this blog was, in its most scathing critique to date, recently described as “derivative” and “boring”. the real question is not, i dont think, is this blog truly derivative and boring but rather can the ego of this auteur bear such destructive criticism? shattered though one might be, after having being canned by one of your own supporters (a producer no less) in a review that was neither sought after nor invited, is there a way to get back up on the proverbial horse? some (mostly psychotherapists) would probably argue that in this particular case, with all its horrifying specificity, the answer is no. quit while you are behind. others however, those more perverse in character would say, why yes indeed. in no healthy way, this verbal beating needs to be embraced. and here is what i propose: a derivative and boring post…to show you what derivative and boring really means.
i was walking through my local all-round providore the other day, trying to come up with some ideas for dinner. uninspired by the range i was ready to throw in the towel when i fell upon some organic bio-dynamic and bio-logical muscat grapes. this i had to have. hubby loves muscats..they seem to have a soothing effect on his psoriasis. poor dear, he has such a delicate, flaky constitution. the little one enjoys them too..he enjoys chewing on the gummy things until he has extracted all their flavour and then spits them on the floor. i find it best to hover beneath his highchair, with cupped hands ready to catch the next bit of flying refuse…oh how we laugh. sometimes, when im feeling a little adventurous, i mascerate the muscats in a some dry sherry. hubby drinks around the muscats. and then i toss them through some yakult…baby seems to respond well to the liquor mixed with the lactobacillus gg strain. those evening often end in riotous hijinx and when the two have passed out, i often stop, and looking down at the scene, i thank the lord i have been blessed with such a wonderful family and such a culinary gift.
…think this experiment in derviation and mediocrity went of the rails somewhere. but still, in the timeless de-contextualised words of a boy i know, to the critics and sceptics i say: “you really need to stop talking to me now”. and to those who are cold and hungry i say, try this.
half butternut squash peeled and chopped into cubes
4 whole garlic cloves
1 white onion finely chopped
1 1/2 cups aborrio rice
3 cups stock (chicken, vegetable…whatever whatever)
salt & pepper
couple of tbsp olive oil
couple handfuls of spinach
couple handfuls of parmesan
put the pumpkin, garlic, rosemary (or thyme if its all you got) and a few glugs of olive oil into a large mixing bowl and toss til its all coated. put this in an oven at 180 degrees for about half an hour – until soft but still shape retaining.
meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat cook the onion in 25g of butter until it is softened (about 5 minutes). then throw in the rice and stir until all the grains are coated and have gone translucent. have your stock gently boiling on the other hob and slowly add stock to the rice, stirring all the time and making sure all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladelful. do this for about 18 minutes. once the rice is cooked and has absorbed all the liquid, remove it from the heat. put in your spinach at this point and stir until spinach has wilted. put in the other 25g of butter and a good couple handfuls of parmesan. stir once and then place a lid on and let the rice rest for a couple of minutes.
get your pumpkin out of the oven and stir through, careful not to break up the pumpkin too much. serve with some parmesan sprinkled over the top and a handful of pine nuts for greatness.