rules meant that the Christmas weekend had to be spent indoors and so
as not to get bored I made sure much of my time was spent preparing
food. All too often nowadays we end up being too busy to take time over
our meals, balancing ingredients to get the taste we like best and then
savouring our creation. It's too easy on a working day to get a
microwave meal, a takeaway, or just do something simple. Even eating out
relies on someone else's selection of ingredients. It's been a long
time since I really concentrated on cooking, something I used to do well
and then got lazy about.
As I'm living on the shores of the Ligurian Sea I thought I'd try to incorporate as many local delicacies in my Christmas preparations as I could. It's too mountainous for farms so any meat is rabbits, small birds or game; mostly, though, people eat fish. I don't like to cook fish at home, though, because of the smell in a largely open-plan apartment, and although the hob is high-tech, I don't have an oven. So for my main meals I selected birds that could be cooked in a pan, and local produce, especially pasta, olives, lemons, wines, basil and other herbs.
Here are some of the results, all successful, I'm pleased to say.
|Guineafowl peasant style, with Taggiasca olives|
|Poussin with lemon|
|Tortellini (filled pasta) from Genoa in broth|
|Selection of cured meat and salami|
|Chocolate 'salami' (I didn't make this). The white flakes are biscuit.|
|Pandolce, part way between bread and cake, with raisins in. Very nice.|
|Local sparkling wine, from Albenga|
I am now officially overweight and, as I've said so many times before, diet starts tomorrow!
A dip in the archives
Here's a Christmas photo from this date 11 years ago, when I hadn't yet got out in public.I'm not quite sure how I achieved that bust - I never managed it again! Pity!