Common currency? Don't know, but I know about Common Food!
Fri, 17 June, 2016
Do you know what’s special about next week? You do if you live in the UK; you sort of, vaguely do if you live in France or Germany and you have no idea or give a stuff if you live outside Europe. And rightly so because this is the peculiar British outburst of misplaced democracy - oops, sorry: referendum - about should we stay or should we go. Leave or Remain. In or Out. The EU, of course.
I am obviously not revealing my planned vote (it’s a British thing, I know - you don’t announce your salary or political proclivities but talk freely and uninvited about your sexual preferences… repressed? nous??) but I’m certainly in favour of Common Food, if not common currency…
I must admit France is closest to my heart - and my border. I’m partial to gratins and tians, fondant vegetables and onion soup. But it’s not just veggie - a nice cote de boeuf is my favourite roast for two!
Italy comes up second, with pasta and pizza but also fantastic meat dishes, how about saltimbocca? Or osso bucco? And they have my all-time best veggie dish: melanzane parmigiana.
German influences are strong, even if not very much in-your-face: a schnitzel with white asparagus for main, a strudel for dessert and Stollen for Christmas - I couldn’t wish for anything better.
I make pastillas with leftover lamb and scallops with chorizo. Finnish joululimppu bread is deliciously different and I love Hungarian hazelnut cake. In fact when it comes to desserts and cakes I feel truly international: king Oskar II cake from Sweden, Sachertorte from Austria, Danish pastries and gateau Breton, and I promise to expand my collection across the borders, in the spirit of Schengen!
And in the background, my kitchen project is advancing. I still have the old kitchen functioning so it’s not kebabs every night (damn… yet!) but a lot of things are packed away and of course, OF COURSE, they are just the indispensable thing, quite contrary to what I thought of them while packing up. Upstairs full of downstairs. Living room full of crates. Now, while watching TV in the evening, I can put my feet up comfortably on the ice-cream maker and a wide assortment of baking tins and trays…