Fire raising:

Being Sunday, bacon was on my mind as I stood patiently waiting for the miracle of fire to manifest itself in the wood burner. Ecologically sound fire lighters were not, to my mind, making much of an effort to live up to their name. There was the encouraging thought that the gas hob would be much easier to bring to life – unless, unthinkably, the gas bottle was empty. Connecting a new gas bottle and lighting the wood burner vie with each other in  apparent simplicity and actual labyrinthine complexity. God knows why caveman persisted with fire lighting. You might think that both fire lighting and bacon cooking can be done simultaneously. They can be, but not if you forget one whilst doing the other. That way lies black burnt bacon, fireless hearth, tears and madness. By the time the fire was alight I found that we had no bacon worth speaking of. In fact staring into the understocked fridge was akin to a white out. In that bleakness I spotted a small shortcrust pastry case awaiting a filling. An egg, the small amount of bacon, a slug of thin cream and a rather old piece of parmesan were gathered together and beaten into submission. The tart shell was browned, the creamy mixture poured in allowing the magic of heat, this time from the magic oven which does not require fire, to create the most delicious egg and bacon tart. The sight, sound and smell of the pieces of bacon crisping, and the crackle of a successful fire made me appreciate caveman’s effort more fully, and filled me with gratitude for his persistence. Clubbing a wild pig to death and rubbing twigs together must have made Sunday a crap day in the caveman’s calendar, and it surprises that a cooked breakfast ever caught on.


About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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