To conclude the month of January, we made Papa al Pomodoro [recipe]. This involved chopping two vegetables, cutting some stale bread, opening and emptying three tins, some stirring and seasoning and pouring of stock, all into just one pan. For that reason, this meal was fabulous, and just what the doctor ordered. It was also hot, as it was soup, which was perfect for the cold winter weather.
Taste wise, this was ok, nothing to write home about. It was predominantly a tomato soup, with some beans and bread thrown in for texture and variation. Tomorrow, this Master Recipe is reworked as Ribollita con Verdure. There will be pancetta and red wine and courgette and kale added to the bread soup. Sounds promising.
Well, we have survived the first month, without too much hardship. There have been some good meals- lamb chops and steak spring to mind, and some absolute humdingers; meatball pizza with popcorn, anyone? It is extremely strange to be able to look at pictures of the everyday meals that you have consumed. It is intriguing but also strangely repulsive. Somehow straight-forward photographs of food, rather than stylised food photographs, often have an unpleasant quality. I’m not sure if it is because of the nature of this particular project that the images are slightly disturbing to me, perhaps they are informative to others. Presumably the image of the food is intrinsically linked to the experience of cooking and eating it; the meal which we had no choice over, the meal we cooked because the book said so. Interestingly enough, although we are frequently exasperated by the recipes we have in store, there has been no discussion of abandoning the project. I think it is incomprehensible to some people that we are going to follow through on this and commit to it for a year. Maybe that says something about us. We’re certainly stubborn.