Someone who knows me better than just about anyone else, recently sent me a link to a 365 project by a guy called Jonathan Harris (http://vimeo.com/mssngpeces/today).
It wasn’t the first 365 project I’d come across (the idea of taking and posting up a photo every single day for a year), but in this particular instance, not only were the pictures insanely batshit incredible, what was more affecting however was the way he spoke about how the act of taking the pictures had forced him into the habit of remembering. Something I think we all take for granted, and therefore don’t do nearly as often as we imagine.
I went through a particular phase where I was an obsessive photograph-taker for that very reason. After a time where I’d sort of just let things drift by, I suddenly realised that I had absolutely no real recollection of a lot of what had happened in those years – none of the moments, the little things, or even the big things that make up the million-thread tapestry that is any given moment in our lives. This is why I scrounged an ancient sony camera and a lens for it from some kind friends – and began taking photographs. It’s a habit that ran strongly with me for many years, and in a lot of ways was part of the reason for making this blog in the first place. Of course lately, my camera has mainly been used to capture (mostly badly, but that’s my fault not the camera’s) the stuff I do in the kitchen, and maybe the quite narrow focus of doing that for the blog has stopped me from using it to look at the other things, the life around me that I used to look at all the time.
And so, with this guy’s 365 project rattling around in my brain in an annoyingly inspiring way, this time I thought it’d be nice to put some of that cooking stuff in more context. Capture a sense of what was going on at the time around the kitchen and all the food. Because hearing this guy speak about photographs and remembrance so hauntingly, instantly made me miss my camera’s ability to see the things, that at the time, I didn’t know were one day going to become my memories.
So, here’s the Easter Weekend in food and passing, and of course a recipe at the end.
Thank you buffel.
Pistou Soup (for 4)
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
250g green beans, topped, tailed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pack of bacon, cut into chunks
1 brown onion, diced
3 leeks, sliced
1 large stick of celery cut into pieces
3 carrots, cut into pieces
1 can of borlotti beans, drained
1 dried chilli, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 heaped tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
2 garlic cloves, cut into slices
1 cup of white wine
1 tspn of smoked paprika
70g of linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
for the Pistou
1 healthy handful of rocket leaves
1 handful of grated parmesan
1 garlic clove
What to do
Slice the tomatoes in half, fit them tightly, cut-side up, in a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves. Turn your oven to 180 degrees celsius and let them bake for about 2 hours.
Add a splash of olive oil to a heavy-based pot on a high heat and fry the bacon. When it’s getting crisp, add the chopped onions, leeks, chilli, garlic and the rest of the thyme. Get it all nicely mixed together, stirring with a wooden spoon. When it’s combined and starting to soften, add the rest of the vegetables, the white wine, paprika and then cover with water. Bring it to a gentle simmer and let it go for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of water if it looks like it’s drying out. About fifteen minutes before you plan to get it to the table, add the dried pasta, stir in and let it cook through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the pistou, blend the rocket, garlic, parmesan, salt and pepper into a paste.
Serve the soup straight from the pot, with crusty bread and a dollop of both the pistou and some of the chopped, baked tomatoes in each bowl. Easy, freakin’ peasy.