Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Musings on a past life

'A visual feast of food and words' is how I would describe Shauna James Ahern's tantalising blog Gluten-Free Girl.

Her post titled pickled figs posed the questions:
what has made you a better cook, and what do you like to eat with figs?

My answers tumbled forth as:

The Prue Leith College of Food and Wine (now the Prue Leith Chef's Academy) in Pretoria, South Africa made me a better cook...a trained chef in fact. It also made me agressive due to the time constraints inherent in food preparation, impatient due to the perfectionism demanded of the job and, eventually, loathsome of the thing that I had once loved the most to do. The celiac sealed the deal...get out unscathed before the profession took me down.

These days it is patience that has made me a much better cook. A willingness to see that there are many roads that lead to Rome, that all willing participants in the kitchen (mostly my precious husband) have their own style which can be best harnessed, and an inherent sense of adventure in trying out old favourites with new gluten-free ingredients.

With figs? Goat's chevin and free-range ostrich biltong, eaten with oven-roasted red peppers.

It's strange when a random question can evoke such strong memories and feelings of what now feels like a long-past chapter of my life. The way I see it?
A recipe is only as good as the quality of its ingredients. Same goes for a life.

Summer days are here again!

I love me some flowey, flowery, coolishly-cotton summer dresses! There's nothing like grabbing a dress out the cupboard that just "works", thereby avoiding having to co-ordinate outfits in any great detail.

I'm blessed to find myself working in a school with a casual-smart approach to dress code (rather than smart-casual or even, horrors, formal). Thanks, boss! :-)

Fresh Produce, Pick 'n Pay's clothing label, have a nifty range of summer dresses in-store at the moment. Pretty and reasonably priced, they're worth a gander if you have a well-stocked PnP in your area.

Summery dresses, plush new swimming towels, hibiscus in bloom, the smell of jasmine in the air and a warm breeze blowing inviting you to come outside and play - reminds me of the excitement of beach holidays along the South Coast as a child...and so does this poem. :-)

maggie and milly and molly and may

by e. e. cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea