This week’s daily post prompt is tiny. Last week’s was chaos, a super topic for me, but sadly I missed it. Anyhow, tiny it is, and tiny is something that also fascinates me.
Teensy, tiny amuse bouches – the bane of the home cook.
I know for a fact it cannot just be me that feels that way. Why? Firstly, because, we share even the most idiosyncratic traits with someone somewhere. Secondly, because the world is awash with foodies, and food bloggers, Great British Bake Off fanatics and millions of recipes on how to make the best sourdough loaf. Before you get confused, let me clarify, it’s not just me that goes to expensive restaurants, marvels at the intricacy of design, the beauty of the cutlery, covets the Limoges china and surreptitiously turns things upside down to note down the maker of a particularly beautiful item. I do this just in case I ever end up with enough staff to clean my silver, hand wash my crystal and manage my household, so that I will be free to focus on the stuff I like to do. There are people who say “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”, I am not going to argue, so just in case, while I dream and get on with what reality throws at me, I take photographs, so I am prepared.
Anyhow, off topic… Apart from marvelling at the china, and the beautiful, snowy linens and the amount of alcohol the average punter, even in a place such as the above, can put away in the course of a lunchtime meal, I also marvel at the food, of course. That is the point. That is why we eat in these places. I marvel at the design, the textures, the flavour combinations and the sheer prettiness. Look at those cones. They were served in wild rice. They were crunchy and crispy and filled with a smooth silky something, and topped with puff rice. I admit that the style here trumped the substance, because, unusually for me, I cannot remember what anything tasted like, but I do remember that I wanted to make something similar back home. With a staff of zero. A regular-sized home-kitchen and a cook (me) not massively gifted with patience. I also am not massively gifted in the fiddly work department.
As a medical student I took a summer off to work on a farm. Luckily for me I ended up near Chalon Sur Saone, where the famous Bresse chickens are bred. The food in this area is amazing. I drove the tractor to plough the field, one of my best memories of all time. I collected hay bales. Cleaned the stables. And fed the farm’s cats (and got bitten a lot in the process, they were hungry and I’d hold out chicken stomachs to see them jump..). During that summer I also helped the local farmers’ wives eviscerate chickens. I sat at the table with them. The farmer slaughtered the chickens next to the coop. One farmer’s wife (there must be another term for this, it cannot be that a woman is defined solely by her husbands profession, or can it? Not going to google now, but any smart readers, please do let me know your thoughts) dunked the chickens into hot water and removed the feathers.The rest of us sat at the table removing the inner organs. As I went about this I damaged the odd gall bladder, ruining some of the inner organs I’d removed. The ladies I was sitting with recommended sternly that I shouldn’t go into working as a surgeon….I didn’t, but I do still want to master the art of creating fiddly things in my kitchen…
The dream lives on.