Monday, February 13, 2012

The poetry of English recipes

The long chilly breath of winter.
Winter garden
My alternative practitioner told me, that in these days you can do nothing better for yourself than to ground. So it's nice to spend days with baking things.
Let's have some more
Providing yourself with good food is the best way to express selflove.
I tried the Gougères by Heidi Swanson for the first time. Just because I find it special to make something with beer in it! And I am happy to say, that they are worth the try, fluffy, tasty, special.

The good thing about reading English recipes is, that once you've learned all the words, it's easy because the same expressions come up again and again.
I had my difficulties with the word food processor first. In my mind there was some kind of strange machine, that American households have without doubt. Something you throw all things in and press a button and then all will be made automatically. But it's what we call Küchenmaschine, simple as that. Prosessor sounds so high-tech.
Sometimes I mix things up like leek and lentils. I was wondering about black leek, asking myself if that is something like black pasta, specially dyed.
The other thing is that I love all the English words around cooking, recipes are like poetry to me. In German it's just vapid stuff, boring imperatives, in English it all sounds like magic.
Seasoning, that makes me dream about the art of adding summerly lemon squashes to a salad or throwing hot chili peppers into a warm soup to make it warming for long winter nights.
Or icing, I always saw little snowflakes falling on a chocolate cake.
I love serves four, it sounds like some kind of magical turning up butler with multiple arms like some Indian deity serves the dishes.
And last not least the expression "book in mint condition" stirs up the image of a lovely cookbook handed over with peppermint garnish to make everything more sensual.
So I ordered some cookbooks to dive into the poetry of English recipes.
I've ordered some cook books
I became very attached to "Plenty", because it's full of vegetarien recipes, that give me the urge to go to the kitchen just by browsing through.
"The real food companion" is by my fav publisher, Murdoch in Australia. They just know how to make beautiful books.
The real food companion
And the author has some statements that are just after my own heart. "The best food is being cooked by people you have never heard of."
Skye Gyngell has an affection for lemons and olive oil, just like me and the books is very beautiful too, but sometimes she is not realistic, e.g. in saying that one should never use dried herbs, only fresh ones.
A year in my kitchen
Nigel Slater really makes me laugh, cause he has the guts to write about opening a can with "Heinz baked beans" and stuff, if he just does not feel like cooking.
In fact they are all worth reading, but the truth is, I cannot keep them all.
While her mother is living out her creative spirits in the kitchen, Svea makes a chalkboard painting on the hallway door, I really love it to bits.
Svea's drawing on our door
She knows, I would love to have a cat again and has drawn one, resting on a bottle. Such fun!


  1. I am NOT the best of cooks...aka, hand me the can opener for those beans!...but what an inspiring post with a peek into some good books. Maybe time for me to try something new?
    Such a sweet chalkboard drawing...

    1. When I was younger, I really was bored with housework, cooking etc.. Not my cup of tea. But in the last years it has become more and more important for me.
      Cooking can be very creative!

  2. and very creative for me too... guess it is in my Italian genes... your books are wonderful and I love those eggplants... delicioso... xox

    1. Thx Cat, oh Italian cooking! What would the world be without?! xo

  3. Hi FM, it's Sue here from Paper Swap - can't get on to leave a comment with my blog name - but just wanted to say how lovely to read and see what you are doing. I've been away and you're one of the first I'm visiting now I'm home! Happy cooking in english! You've made me look at cooking terms in a new light.

    1. Hi Sue, thank you so much. Sorry for the comment trouble. Hope you are in the pink! xo

  4. Reading again - maybe it will work now.I love your collage photos. Wish I could learn how to do those - will try one day.

  5. What a lovely post! That wee look into your imaginative processes was quite magical! I'll look at my recipes with new eyes, now!
    I, too, love your daughter's picture. When my children were wee, I painted the doors of a cupboard under the dining room window with blackboard paint. It was always well used. When I was teaching my son to read, I would write a new word up every evening, after he was in bed, and it was a big treat for him in the morning to rush through and find out what his new word was!


So glad to hear from you!


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