The art and economy of cooking

Posted by Kitara Julian On 10:36 AM

You could say my love for cooking started many decades ago as a child in the Lowlands when I was “Mother’s little helper” in the kitchen. We had no fridge, no electricity and no running water. Duties in summer included helping to shift the milk, butter and cheese in the moving shade. By age four I had my own small garden plot, and also rabbits.

Later in my teens during the war, having experienced real hunger and struggle, this added even more to my respect and economic approach to food. A good training ground for an artist with a bohemian, nomadic lifestyle. Maximum results with minimum ingredients.

Cooking is an art, as is grocery shopping, you know. Both require patience. We need to choose and select, not grab the first thing we see. For instance, selecting a nice, firm Purple Cabbage (which is not a Red Cabbage, that’s a habitual misnomer.)

While cooking we need patience, especially “slow food”. Then there is the art of staying within your budget. Especially these days with the cost of living going up and up. It seems only the Sun gives us energy, warmth and life without ever sending a bill.

Today with harvests from around the world readily available, menus can be dished up in great variety. Although we try to stick to buying produce grown within a 150 km radius. Fish is another story. For the moment at least, we have a good selection of mostly fresh fish here on the Pacific coast.

Because you’re such a faithful reader of my blog, here is a recipe of mine. (And for those of you who know me, it’s not one of my Slow Food extravaganzas, so don’t worry). It’s a tasty, nourishing appetizer. You need only two ingredients: a kiwi fruit, and smoked oysters or mussels. Peel the kiwi, slice in two or three cross-sections. Top with either a smoked oyster or mussel. Voila! Bon appétit! Signing off, Henri

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