Friday, 17 December 2010

EAT THE RIGHT STUFF - It’s only that thick, deep, baritone taste of tomato that reaches your knees


Brrrr! Here it comes again.

White Friday December 17th.

I understand that maternal feeling about nurture because I had it, even as a man, I had it – a fortnight or so ago.

On White Tuesday, November 30th.

The world as we know it was totally cut off by blizzards, ice and snow. No trains or cars in or out.

And that atavistic need to feed my brood….wherever they were.

I wrapped up and in some bastard’s steps I trod unto yonder Co-op to buy “two for £5” best mince – 2lb. of the stuff -  an onion, a clove of garlic, two jars of stir-in Sacla sauce – tomato, one with mascarpone and one with garlic and a bottle of Barolo.

At home I settled for the men’s way of cooking and inspired by the weather crisis I heard myself intoning “we may be some time without proper food if all utilities go down.”

Two hours slow cooking in the oven – everything just bunged in after the onions had been gently fried to transparent– well half the Barolo plus an Oxo cube just in case.

It was that Bryn Terfel-tomato-aroma of “the sun will shine again” that made me relax, feel good and on the verge of laughter.

And the flavour was sublime. Heinz Tomato Soup in many more and complex dimensions. Everything the great comfort foods provide; an amplitude of flavour-smell-rich, full and chill-busting.

Think marmite, peanut butter, buttered toast, Heinz Baked Beans, Bovril and the greatest Cottage Pie ever but with the light slippery promise of summer spaghetti too.

Big authentic taste deliverers are what make great food great.

Tomato; onion; garlic; cheeses; basil …..

These are all weatherproof, harmonious and loud enough foods to see off the cold.

Real weather-food for people like us. And today it’s started all over again…the white stuff.

So we need more of the awesome medicine and nourishment.


Penelope said...

Loved this blog Richard. I could smell the ingredients and loved the image of you treading in another man's shoes.

I'm doing a similar cook up for my brood descending tomorrow, excited to be together again. Nothing like a steaming Beef ragu and a bottle of red wine to start the festivities.

Have a good one.

Richard Hall said...

Brilliant Penny,


There is something about thick oxtail, tomato and garlic tastes that are magically restorative.

I’m off for Ragu right now.

Happy Christmas.