Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I've Been Left Behind ...


 *


Do you actually like  roasted cauliflower ?
Or is it just me ? Perhaps I didn't cook it very well ... but I come from a generation that ate cauliflower decently cloaked in cheese sauce or later , influenced by Mahdur Jaffrey , as Gingery Cauliflower soup . I watch young cooks now making couscous from it ... and rather wonder why they don't just use couscous .

But then , I'm post Fanny Craddock and pre no-carbs . We post-war children were encouraged to eat everything in sight by grannies who'd battled through rationing , and experimented on by Festival of Britain mothers who wildly added gherkins or pineapple chunks to things .
.
My generation  , armed with Elizabeth David and complete ignorance , burst with brio into a world of olive oil and After Eight mints .
I have memories of cheerfully deciding to make Beef Wellington for a dinner party ... I was 20 , I think , and only had a rough idea of how to make pastry but we and the guests survived ... though both I and the beef had turned grey with worry by the time it was served  .
Still , we all learnt and ventured into moussaka , chilli and kebabs . Chicken became clichéd , cod scarcer , rabbit stew a curiosity ...
 I ran away to Spain and lived there for twenty years , so I learnt how to clean and cook fish , make tortillas and hearty lentil stews and what to do with pigs trotters  . Then we came to Holland and ate lots of good cheese and searched for a decent tomato and non-watery cucumber . More and more North Africans appeared and they opened shops , filled with olives and feta , proper tomatoes and chick peas . The world slowly became more organic , bread better and pineapples broke free from their tins . Had it stopped there , all would have been well ... 



But somehow or other , the last year or two have taken another giant step forward ;
 gluten's bad , milk's bad if it's been anywhere near a cow , carbohydrates are unmentionable in polite society , butter was bad but is now good , and this week's taste sensation appears to be ice cream made from coconut milk , green tea powder and vanilla .
 And anyone worth their salt can perform miracles with cauliflowers . Well , anyone except me ...



Still , I'll just celebrate a recent brunch , simply and perfectly delicious  and eaten in the best of company :  perfectly fresh free range eggs with green asparagus 'soldiers ' to dip in ,  and  freshly baked , still warm Turkish rolls from a nearby baker .  And best of all , not cooked by me .
* A rather tatty recipe leaflet given out in 1928 by the Dutch Confederation of Potato Merchants , containing 90 recipes ranging from mashed potatoes to mashed potatoes with cheese ...

10 comments:

Toffeeapple said...

Having been brought up in south Wales in 1940s. I have never, ever roasted a cauliflower. Why would one? It takes far more energy than simmering does.

materfamilias said...

I have to confess that I have taken to roasted cauliflour, especially if the oven's already heating anyway. But I'm with you on much of the fatigue over what a food is free of or how it's been grown or what season it's in. . .

Ali Honey said...

Thanks for commenting on my Blog. Now I've found your blog. Yes I do like cauliflower like that and anyway except as couscous! Yes and Cauliflower are just great partners.
I hope you find some good kiwifruit to buy.

nick said...

I had some roasted cauliflower for the first time at a posh Dublin restaurant a couple of weeks ago. I rather liked it. But yes, probably not worth all the extra energy to try it at home.

lovethosecupcakes said...

Yes, I rather like roasted cauli though no-one else here will touch the stuff. Keep meaning to have a go at a cauliflower pizza base, too. As a vegan, my eating habits/preferences are very different to what they were. Still a big fan of mashed spuds, though.

Lucille said...

This struck so many chords. I too slaved away over Beef Wellingtons with the mushroom duxelles lining the puff pastry. My compendium of Elizabeth David books was my Bible. In those days olive oil still lurked in the bathroom cabinet. Something to do with earache.
My roasted cauliflower was not a success the one time I tried it. It was still raw.

rachel said...

That made me laugh.....

I rather like roasted cauliflower as a side dish to a curry: broken into fairly even bite-sized florets, tossed into a little oil that has had some spices mixed in (spice mix of whatever you fancy, really, or just curry powder), seasoned and popped on a baking sheet in a hottish oven for up to half an hour, and it's very good. IMO, of course. Give it a go!

My mother only ever used a white sauce on cauliflower, and we still prefer it to the cheesey version.

Friko said...

Oh dear, potatoes with everything. Potatoes were the filler at every main meal.

I well remember my first efforts at cooking; although I may have watched my mum, her repertoire was limited and I ‘invented’ most of my dishes.

When I first came to England food was dire but an awful lot has changed since. We seem to have done exactly what you said, raised dishes to culinary heights one minute and dropped them the next.

But first came the ‘lady cooks’ with their wonderful ‘foreign muck’ recipes. Olive oil for earache? Goodness me, dear, eat it! Eat It!

Vagabonde said...

I did try roasted cauliflower but did not like it that much. I usually cook mine very quickly in the microwave and accompany it with a sauce – whatever sounds good at the time. As you say food has changed so much. When I arrived in San Francisco there was only one kind of yogurt and it tasted awful – now there are so many types. Also here in Georgia restaurants place enough on one plate for 3 adult meals or the chi-chi restaurants will have a bite of meat with 2 tablespoons of veggies surrounded by syrup designs on the plate.
Thanks for coming to my blog and leaving a comment.

Liz Hinds said...

I love mash. I saw an advert recently for cauliflower pizza - I think the base was made of cauliflower. I mean, why? Like you I believe the only good cauliflower is covered in cheese sauce.

I remember the first time I cooked a red pepper, in fact I think it was green. And the first meal I cooked for Husband who at the time was just a friend. Grey bolognaise with hunks of spaghetti. He still married me.

Oh yes and pineapple on gammon, the height of good taste.