The modern world is so very contradictory. On the one hand we are being indoctrinated to buy more of the newest, shiniest upgraded gadget. Whereas on the other, we are cussed and scalded for not recycling our old things. I don’t want to go on about it too much because you know, it’s quite boring, and nobody wants to be lectured, but i’ll just leave you with the thought of “Recycling: It’s kind of important”.
Apologies for the slight detour, but it is entirely relative to my views on food right now. In the past, there seemed to be this divide between a dish that is gourmet, beautiful, but expensive, and one that saved you a vast amount of money and helped those who were budgeting. If you ‘recycle’ your old meals – aka, using up your leftovers – it can still be construed as either being tight, or poor. It’s obviously rubbish, and thanks to the promotion and growth of chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigel Slater and the heavy influence of war time recipes, it’s becoming less of an issue. But it still leaves me with the feeling that people are so contrasting in not only what they see as a consumer, but in their mimicking in daily life. It’s not a new idea that people aspire to be amazing chefs, but it’s not realistic.
Food porn is just as unrealistic as actual porn, and dinners should be about more then how it looks (although, granted, it should have a place). TV chefs have thousands of pounds to spend on equipment, companies wanting to endorse their produce, and money to experiment during the day to figure out new recipes. It really isn’t so different to actors paying thousands for hairdressers, make up artists, stylists and freebies for endorsing apparel. As amazing as it would be to have that freedom, you sort of have to make do with what is at your disposal.
The idea i’ve bored my friends to death with is the mantra that food doesn’t need to be expensive, and if you plan things right, you won’t even need to use leftovers, because there won’t be any. How many hundreds of generations have coped with the various strifes of food-related and economical disasters? Our generation isn’t alone in having financial difficulties, we’ve had it pretty easy if you compare it to earlier ones, I think we can manage to get through it without too much moaning. There’s nothing we can do about it really for now, the only thing we can do is work with the resources we have and get on with it.
Granted, if you want to save yourself a great deal of money, you might want to consider the idea of having one or two meat-free days a week, but you really don’t have to if you plan it right. One of these days i’m just going to make a plan for you guys to download and be done with it. I am very well aware that reading about this stuff and doing it are two very divided notions, so i’ll leave myself a little mental note to do some tables and carry on to foodie goodness.
I mentioned briefly last time that I fancied something minty. After several hours of skimming through books I ended up resigning to the fact that I’d just have to make something up because nothing was quite right. I’m openly quite glad when things like this happen; partly because when I make my own successful recipe I feel like a proud cat with kittens, and partly because I feel like a cross between this:
I concocted a vanilla sponge, with peppermint cream core and a rich peppermint chocolate ganache. Alas, I haven’t quite perfected my sponge-ganache ratio so I won’t include the recipe until it’s right, but it did taste like a giant peppermint truffle.
I quite enjoyed the end result.
Next time I will indulge you with recipes and instructions for pipe-able, glaze-able and spreadable ganache. I think, perhaps, suited for those who think buttercream is a cop-out, but like things to look pretty. Huzzah.