I've achieved something of a personal goal in the last week. I went swimming in a cold Norwegian Fjord. Ever since we've moved here I've wanted to plunge into the waters that surround us. Mostly to see if I can survive it. The dull fact is, of course, that the water was nowhere near cold enough for survival to be a question. Still it was refreshing and a feeling of 1-0 to me versus the world.
I'm quite a goal driven individual and cooking has often been a means of escaping, a chance to be creative, put on a different skin almost. However recently it has been something of a chore as the inevitable pressures of life seemed to manifest themselves in a bit of a spring tide. It was a little eat for fuel, get on with solving the puzzle and survive.
The big question challenge is whether to move on from Norway to Finland. I won't debate the details but it has hanging over me a bit. So it was great last night to cobble together a bruschetta and some salsa and have it with a bit of Makerel. It was almost as if the bruschetta was the best bit.
For those of you who think a piece of toast will suffuce, let me tell you in no uncertain terms it will not.
Bread, one day old is best. Grill in hot ridged pan. No oil.
When it looks right take it out, rub with garlic, add freshly ground salt and a dribble of olive oil.
Trust me, there is no going back and best of all it is true soul food. Nothing fancy but deeply comforting.
Tonight we borrowed liberally from Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. We tried his Fennel and Mozarella salad which tasted of summer. I thought our version was OK but am heartened that it has a ton of possibilities to be developed according to what you have in the larder.
However more than that, with interesting deliberations ahead on whether to up sticks for Finland, it's good to know that I'm interested in food again as something other than fuel.
Tomorrow night will be a pea and prawn risotto - only a dish to be made if you love to cook! Roll on happy days - I'm back!!!