path you will have a different day out, a different adventure and a different learning of your choice. Don’t have an onion or the street is blocked you can pick up a leek and go round another way. Bramley apples look tiny today but the pears look special you can easily make a swap.
Learning to cook is a journey, its about being able to read maps with a view of getting from A to B. A recipe is essentially a vessel of knowledge, a memory of how someone took that journey before. Although some recipes are infallible like the Swiss transport, they probably haven’t accounted for your pans, the oven you use and most of all your experience in the kitchen.
The rest of the week, was spent ducking in and out of meetings and searching for some daylight when I could. Really starting to feel the dark come in during the day. I can be in one call and suddenly the monitors switch off as an energy saver, I’ll still be on a call and it’s at that point my face is plunged into darkness and I realise I need to switch a light on.
The weekend has been dry weather wise, and with a long time friend up for the weekend welcome as we ramble about town and visit the Ray Harryhausen exhibition. Really something in a time when CGI wasn’t even a twinkle in someone’s eye. Town is more than busy as Scotland take on South Africa at the rugby. Edinburgh feeling like it’s old self in the hustle and bustle. Although I’m keen the world moves on and I with it….I’m nervous.
The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.